Coherent nonlinear dynamics and the physics of computation

Who: Hideo Mabuchi, Stanford University
Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 3:30pm

The lecture will be livestreamed from our PQI YouTube channel [click here] and questions from the audience will be collected via the YouTube live channel chat and asked at the end.

Lecture abstract: The Coherent Ising Machine (CIM) is an emerging unconventional computing architecture for non-convex optimization.  By construction, CIMs leverage an interplay between the nonlinear dynamics of optical parametric oscillation and linear couplings that may be implemented either optically (so far only in small prototypes) or electronically (as is the case in larger state-of-the-art prototypes).  Just how this interplay maps onto computational mechanisms for combinatorial optimization is not yet crisply understood.  Benchmarking studies with large-scale prototypes indicate that CIMs hold substantial advantages over quantum annealers for important problem classes, and suggest that they could compete with state-of-the-art conventional methods in the near future.  Such promising experimental results motivate new research to better elucidate the fundamental physical-computational mechanisms of CIM, and to explore practicable routes to push CIMs into quantum-optical operating regimes.  As a computational architecture based naturally on coherent nonlinear optics, CIMs present an intriguing paradigm in which to investigate a continuous transition from classical to quantum behavior – parametrized for example by the ratio of coherent nonlinearity to linear dissipation – and the concomitant impact on computational performance.  In this talk I will review nascent efforts to more deeply analyze the current performance and future potential of CIMs, including experimental approaches to exploring perturbative impacts of transient quantum behavior.