We report on a case study in programming an early quantum annealer to attack optimization problems related to operational planning. While a number of studies have looked at the performance of quantum annealers on problems native to their architecture, and others have examined performance of select problems stemming from an application area, ours is one of the first studies of a quantum annealer’s performance on parametrized families of hard problems from a practical domain. We explore two different general mappings of planning problems to quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) problems, and apply them to two parametrized families of planning problems, navigation-type and scheduling-type. We also examine two more compact, but problem-type specific, mappings to QUBO, one for the navigation-type planning problems and one for the scheduling-type planning problems. We study embedding properties and parameter setting and examine their effect on the efficiency with which the quantum annealer solves these problems. From these results, we derive insights useful for the programming and design of future quantum annealers: problem choice, the mapping used, the properties of the embedding, and the annealing profile all matter, each significantly affecting the performance.
Quantum Information Processing – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 14, 2014
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