Holographic code[1]


A code whose encoding isometry serves to model aspects of the AdS/CFT holographic duality. Encoding map models radial time evolution for a fixed time slice in Anti de Sitter (AdS) space, mapping operators in the bulk of AdS, represented by logical qudits, onto operators on the boundary of the corresponding Conformal Field Theory (CFT), represented by physical qudits. Encoding can often be represented by a tensor network associated with a tiling of hyperbolic space. See Defn 4.3 of Ref. [2] for a technical formulation.

Typically, the encoding isometry \(U\) obeys the entanglement-wedge reconstruction condition, which states that for any boundary region \(R\), any bulk operator \(O\) localized to the entanglement wedge of \(R\) must be implementable by some boundary operator \(\tilde{O}\) localized to \(R\). Formally, \(UO = \tilde{O}U\) and \([\tilde{O},UU^\dagger] = 0\). The entanglement wedge is the space enclosed within the Ryu–Takayanagi surface in the bulk (minimal surface) with boundary \(R\).


Protects against erasure errors on the boundary. Error-correction properties are often stated in the Heisenberg picture, i.e., in terms of which logical operators can be reconstructed after erasures. Specifically, bulk operators outside the entanglement wedges of the erased boundary operators can be reconstructed using the remaining boundary operators. However, the protection can be nontrivial, and may only apply to a subalgebra of bulk operators [3][4].

Transversal Gates

There exist holographic approximate codes with arbitrary transversal gate sets for any compact Lie group [2]. However, for sufficiently localized logical subsystems of holographic stabilizer codes, the set of transversally implementable logical operations is contained in the Clifford group [5].

Code Capacity Threshold

The ideal holographic code (perfect representation of AdS/CFT) should be able to protect a central bulk operator against erasures of half of the physical qubits on the boundary, in line with AdS-Rindler reconstruction [1].Holographic codes are argued to have a algebraic threshold, for which the error rate scales polynomially (as opposed to exponentially) in the thermodynamic limit [6]. Such a threshold is governed by the underlying conformal field theory describing the boundary.


All Boundary global symmetries must be dual to bulk gauge symmetries, and vice versa [7].




  • Operator-algebra error-correcting code — Properties of holographic codes are often quantified in the Heisenberg picture, i.e., in terms of operator algebras [3][4].
  • Hyperbolic surface code — Both holographic and hyperbolic surface codes utilize tesselations of hyperbolic surfaces. Encodings for the former are hyperbolically tiled tensor networks, while the latter is defined on hyperbolically tiled physical-qubit lattices.
  • Matrix-model code — Matrix-model codes are motivated by the Ads/CFT correspondence because it is manifest in continuous non-Abelian gauge theories with large gauge groups [9].
  • Quantum Lego code — Holographic codes whose encoders are tensor networks discretizing hyperbolic space are quantum Lego codes.
  • Renormalization group (RG) cat code — The RG cat code encoder has similar coarse-graining features as that of a holographic code [10].


F. Pastawski et al., “Holographic quantum error-correcting codes: toy models for the bulk/boundary correspondence”, Journal of High Energy Physics 2015, (2015). DOI; 1503.06237
K. Dolev et al., “Gauging the bulk: generalized gauging maps and holographic codes”, Journal of High Energy Physics 2022, (2022). DOI; 2108.11402
A. Almheiri, X. Dong, and D. Harlow, “Bulk locality and quantum error correction in AdS/CFT”, Journal of High Energy Physics 2015, (2015). DOI; 1411.7041
F. Pastawski and J. Preskill, “Code Properties from Holographic Geometries”, Physical Review X 7, (2017). DOI; 1612.00017
S. Cree et al., “Fault-Tolerant Logical Gates in Holographic Stabilizer Codes Are Severely Restricted”, PRX Quantum 2, (2021). DOI; 2103.13404
N. Bao, C. Cao, and G. Zhu, “Deconfinement and error thresholds in holography”, Physical Review D 106, (2022). DOI; 2202.04710
Daniel Harlow and Hirosi Ooguri, “Symmetries in quantum field theory and quantum gravity”. 1810.05338
D. Harlow, “The Ryu–Takayanagi Formula from Quantum Error Correction”, Communications in Mathematical Physics 354, 865 (2017). DOI; 1607.03901
ChunJun Cao, Gong Cheng, and Brian Swingle, “Large $N$ Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Quantum Memory”. 2211.08448
K. Furuya, N. Lashkari, and S. Ouseph, “Real-space RG, error correction and Petz map”, Journal of High Energy Physics 2022, (2022). DOI; 2012.14001
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Cite as:
“Holographic code”, The Error Correction Zoo (V. V. Albert & P. Faist, eds.), 2023. https://errorcorrectionzoo.org/c/holographic
@incollection{eczoo_holographic, title={Holographic code}, booktitle={The Error Correction Zoo}, year={2023}, editor={Albert, Victor V. and Faist, Philippe}, url={https://errorcorrectionzoo.org/c/holographic} }
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“Holographic code”, The Error Correction Zoo (V. V. Albert & P. Faist, eds.), 2023. https://errorcorrectionzoo.org/c/holographic

Github: https://github.com/errorcorrectionzoo/eczoo_data/tree/main/codes/quantum/properties/holographic.yml.