Quantum Annealing: Research and Applications
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This thesis studies several aspects of the quantum annealing (QA) computing approach. Quantum annealers' primary objective is to solve hard computational optimization problems. Because these optimization problems are in the NP-Hard complexity class, they are of great interest in several fields. One of the leading open questions concerning quantum annealers asks whether they will outperform other classical methods for solving these problems; Some aspects of this question are addressed in this thesis. The first part of the thesis investigates whether quantum annealing provides improved performance for solving a particular family of NP problems, called the Quadratic Knapsack Problem (QKP), using the D-Wave Quantum Annealer. The performance metrics used to assess QKP solving are the solution quality and the total runtime, and are benchmarked against other classical solvers. Furthermore, we extend our research on quantum annealers to propose two use cases for such systems. One is for Blockchain technology, and the second is in the area of quantum chaos. For the first use case of QA, an application for Blockchain's Proof of Work (PoW) is proposed, based on having hard optimization problems as an alternative to PoW hashing challenge, and using quantum annealers as solvers. For the second use case of QA, we propose simulating quantum chaos on the D-Wave Quantum Annealer to study the transition between the deep quantum realm and the classical limit in a chaotic system, and obtain insights into the “quantumness" of quantum annealers.
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Mayar Mohamed (2021). Quantum Annealing: Research and Applications. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17564