Quantum approximate optimization of non-planar graph problems on a planar superconducting processor

Matthew P. Harrigan, Kevin J. Sung, Matthew Neeley, Kevin J. Satzinger, Frank Arute, Kunal Arya, Juan Atalaya, Joseph C. Bardin, Rami Barends, Sergio Boixo, Michael Broughton, Bob B. Buckley, David A. Buell, Brian Burkett, Nicholas Bushnell, Yu Chen, Zijun Chen, Chiaro Ben Chiaro, Roberto Collins, William CourtneySean Demura, Andrew Dunsworth, Daniel Eppens, Austin Fowler, Brooks Foxen, Craig Gidney, Marissa Giustina, Rob Graff, Steve Habegger, Alan Ho, Sabrina Hong, Trent Huang, L. B. Ioffe, Sergei V. Isakov, Evan Jeffrey, Zhang Jiang, Cody Jones, Dvir Kafri, Kostyantyn Kechedzhi, Julian Kelly, Seon Kim, Paul V. Klimov, Alexander N. Korotkov, Fedor Kostritsa, David Landhuis, Pavel Laptev, Mike Lindmark, Martin Leib, Orion Martin, John M. Martinis, Jarrod R. McClean, Matt McEwen, Anthony Megrant, Xiao Mi, Masoud Mohseni, Wojciech Mruczkiewicz, Josh Mutus, Ofer Naaman, Charles Neill, Florian Neukart, Murphy Yuezhen Niu, Thomas E. O’Brien, Bryan O’Gorman, Eric Ostby, Andre Petukhov, Harald Putterman, Chris Quintana, Pedram Roushan, Nicholas C. Rubin, Daniel Sank, Andrea Skolik, Vadim Smelyanskiy, Doug Strain, Michael Streif, Marco Szalay, Amit Vainsencher, Theodore White, Z. Jamie Yao, Ping Yeh, Adam Zalcman, Leo Zhou, Hartmut Neven, Dave Bacon, Erik Lucero, Edward Farhi, Ryan Babbush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Faster algorithms for combinatorial optimization could prove transformative for diverse areas such as logistics, finance and machine learning. Accordingly, the possibility of quantum enhanced optimization has driven much interest in quantum technologies. Here we demonstrate the application of the Google Sycamore superconducting qubit quantum processor to combinatorial optimization problems with the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA). Like past QAOA experiments, we study performance for problems defined on the planar connectivity graph native to our hardware; however, we also apply the QAOA to the Sherrington–Kirkpatrick model and MaxCut, non-native problems that require extensive compilation to implement. For hardware-native problems, which are classically efficient to solve on average, we obtain an approximation ratio that is independent of problem size and observe that performance increases with circuit depth. For problems requiring compilation, performance decreases with problem size. Circuits involving several thousand gates still present an advantage over random guessing but not over some efficient classical algorithms. Our results suggest that it will be challenging to scale near-term implementations of the QAOA for problems on non-native graphs. As these graphs are closer to real-world instances, we suggest more emphasis should be placed on such problems when using the QAOA to benchmark quantum processors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)332-336
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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