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KDD 2020 | High-Dimensional Similarity Search with Quantum-Assisted Variational Autoencoder

Accepted Papers

High-Dimensional Similarity Search with Quantum-Assisted Variational Autoencoder

Nicholas Gao: NASA Ames Research Center; Max Wilson: NASA Ames Research Center; Thomas Vandal: NASA Ames Research Center; Walter Vinci: NASA Ames Research Center; Ramakrishna Nemani: NASA Ames Research Center; Eleanor Rieffel: NASA Ames Research Center


Recent progress in quantum algorithms and hardware indicates the potential importance of quantum computing in the near future. However, finding suitable application areas remains an active area of research. Quantum machine learning is touted as a potential approach to demonstrate quantum advantage within both the gate-model and the adiabatic schemes. For instance, the Quantum-assisted Variational Autoencoder (QVAE) has been proposed as a quantum enhancement to the discrete VAE. We extend on previous work and study the real-world applicability of a QVAE by presenting a proof-of-concept for similarity search in large-scale high-dimensional datasets. While exact and fast similarity search algorithms are available for low dimensional datasets, scaling to high-dimensional data is non-trivial. We show how to construct a space-efficient search index based on the latent space representation of a QVAE. Our experiments show a correlation between the Hamming distance in the embedded space and the Euclidean distance in the original space on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) dataset.Further, we find real-world speedups compared to linear search and demonstrate memory-efficient scaling to half a billion data points.

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