On Modeling Local Search with Special-Purpose Combinatorial Optimization Hardware
Many combinatorial scientific computing problems are NP-hard which in practice requires using heuristics that either decompose a large-scale problem and solve many smaller local subproblems in parallel or iteratively improve the solution by local processing for sufficiently many steps to achieve a good quality/performance trade-off. These subproblems are NP-hard by themselves and the quality of their solution that depends on the subproblem size vitally affects the global solution of the entire problem. As we approach the physical limits predicted by Moore’s law, a variety of specialized combinatorial optimization hardware (such as adiabatic quantum computers, CMOS annealers, and optical parametric oscillators) is emerging to tackle specialized tasks in different domains. Many researchers anticipate that in the near future, these devices will be hybridized with high-performance computing systems to tackle large-scale problems which will open a door for the next breakthrough in performance of the combinatorial scientific computing algorithms. Most of these devices solve the Ising combinatorial optimization model that can represent many fundamental combinatorial scientific computing models. In this paper, we tackle the main challenges of problem size and precision limitation that the Ising hardware model typically suffers from. Although, our demonstration uses one of these novel devices, the models we propose can be generally used in any local search and refinement solvers that are broadly employed in combinatorial scientific computing algorithms.