Quantum Bayesian Networks

September 15, 2017

The Quantum Meetup Supremos Invite You to a Saturday Evening Meetup for shooting the breeze about Quantum AI

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 2:34 pm

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Henning Dekant, CEO of artiste-qb.net, is currently attending, throughout this month of September, an intensive bootcamp/course on quantum machine learning and AI. This course is being offered by the Creative Destruction Lab of the Univ. of Toronto. At the end of the course, on Sept. 30, Henning will be hosting a Meetup were he will spill the beans about what he learned. Other participants in the course have been invited. Erudition + Gossip time! Come join us!

This course participant is currently programming the NYC Matrix:


September 7, 2017

Our Man In Toronto—at the CDL (Creative Destruction Lab) Quantum Machine Learning Program

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:55 am

Henning Dekant, CEO of our company artiste-qb.net, has been admitted to the exciting CDL (Creative Destruction Lab) Quantum AI Program. The program will culminate with sales pitches by the participants to prospective investors. But first, during most of September, Mon to Fri, 8 hrs per day, the participants will attend an intensive bootcamp, complete with problem sets for homework, presided by Peter Wittek, on quantum computing software, classical and quantum machine learning and related subjects.

Henning will be writing a series of blog posts reporting on his thoughts and experiences while attending this CDL program. Here is the first post of that series.

Henning is the dapper one wearing a white guayabera. He will be taking good course notes (including drawings of top secret quantum devices, such as the quantum Alexa, which looks suspiciously like a vacuum cleaner)




August 15, 2017

Resistance is Futile: Jupyter Borg Threatens to Assimilate Quantum Computing Universe

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:00 pm

A week ago, IBM announced at its Quantum Experience usegroup that it had uploaded to github a large collection of jupyter notebooks exhibiting the use of their gate model quantum computer (previously 5 qubits, currently 16 qubits). I consider this an excellent addition to the quantum open source and free jupyter notebook universe and ecosystem. I’ve advocated for quantum open source and jupyter notebooks many times before in this blog, so it’s a pleasure for me to echo their announcement.

Pow! Right in the kisser of Microsoft’s Liqui|> software. Liqui|> is closed source software.

Google has announced that it will deliver by year’s end a 49 qubit gate model qc with accompanying open source software and cloud service. The jupyter ball is now in your court, Google.

Artiste-qb.net, the company that I work for, already provides a large and ever growing library of jupyter notebooks for both of its quantum open source offerings, Qubiter and Quantum Fog.

Rigetti’s PyQuil and ProjectQ are two other gate model qc simulators analogous to IBM quantum experience. So far these two have very few jupyter notebooks. Wimps! Laggards! Let them eat cake!


Borg Cake


Jupyter Cake

August 14, 2017

Quantum Computing Wrestlemania 2017-2018; Microsoft planning to buy Rigetti?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 2:35 am

Who will be the contenders for the 2017-2018 Quantum Computing Wrestlemania Event? Google together with NASA bought a Dwave quantum computer, an annealer qc, on May 2013, and upon hiring Martinis in Sept 2014, Google told the press that it intended to build an annealer qc like DWave’s, but with error correction. However, since then, Google has changed plans and has promised a 49= 7X7 gate model, not annealer, qc, to be delivered by the end this year.

If you look at the Wikipedia article on superconducting quantum computing, it contains a table comparing 3 types of Josephson Junction (JJ) qubits: charge, flux and phase. Google’s 49 qubit device is going to be a charge JJ qc. The IBM and Rigetti qc’s are also charge JJ qc’s. Hence, it is now clear that a gladiator contest between Google (led by John Martinis and Hartmut Neven), IBM (led by Jerry Chow) and Rigetti (led by Chad Rigetti) is inevitable in the next few years. If Google and IBM are 800 pound gorillas in this contest, then Rigetti is an 8 pound one. Furthermore, another alpha male 800 pound gorilla is missing from this triad: Microsoft. Microsoft has the only large scale Majorana qc effort in the world, but this effort is much less advanced than the Google & IBM JJ qc efforts. Microsoft does not have any large JJ qc effort as far as I know. What it does have is a lot of moolah. So, in my opinion, it is quite possible that, in order to compete with their nemesis Google in the JJ qc arena, Microsoft will attempt to buy Rigetti. On the other hand, they may decide to sidestep Rigetti and buy some Rigetti imitator that is out there but is still too young to have registered in my radar screen.

