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
The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau
Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences