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Throughput Measurements and Capacity Estimates for Quantum Connections

by Nageswara S Rao, Muneer Alshowkan, Joseph C Chapman, Nicholas A Peters, Joseph M Lukens
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
IEEE INFOCOM 2023 - IEEE Conference on Computer Communications Workshops (INFOCOM WKSHPS)
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 6
Publisher Location
New Jersey, United States of America
Conference Name
The Second IEEE International Workshop on Network Science for Quantum Communication Networks (NetSciQCom 2023)
Conference Location
New York, New York, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

The throughput of conventional and quantum network connections is an important performance metric, which is typically specified by bits per second (bps) and entangled quntum bits per second (ebps), respectively. It is measured over practical quantum network connections using specialized methods, and estimated using analytical bounds for which extensive theory has been developed. For practical connections, however, these two quantities have often been hard to correlate due to the lack of measurements and estimates derived under well-characterized common conditions. They both differ significantly from the conventional network throughput of TCP which employs buffers and loss recovery mechanisms. We describe a conventional-quantum testbed that enables the comparison of these two quantities both qualitatively and quantitatively. The bps and ebps throughput is measured over fiber connections of lengths over 75 kilometers, which show that the former decreases significantly slower with distance than the latter and in a qualitatively different way. The analytic capacity estimates of ebps are derived using approximations based on light intensity measurements, and they decrease more rapidly with distance than the measured ebps throughput. These results provide qualitative insights into the conventional transport mechanisms based on buffers, and the conditions used in deriving the analytical ebps capacity estimates.