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EU Patent: Infeasible Schedules in a Quantum Annealing Optimization Process

Syrichas, A and Crispin, AJ (2017) EU Patent: Infeasible Schedules in a Quantum Annealing Optimization Process. [Patent]

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Abstract

A method for applying a quantum annealing optimisation process for identifying a candidate schedule from a universe of possible schedules, wherein each of the universe of possible schedules allocates a first set of tasks to a first workforce for a first set of time periods. The method comprises generating, at a process optimization computing device, based on first data representing the first set of time periods and second data representing a set of hard constraints, a set of P schedules selected from the universe of possible schedules, wherein the set of P schedules comprises an infeasible schedule in which the allocation of the first set of tasks to the first workforce violates at least one of the set of hard constraints; generating, by the process optimization computing device, a set of P replicas from each of the set of P schedules wherein one of the set of P replicas is generated from the infeasible schedule and wherein each of the set of P replicas comprises schedule encoding data encoding one of the set of P schedules; applying, by the process optimization computing device, a quantum annealing optimisation process to recursively optimize the set of P replicas, wherein the quantum annealing optimisation process uses a cost function configured to output a cost for any replica generated from the universe of possible schedules; and identifying, by the process optimization computing device, a candidate replica from one of the recursively optimized sets of P replicas based on the cost determined by the cost function for the candidate replica.

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