On Sat, May 18, 2013 at 2:24 AM, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.
I think you're underestimating the importance of cryptography.
Consider that cryptography might be used in the future to implement
new economical and political systems. Arguably, the current bottleneck
in health care is economical and political, not technological. A lot
of people in the world could be saved if current drugs and other
treatments were not artificially too expensive.
>> > 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.
You might be interested in this (extensive) blog post by Scott
Aaronson, a well known quantum computing researcher from MIT:
and also this Hacker News thread that goes with it:
>> > 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.
>From the blog post:
"As I said above, at the time McGeoch and Wang’s paper was released to
the media (though maybe not at the time it was written?), the “highly
tuned implementation” of simulated annealing that they ask for had
already been written and tested, and the result was that it
outperformed the D-Wave machine on all instance sizes tested. In
other words, their comparison to CPLEX had already been superseded by
a much more informative comparison—one that gave the “opposite”
result—before it ever became public. For obvious reasons, most press
reports have simply ignored this fact."
> John K Clark
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