What is Quantum annealing?

The architecture of a “quantum annealing” solution is completely different from “quantum gates”.

Quantum logic gates is the technology pursued by IBM and many others. It is a more universal form of computing, however, it will go a long way to yield results.

This text is an interpretative summary of the following link:

Quantum Annealing (QA), is specific to optimization problems. It is analogous to techniques such as simulated annealing and genetic algorithms, in optimization.

Imagine a landscape with hills and valleys, representing energy levels of the problem. The goal is to find the global minimum point, the lowest valley.

One of the challenges is to describe the problem in a way that can be solved by a quantum computer, such as a landscape map. Once this is done, QA uses some specific properties of the quantum world, such as superposition and entanglement.

The overlay allows you to occupy several positions on this map at the same time. The quantum tunneling effect allows the solution to cross mountains to reach the valleys.

One of the types of resolvable problems is QUBO — Quadratic unconstrained binary optimization.


  • Traffic flow. Used by Volkswagem. Calculates the shortest bus route
  • Chemistry. Finding the energy base state of hydrogen molecules
  • Finance. Better forecasts and portfolio optimization.

Controversies. This addendum is mine, it is not in the text. Solutions of this type have no proven exponential gain. At most, a quadratic gain, so little that it does not justify the investment.

Perhaps better solutions will emerge in the future, or an alternative path will be proven in which the use of these solutions makes sense.

Let’s keep watching this field of knowledge.

Technical ideas with a bit of philosophy


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Project Manager on Analytics and Innovation. “Samurai of Analytics”. Passionate about Combinatorial Optimization, Philosophy and Quantum Computing.