Advantages of Unfair Quantum Ground-State Sampling.
ABSTRACT: The debate around the potential superiority of quantum annealers over their classical counterparts has been ongoing since the inception of the field. Recent technological breakthroughs, which have led to the manufacture of experimental prototypes of quantum annealing optimizers with sizes approaching the practical regime, have reignited this discussion. However, the demonstration of quantum annealing speedups remains to this day an elusive albeit coveted goal. We examine the power of quantum annealers to provide a different type of quantum enhancement of practical relevance, namely, their ability to serve as useful samplers from the ground-state manifolds of combinatorial optimization problems. We study, both numerically by simulating stoquastic and non-stoquastic quantum annealing processes, and experimentally, using a prototypical quantum annealing processor, the ability of quantum annealers to sample the ground-states of spin glasses differently than thermal samplers. We demonstrate that (i) quantum annealers sample the ground-state manifolds of spin glasses very differently than thermal optimizers (ii) the nature of the quantum fluctuations driving the annealing process has a decisive effect on the final distribution, and (iii) the experimental quantum annealer samples ground-state manifolds significantly differently than thermal and ideal quantum annealers. We illustrate how quantum annealers may serve as powerful tools when complementing standard sampling algorithms.
Project description:Recent advances in quantum technology have led to the development and manufacturing of experimental programmable quantum annealing optimizers that contain hundreds of quantum bits. These optimizers, commonly referred to as 'D-Wave' chips, promise to solve practical optimization problems potentially faster than conventional 'classical' computers. Attempts to quantify the quantum nature of these chips have been met with both excitement and skepticism but have also brought up numerous fundamental questions pertaining to the distinguishability of experimental quantum annealers from their classical thermal counterparts. Inspired by recent results in spin-glass theory that recognize 'temperature chaos' as the underlying mechanism responsible for the computational intractability of hard optimization problems, we devise a general method to quantify the performance of quantum annealers on optimization problems suffering from varying degrees of temperature chaos: A superior performance of quantum annealers over classical algorithms on these may allude to the role that quantum effects play in providing speedup. We utilize our method to experimentally study the D-Wave Two chip on different temperature-chaotic problems and find, surprisingly, that its performance scales unfavorably as compared to several analogous classical algorithms. We detect, quantify and discuss several purely classical effects that possibly mask the quantum behavior of the chip.
Project description:Quantum annealers aim at solving nonconvex optimization problems by exploiting cooperative tunneling effects to escape local minima. The underlying idea consists of designing a classical energy function whose ground states are the sought optimal solutions of the original optimization problem and add a controllable quantum transverse field to generate tunneling processes. A key challenge is to identify classes of nonconvex optimization problems for which quantum annealing remains efficient while thermal annealing fails. We show that this happens for a wide class of problems which are central to machine learning. Their energy landscapes are dominated by local minima that cause exponential slowdown of classical thermal annealers while simulated quantum annealing converges efficiently to rare dense regions of optimal solutions.
Project description:Quantum tunnelling is a phenomenon in which a quantum state traverses energy barriers higher than the energy of the state itself. Quantum tunnelling has been hypothesized as an advantageous physical resource for optimization in quantum annealing. However, computational multiqubit tunnelling has not yet been observed, and a theory of co-tunnelling under high- and low-frequency noises is lacking. Here we show that 8-qubit tunnelling plays a computational role in a currently available programmable quantum annealer. We devise a probe for tunnelling, a computational primitive where classical paths are trapped in a false minimum. In support of the design of quantum annealers we develop a nonperturbative theory of open quantum dynamics under realistic noise characteristics. This theory accurately predicts the rate of many-body dissipative quantum tunnelling subject to the polaron effect. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate that quantum tunnelling outperforms thermal hopping along classical paths for problems with up to 200 qubits containing the computational primitive.
Project description:Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented increase in experiments and hybrid simulations involving quantum computers. In particular, quantum annealers. There exist a plethora of algorithms promising to outperform classical computers in the near-term future. Here, we propose a parallel in time approach to simulate dynamical systems designed to be executed already on present-day quantum annealers. In essence, purely classical methods for solving dynamics systems are serial. Therefore, their parallelization is substantially limited. In the presented approach, however, the time evolution is rephrased as a ground-state search of a classical Ising model. Such a problem is solved intrinsically in parallel by quantum computers. The main idea is exemplified by simulating the Rabi oscillations generated by a two-level quantum system (i.e. qubit) experimentally.
