Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quantum computers could help search engines keep up with the Internet's growth

Date:
June 12, 2012
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
With the web constantly expanding, researchers have proposed – and demonstrated the feasibility – of using quantum computers to run Google's page ranking algorithm faster.

Most people don't think twice about how Internet search engines work. You type in a word or phrase, hit enter, and poof -- a list of web pages pops up, organized by relevance.

Behind the scenes, a lot of math goes into figuring out exactly what qualifies as most relevant web page for your search. Google, for example, uses a page ranking algorithm that is rumored to be the largest numerical calculation carried out anywhere in the world. With the web constantly expanding, researchers at USC have proposed -- and demonstrated the feasibility -- of using quantum computers to speed up that process.

"This work is about trying to speed up the way we search on the web," said Daniel Lidar, corresponding author of a paper on the research that appeared in the journal Physical Review Letters on June 4.

As the Internet continues to grow, the time and resources needed to run the calculation -- which is done daily -- grow with it, Lidar said.

Lidar, who holds appointments at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, worked with colleagues Paolo Zanardi of USC Dornsife and first author Silvano Garnerone, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at USC and now of the University of Waterloo, to see whether quantum computing could be used to run the Google algorithm faster.

As opposed to traditional computer bits, which can encode distinctly either a one or a zero, quantum computers use quantum bits or "qubits," which can encode a one and a zero at the same time. This property, called superposition, some day will allow quantum computers to perform certain calculations much faster than traditional computers.

Currently, there isn't a quantum computer in the world anywhere near large enough to run Google's page ranking algorithm for the entire web. To simulate how a quantum computer might perform, the researchers generated models of the web that simulated a few thousand web pages.

The simulation showed that a quantum computer could, in principle, return the ranking of the most important pages in the web faster than traditional computers, and that this quantum speedup would improve the more pages needed to be ranked. Further, the researchers showed that to simply determine whether the web's page rankings should be updated, a quantum computer would be able to spit out a yes-or-no answer exponentially faster than a traditional computer.

This research was funded by number of sources, including the National Science Foundation, the NASA Ames Research Center, the Lockheed Martin Corporation University Research Initiative program, and a Google faculty research award to Lidar.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Silvano Garnerone, Paolo Zanardi, Daniel Lidar. Adiabatic Quantum Algorithm for Search Engine Ranking. Physical Review Letters, 2012; 108 (23) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.230506

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Quantum computers could help search engines keep up with the Internet's growth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612144612.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2012, June 12). Quantum computers could help search engines keep up with the Internet's growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612144612.htm
University of Southern California. "Quantum computers could help search engines keep up with the Internet's growth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612144612.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Ballmer Leaves Microsoft's Board, Has Advice For Nadella

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) In a letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Ballmer said he's leaving the board of directors and offered tips on how the company can be successful. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

What Google Can Gain From Special Accounts For Children

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Google will reportedly offer official accounts for children younger than 13 years old. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Breakingviews: Ebola's Economic Impact Could Eclipse SARS

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 18, 2014) The virus ravaging Africa has yet to spread elsewhere. Yet Asia’s SARS crisis in 2003 showed how changes to behaviour can hurt the economy more than the actual disease, says Breakingviews' Una Galani. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Newsy (Aug. 17, 2014) Twitter is testing a feature on some users that shows favorited tweets from people they follow in their own timeline, the same way a retweet appears. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins