QISKIT: The Rosetta Stone of Quantum Algorithm Libraries?
Three New Directions for Quantum Algorithms & Applications in Qiskit
+ How are we supposed to build software which appeals to each of their individual strengths, industry conventions, preferred software abstractions, and language? If we say “we’ll just stick to QA&A language and abstractions,” we risk alienating virtually everyone. For example, we’ve found that forcing the Optimization crowd to only work with Ising Hamiltonians to represent their familiar Quadratic Optimization problem is painful and breaks their intuition. And researchers do not want to be confined to their “entry point” – it is typical to see a chemist venturing into Quantum Machine Learning, or a software engineer venturing into Quantum Chemistry. And even crazier, these people want to talk and work together! This idea of being a Rosetta Stone for the QA&A community is clearly very important.
There can never be a level in the software where we say “sorry, don’t come down here, it’s hacky and not for you to understand.” Everything must be clean code and consistent with physical formalism. We call this idea having no bottom point in the code.
+ Today [May 1, 2020] marks the release of three major steps forward in Qiskit’s Quantum Algorithms & Applications toolset.
+ First, we’ve introduced the circuit library (source, documentation) into Qiskit Terra, providing feature-enhanced families of circuits which are interesting for their practical applications and/or complexity theoretic properties.
+ Second, we’ve introduced the Optimization module (source, documentation), a library for researchers and beginners alike to engage in cutting-edge development and experimentation in Quantum Combinatorial Optimization.
+ Third, we’ve rebuilt Qiskit’s core algorithmic tools (source, documentation) to optimize them for research and prototyping, including a brand-new system for constructing quantum computational flows, a full library reorganization, the introduction of hierarchical algorithms, and deeper support for quantum circuits as first-class primitives.
+ Each of these releases represents a big new direction in QA&A software and will be introduced in more detail over the coming weeks.
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