Project description:Thermodynamics relies on the possibility to describe systems composed of a large number of constituents in terms of few macroscopic variables. Its foundations are rooted into the paradigm of statistical mechanics, where thermal properties originate from averaging procedures which smoothen out local details. While undoubtedly successful, elegant and formally correct, this approach carries over an operational problem, namely determining the precision at which such variables are inferred, when technical/practical limitations restrict our capabilities to local probing. Here we introduce the local quantum thermal susceptibility, a quantifier for the best achievable accuracy for temperature estimation via local measurements. Our method relies on basic concepts of quantum estimation theory, providing an operative strategy to address the local thermal response of arbitrary quantum systems at equilibrium. At low temperatures, it highlights the local distinguishability of the ground state from the excited sub-manifolds, thus providing a method to locate quantum phase transitions.
Project description:Physical annealing systems provide heuristic approaches to solving combinatorial optimization problems. Here, we benchmark two types of annealing machines-a quantum annealer built by D-Wave Systems and measurement-feedback coherent Ising machines (CIMs) based on optical parametric oscillators-on two problem classes, the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick (SK) model and MAX-CUT. The D-Wave quantum annealer outperforms the CIMs on MAX-CUT on cubic graphs. On denser problems, however, we observe an exponential penalty for the quantum annealer [exp(-αDW N 2)] relative to CIMs [exp(-αCIM N)] for fixed anneal times, both on the SK model and on 50% edge density MAX-CUT. This leads to a several orders of magnitude time-to-solution difference for instances with over 50 vertices. An optimal-annealing time analysis is also consistent with a substantial projected performance difference. The difference in performance between the sparsely connected D-Wave machine and the fully-connected CIMs provides strong experimental support for efforts to increase the connectivity of quantum annealers.
Project description:Discovering the low-energy conformations of a molecule is of great interest to computational chemists, with applications in in silico materials design and drug discovery. In this paper, we propose a variable neighbourhood search heuristic for the conformational search problem. Using the structure of a molecule, neighbourhoods are chosen to allow for the efficient use of a binary quadratic optimizer for conformational search. The method is flexible with respect to the choice of molecular force field and the number of discretization levels in the search space, and can be further generalized to take advantage of higher-order binary polynomial optimizers. It is well-suited for the use of devices such as quantum annealers. After carefully defining neighbourhoods, the method easily adapts to the size and topology of these devices, allowing for seamless scaling alongside their future improvements.
Project description:Quantum phenomena have the potential to speed up the solution of hard optimization problems. For example, quantum annealing, based on the quantum tunneling effect, has recently been shown to scale exponentially better with system size than classical simulated annealing. However, current realizations of quantum annealers with superconducting qubits face two major challenges. First, the connectivity between the qubits is limited, excluding many optimization problems from a direct implementation. Second, decoherence degrades the success probability of the optimization. We address both of these shortcomings and propose an architecture in which the qubits are robustly encoded in continuous variable degrees of freedom. By leveraging the phenomenon of flux quantization, all-to-all connectivity with sufficient tunability to implement many relevant optimization problems is obtained without overhead. Furthermore, we demonstrate the robustness of this architecture by simulating the optimal solution of a small instance of the nondeterministic polynomial-time hard (NP-hard) and fully connected number partitioning problem in the presence of dissipation.
Project description:This study aimed to apply annealing processes during the coating of photovoltaic (PV) module glasses to PV modules already installed through an easy and simple procedure. Three types of annealing treatments were applied to PV module glasses, i.e., furnace, rapid thermal annealing (RTA) and torch. Among these, torch annealing, which can be easily carried out at PV module installation sites, was applied to PV module glasses using different numbers of repetition. Light transmittance, contact angle, anti-pollution characteristics, adhesion and hardness of the functional coating films after using different annealing treatment times and methods were measured, and it was confirmed that these characteristics varied depending on the annealing treatment times and methods. Through this, it was possible to optimize the process conditions that provide excellent anti-pollution characteristics and could be easily utilized at on-site PV modules.
Project description:Density and hardness of glasses are known to increase upon both compression at the glass transition temperature (Tg) and ambient pressure sub-Tg annealing. However, a serial combination of the two methods does not result in higher density and hardness, since the effect of compression is countered by subsequent annealing and vice versa. In this study, we circumvent this by introducing a novel treatment protocol that enables the preparation of high-density, high-hardness bulk aluminosilicate glasses. This is done by first compressing a sodium-magnesium aluminosilicate glass at 1?GPa at Tg, followed by sub-Tg annealing in-situ at 1?GPa. Through density, hardness, and heat capacity measurements, we demonstrate that the effects of hot compression and sub-Tg annealing can be combined to access a "forbidden glass" regime that is inaccessible through thermal history or pressure history variation alone. We also study the relaxation behavior of the densified samples during subsequent ambient pressure sub-Tg annealing. Density and hardness are found to relax and approach their ambient condition values upon annealing, but the difference in relaxation time of density and hardness, which is usually observed for hot compressed glasses, vanishes for samples previously subjected to high-pressure sub-Tg annealing. This confirms the unique configurational state of these glasses.