Interesting new papers from MIT and Harvard folks

There was a really interesting paper posted on the arxiv yesterday, coauthored by Peter Shor and Eddie Farhi. It analyzes ways you can adjust adiabatic quantum optimization algorithms to make them run better. There are some very good ideas here — check it out!

Also on the arxiv recently was this cool paper by Andrew Lucas at Harvard, mapping a lot of NP problems into Ising model problems.

11 thoughts on “Interesting new papers from MIT and Harvard folks

  1. Geordie: A couple of really interesting papers from two great institutions. I think you should extend an invitation to these authors to come & visit you at your labs & perhaps try their ideas on one of your machines. Who knows, they may have a breakthrough in one class of problems, suitable for your machines, which may change everything! Wish you the best of luck.

  2. Yes I saw the Lucas paper recently as well and it was really neat.

    By the way, do you have any papers you would recommend reading on D-Wave’s application in terms of Monte Carlo methods (e.g. areas of quant finance like derivative pricing)? Has any work on this been done in a research type of activity as opposed to production code?

    Would be thrilled if you had any papers you would recommend?

      • It’s damning in EXACTLY the same way that climate change deniers’ arguments are damning for climate change, or creationists’ arguments are damning for evolution. For exactly the same reasons it’s completely not interesting or useful.

        The authors of the paper they are attacking (which is not us, by the way) will decide whether they want to respond or not, as they did to the first attempt by these people. I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided not to, for the same reasons that some evolutionary biologists refuse to debate creationists. If the argument stops being about science, what’s the point of having a scientific debate?

  3. This is their second attempt to torpedo the original paper!. In their first attempt, Smith & Smolin, didn’t get anywhere by themselves. Now they have convinced a couple of “Big Guns” from Berkeley, especially the outspoken Dr. U. Vazirani, to have another go at it!. By the way, Vasirani was the supervisor of the outspoken Scott Aaronson, when Scott was studying for his PhD. They admire each other greatly.

  4. With respect to

    Quantum information theory (QuIT) academics like to paint D-wave as being dishonest ( “full of hype”) And yet when it comes to quantum cryptography,(which Smolin has based his career on and Vazirani has written papers on, e.g.,, they don’t point out that quantum cryptography is totally pointless, pure hucksterism. Hypocrisy?

    • Once I had a discussion with a scientist at a quantum information conference. His point of view was that it was perfectly fine and indeed laudable for academic scientists to lie to funding agencies or agents, specifically to promise real technologies were going to come from basic quantum information research even though everyone involved knew this was bullshit. His premise was that the scientists knew best, basic research was the only thing that mattered, lying to ‘the money people’ was OK, and anyway they weren’t smart enough to know what they needed. It was deeply troubling.

      If I were a funding agency, or an evaluator of a suggested technology, I would require that the proponent of the technology list the actual physical requirements in order to do the things they are claiming those technologies can do. It forces you to deal with the realities of what you’re suggesting. It’s also not a lot to ask. It cuts through bullshit that prevents real progress. If you want our version of this, you can check out the architecture paper I linked to in the previous post.

      Here’s an example. There are many proponents of the gate model of quantum computation. If I were to evaluate a proposal to build such a thing, or components of such a thing, I’d require the following: tell me the physical requirements to run Shor’s algorithm to factor 15 using the kinds of fault tolerant quantum error correction protocols necessary to scale the gate model up to useful sizes. Pick any hardware implementation you want, and show a processor design to do this — a cartoon would be fine — count the number of devices and the number and type of programming lines necessary, with estimates of the required parameters of those devices. Would anyone like to take a shot at this?

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