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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Towards Quantum Computing: Solving Satisfiability Problem by Quantum Annealing

  • Author(s): Su, Juexiao
  • Advisor(s): He, Lei
  • et al.

To date, conventional computers have never been able to efficiently handle certain tasks, where the number of computation steps is likely to blow up as the problem size increases. As an emerging technology and new computing paradigm, quantum computing has a great potential to tackle those hard tasks efficiently. Among all the existing quantum computation models, quantum annealing has drawn significant attention in recent years due to the realization of the commercialized quantum annealer, sparking research interests in developing applications to solve problems that are intractable for classical computers.

However, designing and implementing algorithms that manage to harness the enormous computation power from quantum annealer remains a challenging task. Generally, it requires mapping of the given optimization problem into quadratic unconstrained binary optimization(QUBO) problem and embedding the subsequent QUBO onto the physical architecture of quantum annealer. Additionally, practical quantum annealers are susceptible to errors leading to low probability of the correct solution.

In this study, we focus on solving Boolean satisfiability (SAT) problem using quantum annealer while addressing practical limitations. We have proposed a mapping technique that maps SAT problem to QUBO, and we have further devised a tool flow that embeds the QUBO onto the architecture of a quantum annealing device. Additionally, We have optimized the proposed embedding flow to reduce run-time in addition to shortening the qubit chain length, leading to robust quantum annealing. To further improve the reliability of quantum annealing, we have also developed a post processing embedding technique that enlarges the energy gap between ground state and the first excited state. To demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed methods, we have conducted experiments on real quantum annealing devices manufactured by D-Wave Systems, showing compelling result of using quantum annealer to solve SAT problem.

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