(Sept. 14, 2017, Update: Just realized another option for Microsoft: instead of buying Rigetti, Microsoft could try to acquire QCI, a spin-off of the Yale Quantum Institute, which is also trying to build a charge JJ qc)

Besides JJ qc’s, another type of gate model qc that has garnered commercial funding is the ion trap qc. In that arena, there are two main contenders; IonQ (led by Chris Monroe), and a Harvard-Russia group (led by Mikhail Lukin).

July 11, 2017

Quantum Meetup Supremacy

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:54 pm

Google, under the direction of Neven and Martinis, has promised a quantum computing device with 49= 7×7 physical superconductive qubits by the end of this year and to use this device to achieve Quantum Supremacy (what I like to call achieving quantum escape velocity). By this they mean that they will report on an experiment that uses their 49 qubit device to calculate in less than a second, an output that would take conventional classical computers years to calculate. I’ve even heard that Neven has a banner somewhere in the Google-plex rallying his storm-troopers to achieve Quantum Supremacy before anyone else. When Martinis first joined Google circa Sept. 2014, he told the media that Neven had convinced him to build a quantum annealer à la DWave but with error correction. But this 49 qubit device appears to be purely a gate model superconductive device similar to the current 16 qubit IBM device and 8 qubit Rigetti device. Since 49 is much larger than 16 or 8, this threatens to cause a massive migration of users from the IBM and Rigetti projects to the Google one.

Okay, Google, it’s likely that you will soon achieve Quantum Supremacy, and even Quantum Popularity Supremacy, but at least for now, the Toronto Quantum Computing Meetup has a firm hold on Quantum Meetup Supremacy, and there is nothing you can do about it. Indeed, according to this page, our club has more members than any other dedicated quantum computing meetup club in the world (current number of members: Toronto-634, Austin-597, San Francisco-583, etc.)

June 23, 2017

Quantum Computing and the Blockchain-Toronto QC Meetup

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 4:16 pm

I am very pleased to announce that the Toronto quantum computing Meetup will have their next meeting on July 5 on the subject of the connections between quantum computing and blockchain technologies (this includes crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum but has many other uses). Henning Dekant (CEO of artiste-qb.net) will be hosting the meeting at the Rotman Business School (part of Univ. of Toronto). Toronto has a vibrant community of brilliant programmers interested in blockchain, including some friends of Henning that will be attending. And, as you probably already know, investors large and small from all over the world have already poured billions of dollars into blockchain.

Toronto Quantum Computing Meetup doesn’t disappoint

May 7, 2017

Enter The Dragon Into The QC Race

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 3:13 pm

Chinese quantum computing has been prominently in the news recently. Two news items about it that have come to my attention are:

First, an article in the conservative journal National Review
warning about the dangers of America falling behind China in the quantum computing “arms race”. I see America’s race with China to build a QC more as a commercial race to achieve supremacy in a new market than as an arms race. The article doesn’t mention Russia or India, probably because those two players have not invested as much money and seem far less committed than USA and China to this race. The article fails to mention that there are some types of crypto that are unbreakable by a QC, so, as long as the world starts migrating to those types of crypto a few years before QCs are available, the world’s secrets will remain safe. Maybe some old docs, encrypted in the QC vulnerable encryptions, will fall in the wrong hands, but I don’t see that as a very serious problem. Secrets usually have a short expiration date anyway. The National Review article does make a point that I consider very true and important:

“Yet with China graduating 4.7 million of its students per year with STEM degrees while the U.S. graduates a little over half a million, how long can the U.S. maintain its lead?

Second, a Boson Sampler experiment. Scott Aaronson is one of the fathers of BS, so let me just quote his BS explanation, as posted in his BS blog, Shtetl Optimized:

… a group in Shanghai, led by Chaoyang Lu and Jianwei Pan, has reported in Nature Photonics that they can do BosonSampling with a coincidence rate that’s higher than in previous experiments by a factor of several thousand. This, in particular, lets them do BosonSampling with 5 photons. Now, 5 might not sound like that much, especially since the group in Bristol previously did 6-photon BosonSampling. But to make their experiment work, the Bristol group needed to start its photons in the initial state |3,3\rangle that is, two modes with 3 photons each. This gives rise to matrices with repeated rows, whose permanents are much easier to calculate than the permanents of arbitrary matrices. By contrast, the Shanghai group starts its photons in the “true BosonSampling initial state” |1,1,1,1,1\rangle that is, five modes with 1 photon each. That’s the kind of initial state we ultimately want.

