Quantum Applications and Research Laboratory at LMU Munich (QAR-Lab)

Become Quantum Ready!

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Quantum Computing (QC) promises to perform complex operations that would now have been possible before. Furthermore, QC allows to find solutions to traditional problems in shorter times. In our QAR-Lab we research such possibilities for concrete practical problems, from route planning to machine learning, by programming a quantum computer. This is how we prepare our partners and students for a future with Quantum Technology.

Structure

    1. History of Quantum Computing
    2. What is Quantum Computing?
    3. Our Services
    4. QAR-Lab Structure
    5. Applications and Questions of Research
    6. Recent Results
    7. Quantum Software Lifecycle
    8. The QAR-Lab Team of Experts
    9. Activities/Talks/Publications
    10. Further Links

1. History of Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is founded on two scientific revolutions in the first half of the 20th century. First, the new and radical theory of quantum mechanics, which shocked our picture of reality. Today, it is a key pillar of modern physics. Fundamentals were established between 1925 and 1932 by renowned scientists like Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, Max Planck, Nils Bohr, Paus Dirac and many more. In 1933 Schrödinger and Dirac earned the Nobel Price in physics for their contribution „Entdeckung neuer produktiver Formen der Atomtheorie“, which enabled the subsequent development of quantum mechanics. Second, in the 1940s scientists like Konrad Zuse, Alan Turing und John von Neumann built the foundation for the development of programmable computers. Those were the base for most advances of modern information technology from smartphones to mainframe computers.
In the last decades, both sciences were combined to the interdisciplinary field of Quantum Computing.

2. What is Quantum Computing?

The goal of QC is to build new hardware, develop applicable algorithms and research in which form quantum mechanics can be utilized for the transfer and processing of information.

  • What is Quantum Mechanics?
    Quantum Mechanics described the certain special properties of matter at the scale level of atoms. In QC such properties are used to hold Qbits in a so-called superposition, entangle them
    and reach unlikely sets of solutions through „tunneling“.
  • What is Quantum Annealing?
    Quantum Annealing utilized the latest findings in the field of quantum mechanics to determine the minimum point of energy within a defined system. A slow annealing of the energy in a solution space provides an answer to many optimization problems.

3. Our Services

    • Knowledge Transfer
      Our staff has an expansive overview of the variety of current technology in the field of quantum computing. In short (and possibly a bit longer) workshops, we impart that knowledge to you and your colleagues, so that you can plan a well-informed strategy for the quantum revolution and can proceed to work on the topics that are going to be crucial for your endeavour!
    • Use Case Analysis
      Every enterprise or research institute features different tasks that quantum computers can be used for. With our expertise, we help you to analyse your specific requirements and identify relevant use cases for quantum computers.
    • Quantum Prototyping
      We help you to implement a once recognised use case. We can test your computation tasks in a quantum machine right now and prepare for a later switch to powerful quantum hardware. Of course, this includes a thorough evaluation of the expected benefits of future quantum technology.

4. QAR-Lab Structure

Software which is applicable in QC is the QAR-Lab’s field of focus. We use a cloud service to gain access to recent hardware by D-Wave. Problem definitions are translated into special objects, called QUOBs. This is how we conduct research on quantum computers as well as practical application to solve current problems. This combination allows us to precisely analyze the possibilities of Quantum Computing for many areas of interest.

5. Applications and Questions of Research

Mobility:

  • How can traffic be guided through a city in an optimal way, while minimizing congestions?
  • How do traffic participants influence each other?

 

Energy:

  • How can we utilize power plants and storage systems to optimize the distribution of load?
  • How can we predict possible surpluses and bottlenecks in advance?

 

Medcine:

  • What are the connections between patient data, recognized symptoms and selected treatment methods?
  • Which treatment is therefore the most promising?

 

Smart Farming:

  • How should machines be exploited ideally over the course of a day or a season?
  • How do parameters such as weather, demand and yield interact?

 

Smart Factory:

  • What is the fastest way to process product orders?
  • When should the failure or wear of a production machine be expected?

 

3D-Modelling:

  • How do I create a 3D representation from numerous individual measurements?
  • How can I derive an efficient design plan from object recognition?

 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning:

  • Can machine learning and other optimization methods be combined with Quantum Annealing?
  • How can the decisions of several intelligent components be efficiently coordinated and coordinated?

