On Fri, May 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

> as I understand the problems its solve quickly, they are like Ising and
> satisfiability problems - they are essentially minimization over a set of
> binary choices.

No, those are exactly the sort of problems that D-Wave didn't solve very
fast, at least not much faster than a regular computer.

I don't think protein folding can be put in that form because the folds can
> be at different angles, not just fold/not-fold.

QUBO problems like protein folding are not binary stuff but about the
minimization of quadratic polynomials with real number variables; its about
finding the minimum energy state of a system, and the minimum energy state
of a linear string of amino acids is the shape of the resulting protein .

> Yes, I'm aware that protein folding is the holy grail of quantum
> computing - along with breaking everybody's security codes.

I don't think D-Wave would be very good at factoring numbers, but that's OK
protein folding is vastly, astronomically, more important.

> That's another thing that makes me suspicious.  It's something you hear
> from inventors of perpetual motion machines: We can't explain exactly how
> it works, we just know that it does.

But the evidence that the D-Wave people can actually do what they claim is
much much better than the evidence the perpetual motion people can do what
they claim; although I admit that's not saying a lot. But unless Lockheed
and Google and NASA have all been flimflammed I think there is really
something to this.

> It works on some problems, but whether it works better than a special
> purpose computer designed for that class of problems is still doubtful.

If you know of anything, special purpose or otherwise, that can solve QUBO
problems as fast as D-Wave can I'd like to hear about it.

  John K Clark

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