Quantum computing has borrowed ideas from finance.
A balanced portfolio of programs could mean a faster quantum computer.
Strategies from the world of finance could help get the best out of quantum computers, say US researchers1. The right portfolio of programs could solve a problem many times faster than a single strategem.
Quantum computers - purely hypothetical as yet - would be fast, but you could never be sure whether a program was going to work or not. You would have to keep running the program until it gave you an answer.
Speculate to accumulate
In quantum computing, the chance of finding the answer does not simply increase as the program is rerun: it rises and falls rhythmically. One possible portfolio involves using the same program repeatedly but varying the number of times it is run.
Maurer and his colleagues tested their portfolio on a so-called NP-complete mathematical problem. Normal computers struggle to solve these, because they generally have to search through every single possible answer to find the best one. As chess-playing programs show, a small number of parameters can produce an astronomical number of answers.
Solving NP-complete problems is one of the most attractive potential uses of quantum computers. By storing and processing information as quantum states of atoms - ’quantum bits’ or qubits - rather than zeros and ones, a quantum computer could perform a vast number of operations at once. No one has yet built a quantum computer, because it is extremely hard to control more than a handful of quantum states simultaneously.
The researchers used conventional computers to calculate how quantum computers would cope with very simple cases. They found that a well-chosen portfolio of programs typically solved some NP-complete problems at least twice as fast as a single program. In some cases the portfolio is more than ten times faster, and the team says that further improvements are possible.
PHILIP BALL | © Nature News Service
Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences