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NASA Quantum Computing Team is Building a New D-Wave Compiler

The NASA Quantum Computing Team has begun an effort to build a more effective program compiler for problems of interest to be run on the new D-Wave machine installed at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility. The compiler will make use of “advanced parameter setting” techniques that are developed from both classical and quantum theory, and whose basic description and implementation will be published in the prestigious physics journal, Physical Review X:

  • D. Venturelli et al. “Quantum Optimization of Fully Connected Spin Glasses,” PRX, September 2015 (in press)
The machine, which became fully operational with 1,097 working qubits as of last month, is currently and mostly being used to test these compilation strategies. The benchmark problems are random spin glasses on graphs with prescribed homogeneous and inhomogeneous connectivity structure. The expectation is that these novel programming strategies will allow larger problems to be solved much faster on the quantum annealing chip than by using conventional methods provided by D-Wave.

BACKGROUND: Programming a problem into a quantum annealer requires mapping the problem into a quadratic optimization and compiling the resulting mathematical form to an equivalent form that is compatible with the chip architecture (Chimera graph). This last procedure makes use of the minor graph embedding technique from topology and is currently handled by heuristic software in a suboptimal way.

NASA’s Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL) team aims to demonstrate that quantum computing and quantum algorithms may someday dramatically improve the agency’s ability to solve difficult optimization problems for missions in aeronautics, Earth and space sciences, and space exploration. The hope is that quantum computing will vastly improve a wide range of tasks that can lead to new discoveries and technologies that may significantly change the way we solve real-world problems.

PROGRAM FUNDING: Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA); the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); and the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

POC: Andre Petukhov,

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