The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) has released a new paper describing major enhancements to its suite of application-oriented performance benchmarks for quantum computing. This new work introduces an advanced methodology for benchmarking hybrid quantum-classical applications that address combinatorial optimization problems.
The initial suite of benchmarks was developed and has been maintained, since 2021, by QED-C members through its Technical Advisory Committee on Standards and Performance Metrics (Standards TAC). As an ongoing effort, the Standards TAC evaluates the ways in which the development of standards and benchmarks could encourage and stimulate economic activity within the quantum computing community. The recent enhancements are designed to make it quick and easy for users to gauge the performance of a quantum computing system in solving combinatorial optimization problems using either the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA) or Quantum Annealing (QA) and for evaluating the gate model and annealing styles of quantum computing side-by-side. The benchmarks are structured to provide insight into unique aspects of quantum computing while maintaining a presentation recognizable to practitioners in the optimization field. The methods exercise multiple components of an integrated hybrid quantum-classical computer system, mimicking the load characteristics inherent in practical applications, capturing, analyzing and presenting metrics associated with the execution of these algorithms. The tools measure performance both in terms of result fidelity and the quantum execution time, providing users a useful measure of both the quality of and the time to solution.
It is difficult to make direct comparisons between quantum computing technologies. The application-oriented approach is intended to provide users with a variety of benchmarks with different characteristics that they can use to gauge the potential for use of quantum computing in their unique environments. There are many factors that can influence the results obtained when executing benchmark programs and these tools provide users with the ability to explore these tradeoffs and draw their own conclusions. QED-C invites all companies to contribute to the ongoing development of this open-source project. The benchmarking suite is available as a public, open-source repository with extensive documentation.
Managed by SRI International, QED-C is an industry-driven consortium with the mission to enable and grow a robust quantum-based industry and related supply chain. QED-C is supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its more than 230 members, including more than 150 corporations from across the quantum supply chain spanning component manufacturers and suppliers, software and hardware system developers, service providers, and end users.