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QCI’s Mukai Middleware Platform – The Quantum Computing Application Enabler

Quantum computers will be the catalyst for the next revolution in technology.

Press release from Quantum Computing
February 26th 2020 | 5 readers

Photo by Émile Perron on Unsplash
Photo by Émile Perron on Unsplash
Quantum Computing Inc. (OTC:QUBT) (“QCI”), an advanced technology company developing quantum-ready applications and tools, announced further details regarding its recently released Mukai quantum application development platform.

The slowing of Moore’s Law and the diminishing return on technological performance from classical computers has driven an intense focus on developing quantum computers. Industry giants such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon [and start-ups] are investing millions now, as are the governments of the US, China, and EMEA countries.  The US has established its National Quantum Initiative with a $1B investment and much more on the way, while China alone has committed over $10B of investment into quantum computing.  It could be five or even ten years until quantum-computing hardware shows real commercially viable business advantage, however the marketplace demands/expects near-term benefits.   Just as software and apps were the key to the smartphone revolution, quantum software and end-user apps are the key to the quantum-computing revolution.  End-user needs and applications will drive and accelerate the development and adaptation of scalable quantum-computing technology.

Quantum Computing Inc.’s (QCI) mission is developing quantum-ready software applications, analytics, and tools to deliver superior performance - today.  QCI’s market is users who want practical benefit from quantum computers for their production workloads as soon as possible and have limited time to develop deep in-house quantum-computing proficiency.  QCI believes that the startling advances in quantum-computer hardware must be matched by similar advances in quantum-computer software to ensure quantum computers deliver practical benefit quickly.  QCI enables the creation of quantum-ready applications that provide superior performance today and will immediately accelerate when production quantum computers become a reality, without tailoring the application to a particular vendor’s quantum-computer hardware.

Quantum-enabled software is the on-ramp Quantum Computing Inc. is building with its quantum-enabled applications and quantum software development platform that deliver business value today.

Mukai Quantum-Ready Application Development Platform
QCI launched its Mukai Middleware software, its quantum application development platform, in January 2020.  Mukai can be used to solve extremely complex optimization problems, which are at the heart of some of the most difficult computing challenges in industry and government. Its software stack enables developers to create and execute quantum-ready applications on classical computers and current quantum annealers, while being ready to run on quantum computers when those systems can achieve performance advantage. QCI has already demonstrated superior performance for applications built on Mukai running on classical computers.  Mukai enables application development in a wide range of domains that can benefit from improved optimization capabilities: fintech, pharmaceutical, logistics and supply chain, autonomous vehicles, energy efficiency and a variety of other areas.

Mukai – Solving Hard Problems
Discrete combinatorial optimization is one high-value class of problems expected to benefit greatly from quantum computers, and techniques for exploiting quantum computers for optimization have been deeply explored, evidenced by the work on quantum annealers by early D-Wave researchers and on gate-model QCs by researchers of the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA).  QCI’s first software product, the Mukai software stack, is centered on the quadratic unconstrained binary optimization (QUBO) formulation well known to quantum annealing users.  The Mukai software product includes two primary toolkits – the QCI NetworkX graph-analysis package and the QCI QUBO solver.

QCI NetworkX graph-analysis package

Graph analysis, which explores the structure and properties of collections of vertices and edges, has become a heavily used technique for exploring graphs derived from biological metabolic and signaling networks, transportation and logistics networks, computer networks especially as it relates to cybersecurity, and social networks.  The NetworkX software package (paper, code) from Los Alamos National Lab enables subject-matter experts to use advanced graph algorithms without a deep understanding of their implementation.  QCI NetworkX implements a set of extremely compute-intense (NP-hard to mathematicians) graph kernels that are expected to benefit the most from QCs; the kernels use the QUBO formulation (namely, graph partitioning, maximum cut, minimum vertex cover, minimum vertex coloring, maximum independent set, maximal matching, maximum clique, and Markov-network assignment).
QCI QUBO solver
QUBOs may be created by higher-level tools like QCI NetworkX or directly by application developers.  However, they are derived, “solving” big and/or hard QUBOs is essential to solving a wide variety of discrete optimization problems.  Depending on the circumstances, a user may want to solve quickly for a good-enough answer, solve for a very good answer, and/or find a diverse set of good answers. The QCI QUBO solver can be configured to work well in any of these situations and is markedly more powerful than existing solutions.

Use, Performance, and Licensing
The Mukai software product consists of a Python client package capable of running locally and on the cloud. Applications and analytics call the cloud-based services via QCI-client functions.  User administration is performed by a web-based GUI.  QCI licenses the Mukai software stack via a subscription.

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