Local topology at limited resource induced suboptimal traps on the quantum control landscape

Ashley Donovan, Vincent Beltrani, Herschel Rabitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In a quantum optimal control experiment a system is driven towards a target observable value with a tailored external field. The underlying quantum control landscape, defined by the observable as a function of the control variables, lacks suboptimal extrema upon satisfaction of certain physical assumptions. This favorable topology implies that upon climbing the landscape to seek an optimal control field, a steepest ascent algorithm should not halt prematurely at suboptimal critical points, or traps. One of the important aforementioned assumptions is that no limitations are imposed on the control resources. Constraints on the control restricts access to certain regions of the landscape, potentially preventing optimal performance through convergence to limited resource induced suboptimal traps. This work develops mathematical tools to explore the local landscape structure around suboptimal critical points. The landscape structure may be favorably altered by systematically relaxing the control resources. In this fashion, isolated suboptimal critical pointsmay be transformed into extensive level sets and then to saddle points permitting further landscape ascent. Time-independent kinematic controls are employed as stand-ins for traditional dynamic controls to allow for performing a simpler constrained resource landscape analysis. The kinematic controls can be directly transferred to their dynamic counterparts at any juncture of the kinematic analysis. The numerical simulations employ a family of landscape exploration algorithms while imposing constraints on the kinematic controls. Particular algorithms are introduced to meet the goals of either climbing the landscape or seeking specific changes in the topology of the landscape by relaxing the control resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-429
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Mathematical Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Constrained quantum control
  • Constrained quantum control landscapes
  • Quantum control
  • Quantum theory


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