To me, quantum computers are mostly a commercial product, just like PCs, the Cloud and HPC. Most of the best progress in quantum computing in America is being done by commercial companies (IBM, Google, Microsoft, DWave, etc.), not by academia or aerospace. China with its 1.4 billion inhabitants compared to America’s 300 million, is certainly an enticing market to any company.

Our company Artiste-qb.net already has a small toe-hold in China. Our CTO and part owner, Dr. Tao Yin, lives in Shenzhen, China, where he represents us. Our BayesForge.com product is currently only on the Amazon cloud (AWS), but we are currently working to translate it to a Docker image. Once we do so, we may also make it available on the Alibaba Cloud.

April 30, 2017

I don’t use plates to eat Bayesian networks

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 2:02 am

I am referring here to the “plates” used by some to draw Bayesian networks. Here is why I don’t like them. Consider this diagram given as an example by the Wikipedia article on plate notation. In this diagram, I would replace
\theta by \theta^{M}, z by z^{NM}, and w by w^{NM}. F*** (forget) the plates.

This aversion of mine to plates is related to the following idiosyncratic notation of mine.

In computer code, I like to use x\_ for a random variable x and vx for a vector of N observations x. (In a latex document I might use \underline{x} for a random variable and \underline{x}^N for the N observations.)

A vector of x measurements vx is like a primitive version of the random variable x\_. In fact, from vx one can get an empirical distribution P_{emp}(x) which approximates the true distribution P(x) which defines the random variable x\_. That’s why when I see a statement like x\_ \sim P(x), I think of this as an ordinary equivalence relation. In fact,

x\_ \sim vx \sim P_{emp}(x) \sim  P(x)

are all equivalent in the limit of a large number of observations.

April 29, 2017

Miss Quantum Computing, may I introduce to you Miss Bayesian Hierarchical Models and Miss MCMC?

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:49 pm

Warning: Intense talk about computer software ahead. If you are a theoretical computer scientist, you better stop reading this now. Your weak constitution probably can’t take it.

When you enter the nerd paradise and secret garden that is Bayesforge.com (a free service on the Amazon cloud), you will see one folder named “Classical” and another named “Quantum”. Here is a screenshot of this taken from Henning Dekant’s excellent post in Linkedin

The “Quantum” folder contains some major open source quantum computing programs: Quantum Fog, Qubiter, IBM-QisKit (aka kiss-kit), QuTip, DWave, ProjectQ, Rigetti

The “Classical” folder contains some major Bayesian analysis open source programs: Marco Scutari’s bnlearn (R), Kevin Murphy’s BNT (Octave/matlab), OpenPNL (C++/matlab), PyMC, PyStan.

The idea is to promote cross fertilization between “Quantum” and “Classical” Bayesian statisticians.

Today I want to talk mostly about PyMC and PyStan. PyMC and PyStan deal with “Hierarchical Models” (Hmods). The other programs in the “Classical” folder deal with “Bayesian Networks”(Bnets).

Bnets and Hmods are almost the same thing. The community of people working on Bnets has Judea Pearl as one of its distinguished leaders. The community of people working on Hmods has Andrew Gelman as one of its distinguished leaders. You might know Gelman (Prof. at Columbia U.) from his great blog “Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science” or from one of his many books

Both PyStan and PyMC do MCMC (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) for Hmods. They are sort of competitors but also complementary.

PyStan (its GitHub repo here) is a Python wrapper of a computer program written in C++ called Stan. According to Wikipedia, “Stan is named in honour of Stanislaw Ulam, pioneer of the Monte Carlo method.” Prof. Gelman is one of the fathers of Stan (I mean the program, of course).

PyMC comes in 2 incompatible versions: 2.X and 3.X. Version 3 is more advanced and intends to replace Ver 2. PyMC2’s best sampler is a Metropolis-Hastings (MH) sampler. PyMC3 contains an MH sampler, but it also contains the “No U turns” or “NUTS” sampler that is supposed to be much faster than MH for large networks. Currently, Bayesforge contains only PyMC2, but the next version will contain both PyMC2 and PyMC3. As an added bonus, PyMC3 comes with Theano, one of the leading deep neural networks frameworks.

