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Friday 29 Jan 2021Towards applying Quantum Topological Data Analysis to the CMB

Ismail Akhalwaya - IBM Research | Africa

Online 12:30-13:30

Topological Data Analysis (TDA) is the study of the 'shape' of data. Such geometrical properties shed 'unsupervised' light on big data, finding use e.g. in clustering and anomaly detection. We review a recent tantalizing paper, by Lloyd et al., proposing a quantum version, QTDA, that offers an exponential speed-up, without the infamous quantum data-loading problem, over existing classical algorithms. We then propose a potential use-case that may benefit from this accelerated calculation speed of higher-order Betti numbers (the number of high-dimensional 'holes'). We review work establishing TDA's possible use in detecting non-Gaussianity imprinted in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). CMB data is expected to be one of the prized outputs of the Square Kilometer Array Telescope hosted in South Africa. What better way to symbolise Africa's technological awakening than a South African-implemented quantum algorithm run on African-acquired data of univers-al significance?

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