 

Logistics:

  • Can gate allocation at an airport be accelerated to real-time?
  • How can all possible failures and problems with people and technology be reacted to at short notice?

6. Recent Results

The availability of first quantum computers like the D-Wave systems offers a promising basis for applying theoretical knowledge about quantum computing algorithms and techniques on a new platform. The possibility of being able to tackle optimization problems that were virtually impossible to solve up to now and thus make everyday problems solvable at the same time is thus an exciting next step that can be made possible through the cooperation of the Mobile and Distributed Systems Group with Volkswagen Data:Lab.

 

In recent years, machine learning based on neural networks has achieved considerable success over a wide range of applications. Interestingly, Hopfield nets are trained based on a function that corresponds exactly to a QUBO problem that can be effectively solved using Quantum Annealing. Recently, relational Boltzmann machines were embedded in such an architecture. Finally, there are first approaches to formulate classical machine learning in the form of QUBOs.

Quantum Annealing realizes a Gibbs sampler based on quantum superposition and entanglement. Classically, the global optimum is sought in the solution distribution of a problem formulation. However, from a systemic point of view, additional information contained in the solution distribution is also interesting, such as the number and distribution of local optima, which provide information on the nature of the solution space. This information can be used for risk analysis and solution quality assessment.

In the near future, real applications will probably not be executed exclusively as quantum optimizations. Instead, Quantum Annealing will be a part of a larger system that solves certain problems on which it specializes. For example, sequential applications of Quantum Annealing are conceivable in which the solution of a QUBO results in another QUBO. This approach is conceivable, for example, for solving sequential decision problems or for the sequential quantum simulation of stochastic systems.

7. Quantum Software Lifecycle

The QAR-Lab investigates optimization processes, which are relevant for different modern applications. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are also based on optimization. They enable to solve complex problems in application domains like logistics, industry 4.0 or location-based services. Using these applications leads to data in different formats and different quality. Transferring them to a quantum computer is still a current challenge, which needs to be addressed for each problem separately. The data is processed by established algorithms algorithms, which are not practically feasible for large amounts of data due to the complexity. Quantum Computing seems to be a promising approach to gain on performance here. Data analysis gives insights about the structure of the data, which can be summarized for a high-level representation. This representation can be used to describe our knowledge about the problem domain. The resulting summary itself can often be supported by quantum computers in a natural way. The high-level representation is also helpful to deal with specific issues of (current) quantum computers. In return, this deep knowledge about the given problem often enables new and revolutionary applications in the real world.

In the QAR-Lab, we consider all steps of this process, which already influence the digital world right now. The quantum computer can be integrated into this process in a versatile way with many possibilities not being covered yet.

8. The QAR-Lab Team of Experts

 


Irmengard Sax

9. Activities/Talks/Publications

Dr. Sebastian Feld and Christoph Roch at OpenMunich 2019

On 01.02.2019 the OpenMunich Conference took place under the motto „Open Source and New IT“ at the LMU Munich. It featured top-class speakers and current topics from the participating companies, including Accenture and Red Hat. The QAR-Lab was represented with a Quantum Computing talk by Dr. Sebastian Feld and a Hands-On Quantum Annealing talk by Christoph Roch.


Talk at „4th Workshop on Quantum Communications and Information Technology“ (QCIT18)

The Workshop QCIT is the annual main meeting of the ComSoc Emerging Technology Committee and takes place at the IEEE Global Communications Conference (IEEE Globecom). This year, the events were hosted from December 9-13 in Abu Dhabi. The authors Feld, Friedrich, Linnhoff-Popien presented the joint paper „Optimizing Geometry Compression using Quantum Annealing“ on December 13th.


QAR-Lab visits Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi

On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, Prof. Dr. Linnhoff-Popien and Dr. Feld negotiated cooperations withe the Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The host Prof. Dr. Faisal Khan of department „Applied Mathematics and Sciences“ together with colleagues from the faculty, presented quantum computing activities, according to which the delegation from Munich did likewise. Targeted joint collaborations are the exchange of young scientists, a cooperation in the field of Smart City and a joint hosted conference.


Roundtable Event on the journal „Quantum Engineering“ of publisher Wiley

In the context of conference IEEE Globecom 2018 in Abu Dhabi the American publishing house Wiley organized a Roundtable Event. Prof. Dr. Linnhoff-Popien and Dr. Feld attended the meeting on December 12, 2018 and discussed the future of this journal with international quantum engineering experts.


