Physical Review A
Quantification and characterization of leakage errors
We present a general framework for the quantification and characterization of leakage errors that result when a quantum system is encoded in the subspace of a larger system. To do this we introduce metrics for quantifying the coherent and incoherent properties of the resulting errors and we illustrate this framework with several examples relevant to superconducting qubits. In particular, we propose two quantities, the leakage and seepage rates, which together with average gate fidelity allow for characterizing the average performance of quantum gates in the presence of leakage and show how the randomized benchmarking protocol can be modified to enable the robust estimation of all three quantities for a Clifford gate set.