Quantum adiabatic optimization (QAO) is performed using a time-dependent Hamiltonian H(s) with spectral gap γ(s). Assuming the existence of an oracle Γ such that γ(s)=Θ(Γ(s)), we provide an algorithm that reliably performs QAO in time Oγ−1minlog(γ−1min) with Olog(γ−1min) oracle queries, where γmin=minsγ(s). Our strategy is not heuristic and does not require guessing time parameters or annealing paths. Rather, our algorithm naturally produces an annealing path such that dH/ds≈γ(s) and chooses its own runtime T to be as close as possible to optimal while promising convergence to the ground state. We then demonstrate the feasibility of this approach in practice by explicitly constructing a gap oracle Γ for the problem of finding a vertex m=argminuW(u) of the cost function W:V⟶[0,1], restricting ourselves to computational basis measurements and driving Hamiltonian H(0)=I−V−1∑u,v∈V|u⟩⟨v|, with V=|V|. Requiring only that W have a constant lower bound on its spectral gap and upper bound κ on its spectral ratio, our QAO algorithm returns m using Γ with probability (1−ε)(1−e−1/ε) in time O˜(ε−1[V−−√+(κ−1)2/3V2/3]). This achieves a quantum advantage for all κ, and when κ≈1, recovers Grover scaling up to logarithmic factors. We implement the algorithm as a subroutine in an optimization procedure that produces m with exponentially small failure probability and expected runtime O˜(ε−1[V−−√+(κ−1)2/3V2/3]), even when κ is not known beforehand.

UR - https://arxiv.org/abs/1810.04686 ER -