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      Quantum Annealing in the Transverse Ising Model



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          We introduce quantum fluctuations into the simulated annealing process of optimization problems, aiming at faster convergence to the optimal state. Quantum fluctuations cause transitions between states and thus play the same role as thermal fluctuations in the conventional approach. The idea is tested by the transverse Ising model, in which the transverse field is a function of time similar to the temperature in the conventional method. The goal is to find the ground state of the diagonal part of the Hamiltonian with high accuracy as quickly as possible. We have solved the time-dependent Schr\"odinger equation numerically for small size systems with various exchange interactions. Comparison with the results of the corresponding classical (thermal) method reveals that the quantum annealing leads to the ground state with much larger probability in almost all cases if we use the same annealing schedule.

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          Optimization by simulated annealing.

          There is a deep and useful connection between statistical mechanics (the behavior of systems with many degrees of freedom in thermal equilibrium at a finite temperature) and multivariate or combinatorial optimization (finding the minimum of a given function depending on many parameters). A detailed analogy with annealing in solids provides a framework for optimization of the properties of very large and complex systems. This connection to statistical mechanics exposes new information and provides an unfamiliar perspective on traditional optimization problems and methods.
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            Stochastic relaxation, gibbs distributions, and the bayesian restoration of images.

            We make an analogy between images and statistical mechanics systems. Pixel gray levels and the presence and orientation of edges are viewed as states of atoms or molecules in a lattice-like physical system. The assignment of an energy function in the physical system determines its Gibbs distribution. Because of the Gibbs distribution, Markov random field (MRF) equivalence, this assignment also determines an MRF image model. The energy function is a more convenient and natural mechanism for embodying picture attributes than are the local characteristics of the MRF. For a range of degradation mechanisms, including blurring, nonlinear deformations, and multiplicative or additive noise, the posterior distribution is an MRF with a structure akin to the image model. By the analogy, the posterior distribution defines another (imaginary) physical system. Gradual temperature reduction in the physical system isolates low energy states (``annealing''), or what is the same thing, the most probable states under the Gibbs distribution. The analogous operation under the posterior distribution yields the maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimate of the image given the degraded observations. The result is a highly parallel ``relaxation'' algorithm for MAP estimation. We establish convergence properties of the algorithm and we experiment with some simple pictures, for which good restorations are obtained at low signal-to-noise ratios.
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              Non-Adiabatic Crossing of Energy Levels

               C. Zener (1932)

                Author and article information

                25 April 1998
                Custom metadata
                Phys. Rev. E 58, 5355 (1998)
                15 pages, RevTeX, 8 figures
                cond-mat.stat-mech cond-mat.dis-nn

                Condensed matter, Theoretical physics


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