A large number of potential applications for quantum computing deal with various forms of optimization and related graph partitioning problems and Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) has been specializing in providing software solutions for these types of problems with their Qatalyst and QGraph software packages. Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has a long history of working in high performance computing starting with the MANIAC I (Mathematical Analyzer Numerical Integrator and Automatic Computer Model I) constructed in 1952. LANL believes that part of its mission is to develop high performance computing (HPC) techniques that can be provided to the public to benefit everyone. Although LANL still does substantial work in areas related to nuclear physics it is also active in many other areas including national security, space exploration, nuclear fusion, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology, and supercomputing. Many of these areas can potentially take advantage of the optimization software provided by QCI.
The CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) between LANL and QCI will involve in looking at various applications to see how QCI’s software can improve the calculations in both time to solution as well as solution accuracy and solution precision. Optimization algorithns have been well studied in the classical world and some very good algorithms are already available. The goal of this CRADA program will be to find ways to beat out pure classical optimizers and these will set the baseline that the quantum solutions will be compared against. The program will take heavy advantage of hybrid classical/quantum algorithm implementations to create the solutions. The research will initially focus on using the 5000+ qubit D-Wave Advantage quantum annealer, but the team will also look at future gate based machines as the more powerful versions are introduced. One particular area of interest is in the area of community detection, a machine learning algorithm which is particularly difficult for classical computers to do well.
Additional information about this CRADA agreement can be found in a news release issued by QCI here.
June 18, 2021