Quantum Speed-ups for Boolean Satisfiability and Derivative-Free Optimization
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In this thesis, we have considered two important problems, Boolean satisfiability (SAT) and derivative free optimization in the context of large scale quantum computers. In the first part, we survey well known classical techniques for solving satisfiability. We compute the approximate time it would take to solve SAT instances using quantum techniques and compare it with state-of-the heart classical heuristics employed annually in SAT competitions. In the second part of the thesis, we consider a few classically well known algorithms for derivative free optimization which are ubiquitously employed in engineering problems. We propose a quantum speedup to this classical algorithm by using techniques of the quantum minimum finding algorithm. In the third part of the thesis, we consider practical applications in the fields of bio-informatics, petroleum refineries and civil engineering which involve solving either satisfiability or derivative free optimization. We investigate if using known quantum techniques to speedup these algorithms directly translate to the benefit of industries which invest in technology to solve these problems. In the last section, we propose a few open problems which we feel are immediate hurdles, either from an algorithmic or architecture perspective to getting a convincing speedup for the practical problems considered.