Check out this really cool course:

Sta-663 “Statistical Programming” , available at GitHub, taught at Duke U. by Prof. Chi Wei Cliburn Chan.

This wonderful course has some nice jupyter notebooks illustrating the use of PyMC2, PyMC3 and PyStan. Plus it contains discussions of many other statistical programmimg topics. I love it. It has a similar philosophy to BayesForge, namely to do statistical programming with jupyter notebooks because they are great for communicating your ideas to others and allow you to combine seamlessly various languages like Python, R, Octave, etc

April 21, 2017

Real Artistes Ship!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:33 pm

Today we finally unveiled to the public our http://www.BayesForge.com home page which contains instructions on how to sign up to our free service on the Amazon cloud. In the immortal words of Steve Jobs, “Real Artists Ship”. We ain’t called artiste-qb.net for nothing 🙂

The exploding-reassembling Vitruvian-Metropolis Firefly Robot

April 8, 2017

Welcome to BayesForge, a free service on the Amazon cloud

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:08 am

Our company artiste-qb.net is proud to announce BayesForge.com (BF), our new service on AWS (Amazon Web Services). BayesForge is not yet open for business but will open in a week or less. The purpose of this blog post is to give an overview and teaser of what is coming.

Henning Dekant will give a tour of BF to those who attend the meeting on April 21 of the Toronto Quantum Computing Meetup.

Why AWS?

The Amazon cloud is one of the largest and Amazon offers an incredible deal to all its customers. Anybody with a credit card can get an AWS Free Tier account. An AWS Free Tier account gives you one full year of free cloud use (there are some upper bounds on usage but very generous ones). Furthermore, you can open a separate AWS Free Tier account in the name of your spouse and each of your children. Amazon doesn’t seem to care!! Only Jeff Bezos could be so crazy generous. Once you have an AWS Free Tier account, you can use it to play with BayesForge for a whole year, free of charge. You don’t have to be a student to do this.

What can you do with BayesForge?

BF allows you to write Jupyter notebooks on your web browser in a wide variety of languages and run/store those notebooks on the cloud. (Besides the web browser, no additional software needs to be installed on your computer). We have installed Jupyter kernels for Python-3, Python-2, R, Octave (clone of matlab) and bash. This means you can write/run a notebook in which you use one of those languages exclusively. We have also installed Rmagic and Octavemagic which allows you to write a notebook in Python but dip temporarily into R or Octave.

What software packages does BayesForge include?

BF comes with 2 folders called “Classical” and “Quantum”. The “Quantum” folder contains a large selection of open source quantum computing software, including our own Quantum Fog and Qubiter, and also open source qc software from DWave, IBM, Rigetti, etc. The “Classical” folder contains a large selection of open source software for doing classical bayesian statistical analysis.

This is the logo of BayesForge (graphics by our inhouse artiste and Gimp wizard, Henning Dekant. BayesForge name suggested by Gavin Dekant)

“True gold is not afraid of fire.”
(Chinese Proverb)

“Incus robust malleum non timet”
“A strong anvil need not fear the hammer.”
(Latin Proverb)

April 6, 2017

Reaching Quantum Escape Velocity

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:42 pm

The term “Reaching Quantum Supremarcy”, coined by John Preskill, is usually used to refer to the first time a quantum computer can perform in minutes a calculation that would take the best classical computers centuries to perform. I prefer to call that “Reaching Quantum Escape Velocity”.

I love the term “Quantum Supremacy” too, but I like to use it differently, as in “Google, IBM and Microsoft are vying for Quantum Supremacy”, viz., to dominate the qc market. This second meaning is the one being used in my upcoming movie entitled “Quantum Supremacy”.

I prepared the following poster to promote the concept of reaching quantum escape velocity. It recycles some art from a previous blog post of mine.

April 5, 2017

Tao Yin teleports (the old fashioned way) 2 entangled cats from Germany to China

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 5:11 pm

In this photo you can see Tao Yin at the Frankfurt airport, before boarding an airplane to China, transporting cat #1. Cat #2 was teleported by his wife on same flight. One small pet per passenger allowed. Cats 1 and 2 are friends that were entangled at a distance during the flight.

