Quantum Bayesian Networks

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)


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.



  1. The difference between Google and IBM/Oracle/SAP/HP is that the former has home grown expertise in handling big data since this is their business. The big system vendors only care about big data because that’s where the market is moving and they want to keep selling the entire product stack. Hence the hectic acquisition of smaller analytics players that are supposed to give them the necessary domain expertise. This doesn’t mean these established vendors aren’t formidable competitors. After all they are deeply entrenched in the corporate IT sector and Google will have a hard time matching the amassed account expertise. A different kind of IP but no less important in this “war”.

    Of course these are only the heavyweights. The market in this space is more crowded than I’ve ever seen it with lots of small and new entrants (noways you can even get analytics software from Adobe).

    Comment by Henning Dekant — February 17, 2012 @ 5:54 am

  2. BTW Canada kicked ass in 1812 🙂

    Comment by Henning Dekant — February 17, 2012 @ 5:55 am

  3. “nowadays you can even get analytics software from Adobe”
    🙂 I’ve heard some people refer to this type of thinking as the “me too mentality”, “herd mentality”, “monkey see, monkey do”.

    Comment by rrtucci — February 17, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

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