Researchers at Dutch Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) focus on a type of classic algorithm called a random walk algorithm. Random walk algorithms are used when a computer is looking for something but doesn’t know how to find it. Current fully-functional quantum computers have extremely small memories, so they require specially-designed algorithms that don’t use a lot of memory. A random walk algorithm doesn’t use a lot of memory.
The team led by Stacey Jeffery recently made a major breakthrough in the random walk algorithm. They showed that every random walk algorithm (not just special cases) can be made faster by using a quantum computer, which is something researchers have been trying to demonstrate for 15 years. (CWI)