Quantum Goemans-Williamson Algorithm with the Hadamard Test and Approximate Amplitude Constraints

Publication image

Semidefinite programs are optimization methods with a wide array of applications, such as approximating difficult combinatorial problems. One such semidefinite program is the Goemans-Williamson algorithm, a popular integer relaxation technique. We introduce a variational quantum algorithm for the Goemans-Williamson algorithm that uses only n+1 qubits, a constant number of circuit preparations, and poly(n) expectation values in order to approximately solve semidefinite programs with up to N=2^n variables and M∼O(N) constraints. Efficient optimization is achieved by encoding the objective matrix as a properly parameterized unitary conditioned on an auxilary qubit, a technique known as the Hadamard Test. The Hadamard Test enables us to optimize the objective function by estimating only a single expectation value of the ancilla qubit, rather than separately estimating exponentially many expectation values. Similarly, we illustrate that the semidefinite programming constraints can be effectively enforced by implementing a second Hadamard Test, as well as imposing a polynomial number of Pauli string amplitude constraints. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our protocol by devising an efficient quantum implementation of the Goemans-Williamson algorithm for various NP-hard problems, including MaxCut. Our method exceeds the performance of analogous classical methods on a diverse subset of well-studied MaxCut problems from the GSet library.


Anima Anandkumar (Caltech, NVIDIA)
Susanne F. Yelin (Harvard University)

Publication Date

Research Area