Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Member

Dr. Ilya Safro, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Yuri Alexeev

Committee Member

Dr. Amy Apon

Committee Member

Dr. Brian Dean

Committee Member

Dr. J. Cole Smith


Combinatorial optimization problems on (hyper)graphs are ubiquitous in science and industry. Because many of these problems are NP-hard, development of sophisticated heuristics is of utmost importance for practical problems. In recent years, the emergence of Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) computers has opened up the opportunity to dramaticaly speedup combinatorial optimization. However, the adoption of NISQ devices is impeded by their severe limitations, both in terms of the number of qubits, as well as in their quality. NISQ devices are widely expected to have no more than hundreds to thousands of qubits with very limited error-correction, imposing a strict limit on the size and the structure of the problems that can be tackled directly. A natural solution to this issue is hybrid quantum-classical algorithms that combine a NISQ device with a classical machine with the goal of capturing “the best of both worlds”.

Being motivated by lack of high quality optimization solvers for hypergraph partitioning, in this thesis, we begin by discussing classical multilevel approaches for this problem. We present a novel relaxation-based vertex similarity measure termed algebraic distance for hypergraphs and the coarsening schemes based on it. Extending the multilevel method to include quantum optimization routines, we present Quantum Local Search (QLS) – a hybrid iterative improvement approach that is inspired by the classical local search approaches. Next, we introduce the Multilevel Quantum Local Search (ML-QLS) that incorporates the quantum-enhanced iterative improvement scheme introduced in QLS within the multilevel framework, as well as several techniques to further understand and improve the effectiveness of Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm used throughout our work.



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