Tuesday, April 19, 2016

USRA Director explains the use of D-Wave 2X™ System quantum computer

Quantum computers have the potential to deliver vastly faster computing speeds, and, recently, a consortium consisting of Google, NASA, and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) got together and spent about $15 million to acquire a state-of-the-art quantum computer from D-Wave Systems, the D-Wave 2X™ System which they are sharing the use of.  USRA is further sharing use of the machine through a program described here by Dr. David Bell, USRA Director of the Research Institute of Advanced Computer Science:

"There is background information on the project at the following: http://www.usra.edu/quantum/.  This includes a bibliography on the background research for quantum annealing, as well as information on the Request for Proposals (RFP) that are competitively selected for research time using the quantum computer.

"We do hold a competitive selection for time on the D-Wave 2X™ System, which is currently open to universities, non-profits, and industrial research organizations.  We have held two cycles of selections to date.  The second cycle is the first cycle that was opened up to include proposals from industrial research organizations (e.g., startups). 

"In the first cycle, we selected proposals from the following organizations:

1)      Mississippi State University
2)      University of California, San Diego
3)      University of Southern California
4)      University of British Columbia
5)      Tecnológico de Monterrey
6)      Swiss Federal  Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL)
7)      Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
8)      University of Verona

"In the second cycle, we selected proposals from the following organizations.

1)      University College London
2)      QC Ware
3)      QxBranch
4)      TCS Research
5)      FiatPhysica

"There is a diversity of research being conducted by these organizations which ranges from research in biology, medicine, computer vision, machine learning, and quantum physics. 

"Below is a list describing some of the initial projects that have been proposed
·        Analyzing and classifying small chemical molecules with application for medicine
·        Biclustering with application for genetic experiments in biology
·        Optimizing networks with application for computer vision
·        Machine learning with unlabeled data
·        Analyzing complex quantum dynamics
·        Solving hard optimization problems faced by large Cloud providers
·        Solving inference problems related to machine learning
·        Quantifying Deep Learning Applicability to Quantum Hardware
·        Integrating AI-Planning and Machine-learning using Quantum Sampling
·        Computing topological features of a space at different spatial resolutions
·        Designing and testing hard optimization problems for quantum speedup

"Several papers have resulted from these projects, including:

·        Trummer, Immanuel, and Christoph Koch. "Multiple Query Optimization on the D-Wave 2X Adiabatic Quantum Computer." arXiv preprint arXiv:1510.06437 (2015). https://arxiv.org/pdf/1510.06437.

·        Novotny, M. A., et al. "Spanning Tree Calculations on D-Wave 2 Machines. "Journal of Physics: Conference Series. Vol. 681. No. 1. IOP Publishing, 2016. http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/681/1/012005/pdf

"USRA, NASA and Google have also published papers based on research utilizing the computer including:

·        http://arxiv.org/pdf/1512.02206.pdf  (100 million speedup paper).
·        http://arxiv.org/abs/1506.08479 (job shop scheduling)
·        http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.2887 (hard planning problems)
·        http://arxiv.org/abs/1406.7601 (fault detection and diagnosis)"

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