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See here for more info; I’ll be traveling then and won’t be able to make it.
I don’t know whether the performance comparisons to Matthias Troyer’s and Alex Selby’s code will be among the topics discussed, or if there will be an opportunity to ask questions about such things.
Instead, Mc Geogh used the time to enlighten the assembled experts about what quantum annealing was, what an exact solver was, etc.
etc., then repeated the speedup claims as if the more informative comparisons simply didn’t exist.
Imagine that someone wrote a blog post bringing all of this to public attention.
In summary, the real issue isn’t what some clinical trial did or didn’t show; it’s and your hostile attitude.” In a different context, these sorts of responses would be considered strange, and the need to resort to them revealing. (Interestingly, in excusing D-Wave’s statements, some commenters explicitly defended standards of intellectual discourse so relaxed that, as far as I could tell, say on this blog, which is not OK!
I left without asking questions, not wanting to be the one to instigate an unpleasant confrontation, and—I’ll admit—questioning my own sanity as a result of no one else asking about the gigantic elephant in the room. Among the many interesting comments below, see especially this one by Alex Selby, who says he’s written his own specialist solver for one class of the Mc Geoch and Wang benchmarks that significantly outperforms the software (and D-Wave machine) tested by Mc Geoch and Wang on those benchmarks—and who provides the Python code so you can try it yourself.
Also, Igor Vernik asked me to announce that on July 8th, D-Wave will be giving a technical presentation at the International Superconducting Electronics Conference in Cambridge.
I haven’t yet had time to read their paper or form an opinion about it, but I’d be very interested if others wanted to weigh in.
The USC group has put out a new preprint responding to Smolin and Smith, offering additional evidence for quantum behavior in the D-Wave device that they say can’t be explained using Smolin and Smith’s model.
It appears that, while the D-Wave machine does outperform certain off-the-shelf solvers, simulated annealing codes have been written that outperform the D-Wave machine on its own native problem when run on a standard laptop.