USRA quantum computing request for proposals

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is pleased to invite proposals for Cycle 2 of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Research Opportunity, which will allocate computer time for research projects to be run on the D-Wave 2X system at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) for the time period October 2015 through September 2016.

The total allocated computer time for the research opportunity represents approximately 20% of the total available runtime during the period. Successful projects will be allowed to remotely access the quantum computer, and to run a number of jobs up to a maximum allocated runtime usage.

The Call is open to all qualified researchers affiliated to accredited universities, not-for-profit organizations, and industry. Exceptions to researchers unaffiliated with universities might be considered in case of proposals of outstanding quality and the desire to publish the results of the investigation. The computer time will be provided free of charge. No financial support is offered for the completion of the project.

Proposals are sought for research on artificial intelligence algorithms and advanced programming (mapping, decomposition, embedding) techniques for quantum annealing, with the objective to advance the state-of-the-art in quantum computing and its application to artificial intelligence.

The D-Wave 2X machine currently features the “Washington” chip. High-level descriptions of the computer and its programming can be found on D-Wave website http://www.dwavesys.com/resources/tutorials. The specific machine installed at ARC currently has 1,097 qubits in the working graph, and this is planned to be upgraded in the future as new processors become available.

A number of published research papers documenting the use of D-Wave processors or discussing its applications can be found at http://www.usra.edu/quantum/bibliography.

Applications received by October 31, 2015 will be given full consideration. The call for proposals will remain open after this date, and applications received after this date will also be considered, in USRA’s sole discretion.

For detailed information and application instructions, check out this link.

Interesting progress on improving quantum annealing

Degeneracy, degree, and heavy tails in quantum annealing

Both simulated quantum annealing and physical quantum annealing have shown the emergence of “heavy tails” in their performance as optimizers: The total time needed to solve a set of random input instances is dominated by a small number of very hard instances. Classical simulated annealing, in contrast, does not show such heavy tails. Here we explore the origin of these heavy tails, which appear for inputs with high local degeneracy—large isoenergetic clusters of states in Hamming space. This category includes the low-precision Chimera-structured problems studied in recent benchmarking work comparing the D-Wave Two quantum annealing processor with simulated annealing. On similar inputs designed to suppress local degeneracy, performance of a quantum annealing processor on hard instances improves by orders of magnitude at the 512-qubit scale, while classical performance remains relatively unchanged. Simulations indicate that perturbative crossings are the primary factor contributing to these heavy tails, while sensitivity to Hamiltonian misspecification error plays a less significant role in this particular setting.

Announcing the D-Wave 2X

We are very excited to announce the general availability of the latest generation of D-Wave quantum computers, the D-Wave 2X™ system.  With 1000+ qubits and many other technological advancements, the D-Wave 2X will enable customers to run much larger, more complex problems on the system.

Here is a press release describing the system, and here is a paper describing benchmarking results performed on it.

Here is one, in the Burnaby lab.

D-Wave Two in Lab

D-Wave Lab Tour part 1

Seeing the D-Wave facilities first-hand is a very cool experience. They look a lot like computers did back in the 60s. There are a lot of parallels to back then — we even built our own version of Spacewar! — except you get to play against a quantum computer. (Aside: this game — which was the world’s first quantum computer game — was called MaxCat. I own the only handwritten copy of the rules…. one of my most treasured artifacts!)

Here’s the first part of a series showing what you’d see if you visited D-Wave’s main experimental facility. Shot by D-Wave’s Dom Walliman — experimental physicist, author, and videographer extraordinaire, and starring Jeremy Hilton, D-Wave’s VP of Processor Development. Hope you like it!

Call for Proposals – Computer Time on D-Wave Quantum Computer

Recently the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) announced that they were accepting proposals for computer time on the D-Wave system at the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab located at NASA Ames Research Center. Details are as follows, and you can find out more (and download the RFP) at USRA’s website at http://www.usra.edu/quantum/rfp/.  We encourage researchers to take advantage of this opportunity.

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is pleased to invite proposals for Cycle 1 of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Research Opportunity, which will allocate computer time for research projects to be run on the D-Wave System at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) for the time period November 2014 through September 2015.

The total allocated computer time for the Cycle 1 research opportunity represents approximately 20% of the total available runtime during the period. Successful projects will be allowed to remotely access the quantum computer, and to run a number of jobs up to a maximum allocated runtime usage.

The Call is open to all qualified researchers affiliated to accredited universities and other research organizations. Exceptions to researchers unaffiliated with universities might be considered in case of proposals of outstanding quality and the desire to publish the results of the investigation. The computer time will be provided free of charge. No financial support is offered for the completion of the project.

Proposals are sought for research on artificial intelligence algorithms and advanced programming (mapping, decomposition, embedding) techniques for quantum annealing, with the objective to advance the state-of-the-art in quantum computing and its application to artificial intelligence.