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Monday, August 06, 2018

Alternatives to Quantum Recommendation

In our early look at Quantum Computing we tried to make these comparisons, and and found little then.  Is this fair?   Combinatorially difficult.   Following.  I note that the title of the article claims 'Quantum-Inspiration' in the classical algorithim, forgotten by most all of the commenters, would like to follow that thread.   Could such inspiration take us further?

18-year-old Ewin Tang has proven that classical computers can solve the “recommendation problem” nearly as fast as quantum computers. The result eliminates one of the best examples of quantum speedup.

 A teenager from Texas has taken quantum computing down a notch. In a paper posted online earlier this month, 18-year-old Ewin Tang proved that ordinary computers can solve an important computing problem with performance potentially comparable to that of a quantum computer.

In its most practical form, the “recommendation problem” relates to how services like Amazon and Netflix determine which products you might like to try. Computer scientists had considered it to be one of the best examples of a problem that’s exponentially faster to solve on quantum computers — making it an important validation of the power of these futuristic machines. Now Tang has stripped that validation away.

“This was one of the most definitive examples of a quantum speedup, and it’s no longer there,” said Tang, who graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, in spring and will begin a Ph.D. at the University of Washington in the fall.   .... " 

Full paper: https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.04271     Considerable discussion.

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