Canadian Summer School on Quantum Information (CSSQI) (10th : 2010)

Adiabatic Quantum Optimization and Anderson Localization Altshuler, Boris


Understanding NP-complete problems is a central topic in computer science. This is why adiabatic quantum optimization has attracted so much attention, as it provided a new approach to tackle NP-complete problems using a quantum computer. The efficiency of this approach is limited by small spectral gaps between the ground and excited states of the quantum computer's Hamiltonian. We will discuss the statistics of the gaps using the borrowed from the theory of quantum disordered systems. It turns out that due to a phenomenon similar to Anderson localization exponentially small gaps appear close to the end of the adiabatic algorithm for large random instances of NP-complete problems. We will present the quantitative analysis of the small spectral gaps and discuss possible consequence of this phenomenon on the adiabatic optimization paradigm.

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