Quantum computation is not yet with us in any practical sense (the largest number of qubits currently in a quantum computer is 7), but a significant body of physical scientists are at work on making quantum computing a practical reality. If history repeats itself, we will get small computers initially that will grow as technology improves. Since quantum computers seem capable of achieving results unachievable by other means, exploiting effectively even limited hardware platforms may bring significant economic benefits.
We now have an opportunity to build the application infrastructure to run on quantum computers when they eventually come on-stream. Several researchers have developed new and important quantum algorithms over the past decade, but there are fundamentally few distinct quantum algorithms. In some ways novel application development seems to have stalled.
Why is this? The authors of this review believe that intuition about quantum phenomena and the nature of quantum computation is too limited. It is such a radically different arena, well outside the comfort zone provided by traditional computation. If our mindsets are the problem then we must seek to free ourselves, or augment our current capabilities. Nature, in the guise of quantum mechanical laws, provides us with new computational capabilities. But Nature also is good at invention; evolution is a form of continual reinvention. In this chapter, we review how automated search techniques inspired by biological systems can be used to uncover new quantum circuits and algorithms.
@incollection(SS-EvoQP-06, author = "Susan Stepney and John A. Clark", title = "Evolving Quantum Programs and Protocols", chapter = 3, pages = "113--160", crossref = "NanoHB-06" ) @book(NanoHB-06, editor = "Michael Rieth and Wolfram Schommers", title = "Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology, volume 3, Quantum and Molecular Computing, Quantum Simulations", booktitle = "Handbook of Theoretical and Computational Nanotechnology, volume 3, Quantum and Molecular Computing, Quantum Simulations", publisher = "American Scientific Publishers", year = 2006 )