Research by University of Chicago PhD Student and EPiQC Wins IBM Q Best Paper – HPCwire

March 23, 2020 A new approach for using a quantum computer to realize a near-term killer app for the technology received first prize in the 2019 IBM Q Best Paper Awardcompetition, the company announced. The paper, Minimizing State Preparations in Variational Quantum Eigensolver (VQE) by Partitioning into Commuting Families, was authored by UChicago CS graduate studentPranav Gokhaleand fellow researchers from theEnabling Practical-Scale Quantum Computing (EPiQC)team.

The interdisciplinary team of researchers from UChicago, University of California, Berkeley, Princeton University and Argonne National Laboratory won the $2,500 first-place award for Best Paper. Their research examined how the VQE quantum algorithm could improve the ability of current and near-term quantum computers to solve highly complex problems, such as finding the ground state energy of a molecule, an important and computationally difficult chemical calculation the authors refer to as a killer app for quantum computing.

Quantum computers are expected to perform complex calculations in chemistry, cryptography and other fields that are prohibitively slow or even impossible for classical computers. A significant gap remains, however, between the capabilities of todays quantum computers and the algorithms proposed by computational theorists.

VQE can perform some pretty complicated chemical simulations in just 1,000 or even 10,000 operations, which is good, Gokhale says. The downside is that VQE requires millions, even tens of millions, of measurements, which is what our research seeks to correct by exploring the possibility of doing multiple measurements simultaneously.

Gokhale explains the research inthis video.

With their approach, the authors reduced the computational cost of running the VQE algorithm by 7-12 times. When they validated the approach on one of IBMs cloud-service 20-qubit quantum computers, they also found lower error as compared to traditional methods of solving the problem. The authors have shared theirPython and Qiskit codefor generating circuits for simultaneous measurement, and have already received numerous citations in the months since the paper was published.

For more on the research and the IBM Q Best Paper Award, see theIBM Research Blog. Additional authors on the paper include ProfessorFred Chongand PhD studentYongshan Dingof UChicago CS, Kaiwen Gui and Martin Suchara of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering at UChicago, Olivia Angiuli of University of California, Berkeley, and Teague Tomesh and Margaret Martonosi of Princeton University.

About The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment tofree and open inquirydraws inspired scholars to ourglobal campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world. We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in theCollegedevelop critical, analytic, and writing skills in ourrigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Throughgraduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

Source: The University of Chicago

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