Microsoft Dubai: Prof. Dr. Linnhoff-Popien and Dr. Feld connect Munich with Dubai

On December 10, 2018, the heads of QAR-Lab have been at Microsoft in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The host presented a quantum computing project together with DEWA, so to speak the public services of Dubai, and also the Munich activities were presented. The next step is the further specification of a cooperation with the director of Microsoft’s „Quantum Business Development“.


„How Companies Can Prepare for Quantum Computing Now“

This is the title of the talk that Dr. Sebastian Feld held on November 22, 2018 at this year’s DIGITALE WELT CONVENTION 2018. The third DIGICON is a digitization conference for decision makers with more than 350 participants.


DIGICON 2018

The event „Digitale Welt Convention“ (DIGICON) in Munich took place from November the 21rd to 22th 2018. On the second day of the convention, the best practice day, Dr. Sebastian Feld gave a talk about „How industry can prepare for Quantum Computing“.


Prof. Linnhoff holds QC-Keynote at VDA Summit

The Quality Management Center (QMC) of the VDA invited to this year’s summit meeting in Berlin. On November 20th and 21st, representatives of German OEMs and their suppliers, representatives of the VDA and scientists discussed the digitization of the automotive industry.
Prof. Dr. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien hold a lecture on the topic „The use of Quantum Computing to optimize mobility scenarios“.


Cooperation talks with Bundeswehr University Munich regarding IBM Q-Hub

Prof. Dr. Linnhoff-Popien and Dr. Feld spoke with representatives of the Bundeswehr University Munich regarding cooperation in the IBM Q-Hub. Located at the University’s Cyber Defense research institute CODE, it is a network of research centers, universities and companies that explore quantum computing technologies and develop practical solutions for industry and science. IBM manufactures a quantum computer in the Quantum Gate Model.


Exchange with Volkswagen Group of America

On November 6, 2018, Dr. Sebastian Feld met the quantum computing scientists of the Volkswagen Group of America in San Francisco. In addition to a presentation of the QAR-Lab and the results of the hosts, the possibilities of joint cooperation were discussed.


Dr. Sebastian Feld visits QCWare in Palo Alto, USA

QCWare is an American company specializing in the development of quantum algorithms. From different experts, this company is referred to as one of the emerging quantum companies. Dr. Sebastian Feld from the QAR-Lab visited the company on 5 November, 2018 and talked about joint cooperation.


QTOP19: Call for Papers

Paper submission for the „First International Workshop on Quantum Technology and Optimization Problems“ (QTOP19) started today. QTOP19 is a workshop to be held on March 18, 2019 in connection with the NetSys conference in Garching near Munich. The aim of the workshop is to bring together experts from science and industry to discuss theory, technology and applications in the field of quantum computing and optimization problems. The workshop proceedings will be published in the Springer series „Lecture Notes of Computer Science“ (LNCS). Articles can be submitted until November 12, 2018.


President of D-Wave Systems visiting QAR-Lab

D-Wave at the QAR-Lab! On October 9th, Bo Ewald, President D-Wave International Inc., and his colleagues Andy Mason and Sheir Yarkoni visited the QAR-Lab at the chair for mobile and distributed systems. Our visitors got to experience first-hand, how scientists on site work with optimization and quantum annealing.


Dr. Sebastian Feld/Thomas Gabor with lecture at DLR workshop in Cologne

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) held a workshop on Quantum Computing for Applications in Science and Industry on October 1st and 2nd. On that occasion, Sebastian Feld and Thomas Gabor presented the most recent research results coming from the QAR-Lab.

scientists presented the QAR-Lab.


Prof. Dr. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien and Dr. Sebastian Feld visiting Prof. Dr. Martin Ester in Vancouver

Claudia Linnhoff-Popien and Sebastian Feld have held cooperation talks with Martin Ester of the Canadian Simon Fraser University. The computer science professor, among other things known for the development of the DBSCAN algorithm, teaches and conducts research in the areas of data mining, recommender systems and databases. The aim of a cooperation would be the combination of data mining algorithms with quantum computing techniques.


QAR-Lab visiting 1QBit in Vancouver

1QBit is a research-driven software company in Vancouver, Canada. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien and Sebatian Feld met Landon Downs, co-founder of 1QBit, along with other research and development staff on 20 September. The young and successful team presented the current developments of the company, just as the Munich computer scientists presented the QAR-Lab.


