Quantum Bayesian Networks

February 19, 2012

What to do if you are a country that feels “left out” of the Facebook IPO

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 6:02 am

We will not name names here.

Suppose you are a country that puts harmless Falun Gong practitioners in jail, sides with evil tyrants like Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and hates super-peaceful vegetarian Tibetan Buddhists like the Dalai Lama.

Suppose you own most of the major corporations in your country, and would like to create a new corporation, a real kick-ass one, one that could kick USA’s ass.

Suppose that you are sitting on a mountain of cash right now, and can’t wait to spend it on the investment opportunity of a lifetime, “a sure thing”. An investment that promises a bonanza of technological progress for your country, and that has the seal of approval of the egg heads (backed even by a $100,000 bet from an MIT computer science professor).

Suppose that Facebook’s $100 billion IPO makes you green with envy because you feel left out. Why? because (1) The US government would never allow you to own a large piece of Facebook (2) Social networking isn’t exactly your cup of tea—the possibility of social networking being used by the citizens of your country scares the bejesus out of you. (3) You already have all the latest Facebook (and Google) source code anyway (wink).

Suppose you have a flair for cyberspying and would like an investment that would reinforce this little hobby of yours. An investment that would take some of the drudge-work out of cracking codes.

Then have I got an investment opportunity for you!

No, not buying swamplands in Hunan province. That’s not high-tech.

One word. Well no, not plastics. You already control that.

Okay. Two words:
量子计算机
(Well, 2 words in English. I have not idea how many words those symbols represent in your language).

February 17, 2012

China and India, Quantum Computing’s Two Slumbering Giants (Ed.2)

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 7:17 pm

This is edition 2 of my Nov 1, 2009 post with the same title. I’ve updated the graphs to include data for the last 2 years. I’ve also updated my comments about the graphs.

I did the following simple experiment.

Experimental procedure:
I used Google Scholar with the following parameters:
Keywords: India “quantum computer”
Publication: arxiv
Date: 2000 to 2000
Then I recorded the number of hits, calling this number a YAP= Yearly ArXiv Production.
I repeated this with “India” replaced by “China”, “Japan”, no nation specified, and for years other than 2000. I also did searches with “quantum computer” replaced by “string theory”. This yielded the following graphs

Results:

Conclusions:
Comparison of the graphs in editions 1 and 2 shows some discrepancies. I think this is occurring because Google Scholar has improved, and is now less prone to miss or double count ArXiv papers. Of course, without seeing the Google Scholar code or speaking to its author, we can never be 100% sure of what exactly we are getting. We are at the mercy of “The Google” here. Also, YAPs surely include some papers of less than stellar quality. Nevertheless, I still believe that, despite its very noisy nature, this data does give us a rough clue of what is going on.

For quantum computing, worldwide YAP peaked in 2004, waned for the next 2 years, then started to increase again. 2010 and 2011 have been pretty good years, both surpassing the 2004 peak. Over the last 12 years, world-wide QC YAP has increased by a factor of about 4 (from 95 in 1999 to 391 in 2011).

In 2011, Chinese QC YAP was 44, higher than Japan’s 34, and almost twice as high as India’s 24. However, China’s 44 was still relatively small (only about 1/9 of the total 391).

China’s QC YAP is not only twice as big as India’s, but it seems to be growing faster.

In 2011, there was a worldwide ST YAP of 2050, an increase by about a factor of two from the previous year’s ST YAP of 1110. Yikes! This even though the LHC has yet to find any evidence of supersymmetry.

In 2011, the worldwide QC YAP of 391 papers, was about 1/5 the worldwide ST YAP of 2050 papers.

My Opinions:

In 2011, the worldwide QC YAP of 391 papers, was about 1/5 the worldwide ST YAP of 2050 papers. Incredible! That is so upside down, topsy-turvy! QC promises practical applications whereas ST doesn’t, so society should be putting more resources into QC than ST. Don’t you think? Besides, I believe we need to build QCs first, as a prerequisite to figuring out ST.

Chinese and Indian performance in the QC race is, so far, very low spirited. Considering that both countries have about 1.3 billion inhabitants, quantum computing YAPs for 2011 of 44 papers for China and 24 papers for India, are indefensibly low.

Why are China and India under-performing? I don’t know enough about those countries to answer this question authoritatively. However, I would advise Chinese and Indian leaders to put more heart into their QC efforts, and NOT to repeat the EARLIER flaws of the American QC program (I think the American situation has improved); instead, look at the history of Bell Labs and Silicon Valley for inspiration. Also, a Chinese or Indian X-prize for quantum computing might work wonders for your countries.

February 16, 2012

Life in the Time of the Bayesian Wars

Filed under: Uncategorized — rrtucci @ 8:23 pm

Check out this brief but excellent article

I.B.M.: Big Data, Bigger Patterns
By Quentin Hardy (New York Times, February 15, 2012)

Excerpts:

It’s not just about Big Data. For the big players in enterprise technology algorithms, it’s about finding big patterns beyond the data itself.

When it comes to algorithms, “if I can do a power grid, I can do water supply,

That kind of cross-pollination is reminiscent of the way Wall Street, starting in the 1990s, hired astrophysicists and theoretical mathematicians to design arcane financial products.

I.B.M., Mr. Mills said, is now the largest employer of Ph.D. mathematicians

In the last five years, I.B.M. has spent some $14 billion purchasing analytics companies, in the service of its Big Data initiative. “We look for adjacencies” between one business and another, said Mr. Mills. “If we can’t get an adjacency, we’ll never get a return.”

Bayesian Networks and MCMC (Markov Chain Monte Carlo) are some of the most important and powerful weapons for doing statistical analyisis of vast amounts of data, what the business world refers to as “data mining” or “analytics”. Companies like IBM, Google, Oracle, HP/Autonomy and SAP are in a fierce battle for the supremacy over the Bayesian sea lanes and trade routes to the New World.

As I have argued in many previous posts in this blog, quantum computers have the potential to escalate that war significantly. Quantum computers are ideal for doing the quantum version of Bayesian networks that gives this blog its name, and they can do MCMC much faster (see my software Quibbs) than classical computers.

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