New hardware for solving NP-complete problems is of paramount importance in the modern theory of complexity and computation. In the new era of machine learning and quantum computing, many groups are working for realizing “annealing devices.” Ising machines are a special class that finds the minima of spin-glass Hamiltonians, as Sherrington-Kirkpatrick and Mattis models. Our recent work on a new simple and scalable Ising machine [Phys.Rev.Lett. 122, 213902(2019) and arXiv:1905.11548] has been featured in Physics.
“Photonic Ising Machines Go Big: A new optical processor for solving hard optimization problems breaks previous size records and is based on a highly scalable technology”
Quantum and classical physics can be used for mathematical computations that are hard to tackle by conventional electronics. Very recently, optical Ising machines have been demonstrated for computing the minima of spin Hamiltonians, paving the way to new ultra-fast hardware for machine learning. However, the proposed systems are either tricky to scale or involve a limited number of spins. We design and experimentally demonstrate a large-scale optical Ising machine based on a simple setup with a spatial light modulator. By encoding the spin variables in a binary phase modulation of the field, we show that light propagation can be tailored to minimize an Ising Hamiltonian with spin couplings set by input amplitude modulation and a feedback scheme. We realize configurations with thousands of spins that settle in the ground state in a low-temperature ferromagnetic-like phase with all-to-all and tunable pairwise interactions. Our results open the route to classical and quantum photonic Ising machines that exploit light spatial degrees of freedom for parallel processing of a vast number of spins with programmable couplings.
Novel machine learning computational tools open new perspectives for quantum information systems. Here we adopt the open-source programming library TensorFlowTM to design multi-level quantum gates including a computing reservoir represented by a random unitary matrix. In optics, the reservoir is a disordered medium or a multimodal fiber. We show that trainable operators at the input and the readout enable to realize multi-level gates. We study single and qudit gates, including the scaling properties of the algorithms with the size of the reservoir.
Disorder is emerging as a strategy for fabricating random laser sources with very promising materials, like perovskites, for which standard laser cavities are not effective, or too expensive. We need however different fabrication protocols and technologies for reducing the laser threshold and controlling its emission. Here we demonstrate an effectively solvent-engineered method for high-quality perovskite thin films on the flexible polyimide substrate. The fractal perovskite thin films exhibit excellent optical properties at room temperature and easily achieve lasing action without any laser cavity above room temperature with a low pumping threshold. The lasing action is also observed in curved perovskite thin films on the flexible substrates. The lasing threshold can be further reduced by increasing the local curvature, which modifies the scattering strengths of the bent thin film. We also show that the curved perovskite lasers are extremely robust with respect to repeated deformations. Because of the low spatial coherence, these curved random laser devices are efficient and durable speckle-free light sources for applications in spectroscopy, bio-imaging, and illumination.
In a recent paper, we demonstrated an optical deep neural network with a real living piece of brain tumor (a 3D “tumour model”). We think this is the first example of a hybrid living/photonic hardware: a sort of artificially intelligent device performing optical functions and detecting tumour morphodynamics (including the effect of chemotherapy)
Abstract: The new era of artificial intelligence demands large-scale ultrafast hardware for machine learning. Optical artificial neural networks process classical and quantum information at the speed of light, and are compatible with silicon technology, but lack scalability and need expensive manufacturing of many computational layers. New paradigms, as reservoir computing and the extreme learning machine, suggest that disordered and biological materials may realize artificial neural networks with thousands of computational nodes trained only at the input and at the readout. Here we employ biological complex systems, i.e., living three-dimensional tumour brain models, and demonstrate a random neural network (RNN) trained to detect tumour morphodynamics via image transmission. The RNN, with the tumour spheroid 19 as a three-dimensional deep computational reservoir, performs programmed optical functions and detects cancer morphodynamics from laser-induced hyperthermia inaccessible by optical imaging. Moreover, the RNN quantifies the effect of chemotherapy inhibiting tumour growth. We realize a non-invasive smart probe for cytotoxicity assay, which is at least one order of magnitude more sensitive with respect to conventional imaging. Our random and hybrid photonic/living system is a novel artificial machine for computing and for the real-time investigation of tumour dynamics.
Authors: D. Pierangeli, V. Palmieri, G. Marcucci, C. Moriconi, G. Perini, M. De Spirito, M. Papi, C. Conti