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Optimizing the spin reversal transform on the D-Wave 2000Q

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>26/06/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>arxiv.org
Publication statusPublished
Original languageUndefined/Unknown

Abstract

Commercial quantum annealers from D-Wave Systems make it possible to obtain approximate solutions of high quality for certain NP-hard problems in nearly constant time. Before solving a problem on D-Wave, several preprocessing methods can be applied, one of them being the so-called spin reversal or gauge transform. The spin reversal transform flips the sign of selected variables and coefficients of the Ising or QUBO (quadratic unconstrained binary optimization) representation of the problem that D-Wave minimizes. The spin reversal transform leaves the ground state of the Ising model invariant, but can average out the biases induced through analog and systematic errors on the device, thus improving the quality of the solution that D-Wave returns. This work investigates the effectiveness of the spin reversal transform for D-Wave 2000Q. We consider two important NP-hard problems, the Maximum Clique and the Minimum Vertex Cover problems, and show on a variety of input problem graphs that using the spin reversal transform can yield substantial improvements in solution quality. In contrast to the native spin reversal built into D-Wave, we consider more general ways to reverse individual spins and we investigate the dependence on the problem type, on the spin reversal probability, and possible advantages of carrying out reversals on the qubit instead of the chain level. Most importantly, for a given individual problem, we use our findings to optimize the spin reversal transform using a genetic optimization algorithm.