We introduce a new framework that leverages machine learning models known as generative models to solve optimization problems. Our Generator-Enhanced Optimization (GEO) strategy is flexible to adopt any generative model, from quantum to quantum-inspired or classical, such as Generative Adversarial Networks, Variational Autoencoders, or Quantum Circuit Born Machines, to name a few. Here, we focus on a quantum-inspired version of GEO relying on tensor-network Born machines and referred to hereafter as TN-GEO. We present two prominent strategies for using TN-GEO. The first uses data points previously evaluated by any quantum or classical optimizer, and we show how TN-GEO improves the performance of the classical solver as a standalone strategy in hard-to-solve instances. The second strategy uses TN-GEO as a standalone solver, i.e., when no previous observations are available. Here, we show its superior performance when the goal is to find the best minimum given a fixed budget for the number of function calls. This might be ideal in situations where the cost function evaluation can be very expensive. To illustrate our results, we run these benchmarks in the context of the portfolio optimization problem by constructing instances from the S\&P 500 and several other financial stock indexes. We also comprehensively compare state-of-the-art algorithms in a generalized version of the portfolio optimization problem. The results show that TN-GEO is among the best compared to these state-of-the-art algorithms; a remarkable outcome given the solvers used in the comparison have been fine-tuned for decades in this real-world industrial application. We see this as an important step toward a practical advantage with quantum-inspired models and, subsequently, with quantum generative models.
- Pub Date:
- January 2021
- Quantum Physics
- Significantly revised since v1. Main revisions: A thorough comparison of our quantum-inspired optimization strategy with state-of-the-art optimizers. 15 pages, 6 figures