QAR-Lab visiting D-Wave Systems in Vancouver

On September 18th, Claudia Linnhoff-Popien and Sebastian Feld visited the Canadian manufacturer of quantum annealing hardware „D-Wave Systems„. There was an interesting exchange of experiences with Bo Ewald, President of D-Wave Systems. Subsequently, a laboratory tour as well as an exchange of current research results with numerous employees of D-Wave took place.


Thomas Gabor with presentation on QC and IT security at Command Control

Thomas Gabor spoke at the Command Control summit in Munich. With the title „Quantum Computing from Optimization to Artificial Intelligence: Effects on Business, Software and Security“ he gave an introduction to the effects of the quantum revolution on the field of IT security.


Cooperation talks with head of the LRZ

Prof. Dr. Dieter Kranzlmüller, head of the Leibniz Computing Center (Leibniz-Rechenzentrum, LRZ) and Prof. Dr. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien, head of the QAR-Lab, talked about joint cooperations on July 17, 2018. The LRZ works, among other topics, in the field of high-performance computing, whereas quantum computing counts as a novel technique. This involved both hardware in the quantum gate model as well as quantum annealers.


QAR-Lab at workshop at IBM Watson IoT Center

„Münchner Kreis“ held the event „Quantum Technology – Impact on Computing and Communication“ on July 5th. QAR-Lab employees Sebastian Feld and Thomas Gabor participated the heavily attended conference hosted at the IBM Watson IoT Center in Munich. In addition to manufacturers of quantum technology such as Fujitsu, Atos, Intel, Google, D-Wave and IBM, other companies and universities have given talks and presented demonstrations.


More than 600 LMU students receive QC introduction in Bacholor studies

Premiere! On Juli 21st 2018, Quantum Computing was covered in the lecture on computer architecture with more than 600 students attending. The students learned about a completely new way to construct and use a computer. Computing resources on a D-Wave machine will be provided to enable all students to try out their newly acquired knowledge.


Thomas Gabor with lecture on Quantum Machine Learning at automatica 2018

Thomas Gabor gave a talk about future developments of industry automation with Artificial Intelligence at the IT2Industry forum of the automatica 2018 on Juni 19th 2018. The use of Quantum Computing, for instance to enable Quantum Machine Learning, was also discussed.


CIO of Allianz visiting QAR-Lab

Dr. Ralf Schneider, Group CIO of Allianz, visited the QAR-Lab at the LMU Munich on June 8th 2018. The background of Quantum Computing and Quantum Annealing as well as concrete practical applications and future activities were discussed in a half-day workshop.


QAR-Lab presenting the QASAR results at Volkswagen Data:Lab Munich

Prof. Dr. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien, Dr. Sebastian Feld and Thomas Gabor presented the results of the project „Quantum Annealing Systems, Applications and Research (QASAR)“ in cooperation with Volkswagen Data:Lab Munich on behalf of the whole team on May 14th 2018.


Dr. Sebastian Feld /Thomas Gabor with lecture at QUBITS Europe 2018

The QUBITS Europe 2018 is a user conference of D-Wave, a manufacturing company of Quantum Annealing hardware. The conference took place in Munich from April 10th to 12th 2018. Dr. Sebastian Feld and Thomas Gabor presented current research results of the cooperation with Volkswagen. The talk has the title „QASAR – Results and Hands On Demonstration of a Joint Project of VW and LMU“ and the slides can be found on the conference web page.


Quantum Computing in lecture

Since the summer semester of 2018, the lecture on computer architecture by Prof. Dr. Claudia Linnhoff-Popien for undergraduate students in computer science and students who minor in computer science contains a new chapter about Quantum Computing, which includes motivation about Quantum Computing, the basics about Quantum mechanics as well as Quantum Annealing and Quantum Gate Model. The script can be found on the web page of the lecture.


Dr. Sebastian Feld gave a talk about QC at OpenMunich 

OpenMunich is a conference for „Open Source and New IT“, which took place at the LMU on December 1st 2017. Dr. Sebastian Feld gave a talk with the title „Solving the Travelling Salesman Problem Using Quantum Computing“. The corresponding slides can be found here.


DIGICON 2017

The event „Digitale Welt Convention“ (DIGICON) in Munich took place from November the 23rd to 24th 2017. On the second day of the convention, the strategy day, Dr. Sebastian Feld gave a talk about „Innovation Trigger Quantum Computing“.

 

10. Further Links

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