Determination and correction of persistent biases in quantum annealers

Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 19;6:18628. doi: 10.1038/srep18628.


Calibration of quantum computers is essential to the effective utilisation of their quantum resources. Specifically, the performance of quantum annealers is likely to be significantly impaired by noise in their programmable parameters, effectively misspecification of the computational problem to be solved, often resulting in spurious suboptimal solutions. We developed a strategy to determine and correct persistent, systematic biases between the actual values of the programmable parameters and their user-specified values. We applied the recalibration strategy to two D-Wave Two quantum annealers, one at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, and another at D-Wave Systems in Burnaby, Canada. We show that the recalibration procedure not only reduces the magnitudes of the biases in the programmable parameters but also enhances the performance of the device on a set of random benchmark instances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.