Research ArticleAPPLIED PHYSICS

Experimental investigation of performance differences between coherent Ising machines and a quantum annealer

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  24 May 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 5, eaau0823
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau0823

Abstract

Physical annealing systems provide heuristic approaches to solving combinatorial optimization problems. Here, we benchmark two types of annealing machines—a quantum annealer built by D-Wave Systems and measurement-feedback coherent Ising machines (CIMs) based on optical parametric oscillators—on two problem classes, the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick (SK) model and MAX-CUT. The D-Wave quantum annealer outperforms the CIMs on MAX-CUT on cubic graphs. On denser problems, however, we observe an exponential penalty for the quantum annealer [exp(–αDWN2)] relative to CIMs [exp(–αCIMN)] for fixed anneal times, both on the SK model and on 50% edge density MAX-CUT. This leads to a several orders of magnitude time-to-solution difference for instances with over 50 vertices. An optimal–annealing time analysis is also consistent with a substantial projected performance difference. The difference in performance between the sparsely connected D-Wave machine and the fully-connected CIMs provides strong experimental support for efforts to increase the connectivity of quantum annealers.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text