Dr. Tao Yin obtained a Ph.D. in Physics at the end of last year from
The Goethe University in Frankfurt. He started at artiste-qb.net as a long-distance intern last summer, but he is now CTO and part owner of artiste-qb.net . He has quickly become an important part of our company. He has just moved from Frankfurt-Germany to Shenzhen-China, where he will continue to represent us. Shenzhen, population ~ 11 million, is one of the 5 largest cities in China, a technology power house located immediately north of Hong Kong.

Tao brings to artiste-qb.net excellent computer skills and knowledge of physics. We are also relying on him to translate to Mandarin Chinese some of our software docs. For example, he translated the Jupyter notebooks quantum_compiler_intro.ipynb to quantum_compiler_intro_CN.ipynb. These jupyter notebooks explain how to use the quantum compiler in our open source software Qubiter. Qubiter has had a fully-functional quantum compiler since the first week of Jan of 2017. Currently, Qubiter is the only software to offer a quantum compiler of this kind.

April 1, 2017

April the Giraffe has Baby

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:32 pm

Today, April the Giraffe had a baby boy calf after 15 months of taxing pregnancy, the progress of which has been anxiously followed via webcam by millions of animal lovers throughout the world. April lives at the Animal Adventure Park near Binghamton, NY, although conservative rumor mills claim that her real birth certificate is from Kenya.

To congratulate April and hubby Oliver on the new addition to their family, we have sent them a baby bib (size=”giraffe”), a baby bottle and a copy of our latest book “Quantum Computer Programming for Giraffes” printed on paper made from tasty Acacia tree leaves that were made-in-America.

We here at artiste-qb.net are passionate animal lovers and have a long tradition of sending gifts to giraffes and other mammals, including the least noble ones. For example, on a previous occasion, we sent to Jack Ma (founder of Alibaba) one of our stylish baseball caps, and to the new baby of Mark Zuckerberg a copy of our book “How to program the Facebook quantum computer with QuPy”. (You too can have a copy of these items for a very reasonable price. They are especially popular with people who want to make an impression at Silicon Valley cocktail parties).

March 30, 2017

Betting the farm on Rigetti Spaghetti

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:40 pm

#ElvisSighting #SteveJobsSighting

Steve Jobs and/or his Reality Distortion Field is still alive!!!

Rigetti is a quantum computer company that started about 3 years ago with an initial seed funding of $2.5M. Two days ago, the press revealed that an additional whopping $64M has been invested in the company. The company is named Trump Rigetti after its founder Chad Rigetti. Sorry but rigetti is not a new kind of macaroni. “il rigetti” actually means “he discards” or “he pukes” in Italian.

Unlike our company artiste-qb.net which does only qc software (and also quantum ready classical software), Rigetti does mostly qc hardware (gate model, superconducting qubits). They intend to offer access to their machine via the cloud, something that DWave and IBM already do, but which slow-poke Google doesn’t do yet, although they are probably months away from doing it to keep up with the Joneses.

Although a $64M investment in qc is good news for artiste-qb.net because a rising tide raises all boats, I advise you not to invest your pension on this one. I consider it a very risky investment for the following reasons.

As far as I know, team Rigetti has yet to publish performance results for their hardware and thus subject their machine to scientific scrutiny the way Martinis at Google has amply done. (Team Rigetti did publish one paper https://arxiv.org/abs/1703.04613 on Mar 15, two weeks ago, but that paper is only about a single qubit and getting 2 qubits to interact in an ideal way is much more difficult).

Alibaba, Google, IBM, Intel, and Microsoft (alphabetical order) , not to mention the govs. of Australia, Canada, China, EU, Holland, UK and USA are each spending tens of millions of dollars per year to achieve the same goal as Rigetti, to build an elusive gate model quantum computer.

Silicon Valley is like a Republican echo chamber: a small, outlier perturbation can snowball in a hurry. Furthermore, the master-minds at Silicon Valley often try to grow their companies in a hurry hoping that these quickly become near monopolies that are too big to fail. That might work for a service company like Uber, but it might not work in the case of a company racing against some of the biggest nations and companies of the world, trying to build/invent a very NOVEL device. In this case, the company is strictly accountable to Mother Nature, and she might not favor it.

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