Can quantum random number generators improve computational results?
A research collaboration between Quside, ICFO, and others, has shown how using quantum random number generators provide the required quality and efficiency for safely running even the most complex stochastic simulations.
Barcelona, 20 June 2022
QRNGs have already proven to be a key enabler in adversarial disciplines such as cryptography, for which the quality and unpredictability of the random numbers are critical to ensure the security and privacy in communications. However, the high quality of QRNGs can also prove valuable in other domains, such as computer simulation.
In these environments, quality is typically traded off for higher simulation speeds. However, there are significant risks involved in adopting such an approach: the results could be biased or even outright wrong. Therefore, in these environments, being able to use a source with the highest level of performance, not only in speed but also in the quality of the numbers generated, guarantees security and confidence in the results.
In a research collaboration, researchers from Quside, in collaboration with ICFO, UPV, among others, have recently published an article in which the advantages of using a QRNG instead of a standard PRNG are explored. The study has been done with a problem that is known to be highly sensitive to the quality of the random numbers involved: the study of critical dynamics in two-dimensional Ising networks. At criticality, the dynamics of the network behaves exponentially with their size, but the exponential factor itself is unknown, and typically recovered through stochastic simulation methods, which consumes trillions of bytes (terabytes) of random numbers for large networks.
The high sensitivity of these dynamics to the quality of the random numbers makes this stochastic problem one of the most complex to solve accurately, a fact that we achieve in this paper through the use of Quside’s QRNG in combination with other heterogeneous computing technologies. Besides, the article also covers how to benchmark PRNGs by studying their accuracy and precision estimating the critical parameters of the Ising network.
For Quside, the publication of this paper is a first step towards demonstrating the broad applicability that technologies such as QRNG can have in simulation environments, not only in terms of performance, but also in terms of quality and confidence in the results compared to current technologies.
Link to the article: https://arxiv.org/abs/2206.05328
About ICFO: ICFO is a CERCA research centre member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, founded in 2002 by the Government of Catalonia and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · Barcelona Tech, both of which are members of ICFO’s board of trustees along with the Cellex and Mir-Puig Foundations, philanthropic entities that have played a critical role in the advancement of the institute. Located in the Mediterranean Technology Park in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, the institute currently hosts 450 people, organized in 26 research teams that use 80 state-of-the-art research laboratories.
Research lines encompass diverse areas in which photonics plays a decisive role, with an emphasis on basic and applied themes relevant to medicine and biology, advanced imaging techniques, information technologies, a range of environmental sensors, tunable and ultra- fast lasers, quantum science and technologies, photovoltaics and the properties and applications of nano and quantum materials such as graphene, among others. In addition to three consecutive accreditations of the Severo Ochoa national program for top research excellence, ICFOnians have been awarded 15 elite ICREA Professorships as well as 40 European Research Council grants. ICFO is very proactive in fostering entrepreneurial activities, spin-off creation, and creating collaborations and links between industry and ICFO researchers. To date, ICFO has helped create 11start-up companies.
José Ramon Martínez
Leader of the computing activities
He got his BSc in Physics from the UCM (Madrid); his MSc in Photonics from the UPC-UB-UAB (Barcelona); and his Ph.D. in Photonics from ICFO, where he worked at the Nanophotonics Theory Group. His research focused on Computational Physics in Nanophotonic systems, publishing 10+ articles in high-profile journals and developing various advanced high-performance computing systems.
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