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posted by janrinok on Thursday February 29, @12:49AM   Printer-friendly

Researchers Adopt Innovative Method to Boost Speed and Accuracy of Traditional Computing:

Quantum computing has been hailed as a technology that can outperform classical computing in both speed and memory usage, potentially opening the way to making predictions of physical phenomena not previously possible.

Many see quantum computing's advent as marking a paradigm shift from classical, or conventional, computing. Conventional computers process information in the form of digital bits (0s and 1s), while quantum computers deploy quantum bits (qubits) to store quantum information in values between 0 and 1. Under certain conditions this ability to process and store information in qubits can be used to design quantum algorithms that drastically outperform their classical counterparts. Notably, quantum's ability to store information in values between 0 and 1 makes it difficult for classical computers to perfectly emulate quantum ones.

However, quantum computers are finicky and have a tendency to lose information. Moreover, even if information loss can be avoided, it is difficult to translate it into classical information—which is necessary to yield a useful computation.

[...] The scientists' results show that classical computing can be reconfigured to perform faster and more accurate calculations than state-of-the-art quantum computers.

This breakthrough was achieved with an algorithm that keeps only part of the information stored in the quantum state—and just enough to be able to accurately compute the final outcome.

"This work shows that there are many potential routes to improving computations, encompassing both classical and quantum approaches," explains Dries Sels, an assistant professor in New York University's Department of Physics and one of the paper's authors. "Moreover, our work highlights how difficult it is to achieve quantum advantage with an error-prone quantum computer."

[....] In seeking ways to optimize classical computing, Sels and his colleagues at the Simons Foundation focused on a type of tensor network that faithfully represents the interactions between the qubits. Those types of networks have been notoriously hard to deal with, but recent advances in the field now allow these networks to be optimized with tools borrowed from statistical inference.

The authors compare the work of the algorithm to the compression of an image into a JPEG file, which allows large images to be stored using less space by eliminating information with barely perceivable loss in the quality of the image.

Journal Reference:
Tindall, Joseph and Fishman, Matthew and Stoudenmire, E. Miles and Sels, Dries, Efficient Tensor Network Simulation of IBM's Eagle Kicked Ising Experiment, PRX Quantum, 5, 1, 010308, 2024

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by DadaDoofy on Thursday February 29, @10:43PM (3 children)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Thursday February 29, @10:43PM (#1346861)

    Why is quantum computing sold as the future of computing when, by definition, it seems inherently broken to begin with. Can someone explain in layman's terms how something so randomly prone to error will ever be of commercial use? Most of the articles I've read say that's error rate is something that will need to be dealt with down the line, but obviously it's a prerequisite for it to ever take hold and surpass conventional computing. What's the path forward to achieving that goal?

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, @04:44AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, @04:44AM (#1346907)

    No thanks. It sounds like explaining it to you would be like explaining math to a monkey.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by driverless on Friday March 01, @10:41AM

      by driverless (4770) on Friday March 01, @10:41AM (#1346945)

      Almost right, it'd be like explaining religion to a monkey, not math. "You see, there's this sky-fairy who's so insecure he/she/it has to have humans constantly praising it, and occasionally it decides to kill lots of said humans because it loves them so much, and then...".

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by driverless on Friday March 01, @10:37AM

    by driverless (4770) on Friday March 01, @10:37AM (#1346944)

    It doesn't solve problems, it attracts funding. Ten years ago to attract large amounts of funding you had to include the word "blockchain" in your proposal. Five years ago it was "quantum". Now it's "AI". So expect to see the quantum hype die down more and more as it's superseded by AI hype. Now if only I could predict what the next bit of hype was I could get millions in funding... maybe I just need an AI-powered quantum computer based on blockchain technology to sort it out.

    (OK, technically it does solve at least one problem, "what do I put in a grant proposal to get funding?", but that's probably not the problem you were thinking of).