Benchmark test of black-box optimization using D-wave quantum annealer

Ami S. Koshikawa, Masayuki Ohzeki, Tadashi Kadowaki, Kazuyuki Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In solving optimization problems, objective functions generally need to be minimized or maximized. However, objective functions cannot always be formulated explicitly in a mathematical form for complicated problem settings. Although several regression techniques infer the approximate forms of objective functions, they are at times expensive to evaluate. Optimal points of “black-box” objective functions are computed in such scenarios, while effectively using a small number of clues. Recently, an efficient method by using inference with a sparse prior for a black-box objective function with binary variables has been proposed. In this method, a surrogate model was proposed in the form of a quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) problem, and was iteratively solved to obtain the optimal solution of the black-box objective function. In this study, we employ the D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealer, which can solve QUBO by driving the binary variables by quantum fluctuations. The D-Wave 2000Q quantum annealer does not necessarily output the ground state at the end of the protocol owing to the freezing effect during the process. We investigate the effects from the output of the D-Wave quantum annealer in performing black-box optimization. We demonstrate a benchmark test by employing the sparse Sherrington–Kirkpatrick (SK) model as the black-box objective function, by introducing a parameter controlling the sparseness of the interaction coefficients. By comparing the results of the D-Wave quantum annealer with those of the simulated annealing (SA) and semidefinite programming (SDP), we found that the D-Wave quantum annealer and SA exhibit superiority in black-box optimization with SDP. On the other hand, we did not find any advantage of the D-Wave quantum annealer over the SA. As far as in our case, no significant effects by quantum fluctuation were found.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064001
Journaljournal of the physical society of japan
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun 15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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