Bay 12 Games Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Author Topic: Quantum computing  (Read 1736 times)

Xazo-Tak

  • Bay Watcher
  • *Camping forever*
    • View Profile
Quantum computing
« on: September 05, 2013, 11:50:55 pm »

Quantum computers could have some interesting effects on Dwarf Fortress.
For example, correctly set up, world generation wouldn't be hindered by any rejection rate less than 100%.
And you could specify that you want a specific historical figure or something in your world, and have that figure appear by random generation alone. All that is required is that what you want has a chance of occuring that is not 0%. Might have to make the history seeds a fair few digits longer once you start getting into the extremely unlikely though, such as 10 Cacames.

Any other effects/new features you can think of?
From what I know, what current quantum computers do is choose the possibility that returns the lowest value from an unlimited range of possibilities.
So I would expect with some very tricky setting up you can make it calculate every possible seed combination.
Included in the "tricky setting up" part is making the system return only one value, since I think it might not work with two, let alone quintillions.
Logged
How to have recursive Fun:
Have Fun
Reclaim fort
Destroy your main graveyard with a cave-in

Putnam

  • Bay Watcher
  • DAT WIZARD
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 02:35:14 am »

Yeah, but it'd still be slow as fuck :P I doubt quantum computers as they are now could handle the standard worldgen calculations in any reasonable time.

Telgin

  • Bay Watcher
  • Professional Programmer
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 07:31:13 am »

Yeah, unfortunately our current understanding of quantum computers doesn't make them really any better suited at conventional computations than modern computers.  Eventually that will probably change, but we're talking probably well past the point that DF reaches version 1.0.  :)  I can't think of any practical application of quantum computation on the game as it stands, aside from maybe something like the worldgen example you provided.

Quote
From what I know, what current quantum computers do is choose the possibility that returns the lowest value from an unlimited range of possibilities.

It depends on the architecture, but some newer quantum computers work something like that.  They rely on the fact that subatomic particles will try to reach their lowest energy state, so you try to configure them in such a manner that the answer you're seeking is their lowest energy state.  They'll eventually settle into it and give you the answer you were looking for.  Or something like that, I've never actually studied the subject directly.
Logged
Success requires no explanation.  Failure allows none.

King Mir

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 08:32:55 pm »

That's how Dwave's "quantum optimizer" works, which is the only quantum computer that has any claim to scalability.

More general purpose qunatum computers should be able to solve other kinds of problems, provided we can make the and make them at scale.

Xazo-Tak

  • Bay Watcher
  • *Camping forever*
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 08:38:38 pm »

Yeah, but it'd still be slow as fuck :P I doubt quantum computers as they are now could handle the standard worldgen calculations in any reasonable time.
Indeed, but Dwarf Fortress estimated completion date is 2030.
Quantum computers should be at least the power of current computers for processing speed by then.
And even well before then, although it might take all day for the history calculation, you won't need any injections of any sort to put in specific characters if you have a copy of DF that's optimized for quantum computers.
Logged
How to have recursive Fun:
Have Fun
Reclaim fort
Destroy your main graveyard with a cave-in

Putnam

  • Bay Watcher
  • DAT WIZARD
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 08:49:02 pm »

a copy of DF that's optimized for quantum computers.

Now that's doubtful, hehe.

Telgin

  • Bay Watcher
  • Professional Programmer
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 09:24:02 pm »

Yeah.  I'm getting a little nauseated trying to picture a C or C++ compiler that would target a quantum computer architecture.  Namely, a quantum computer would almost need to be more like an FPGA than a traditional computer to gain significant advantages over them.  Eventually they'll probably be able to generalize them in the same way traditional computers have been I'm sure, but I do have to wonder if it will ever be the case that programming languages like C can be compiled to something usable in a quantum computer in the general case and in a way that it would be faster than conventional computers.
Logged
Success requires no explanation.  Failure allows none.

King Mir

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 10:09:46 pm »

There's also the problem that most quantum computer proposals, including Dwave's, need a room worth of refrigeration and shielding. . .

Ispil

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2013, 01:32:46 am »

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-07/quantum-computer-gets-double-check

Since that company is currently selling them commercially, why doesn't someone here buy it and see how well it works? Assuming that the price figure doesn't include 5 digits or more?
Logged
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."- Voltaire

I transcribe things, too.

Putnam

  • Bay Watcher
  • DAT WIZARD
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 03:02:50 am »

Pretty sure the price figure is 5 digits or more, IIRC.

Also, what the heck would I run on it??? This isn't like the difference between PowerPC and x86, this is an alien-ass architecture.

King Mir

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2013, 09:19:20 am »

5 digits? It's more like 8 digits. At least that was the prerelease estimate. I don't think the latest purchase price of a quantum computer, at the  Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, is publicly available.

Armok

  • Bay Watcher
  • God of Blood
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2013, 06:55:02 pm »

Quantum computing is never going into the CPU. If it gets to PCs at all, it'll be in graphics cards only accessible via special calls to their proprietary API with the closest you get to using them for arbitrary things being something like shader languages. Using that kind of thing is very much not Toady's style.
Logged
So says Armok, God of blood.
Sszsszssoo...
Sszsszssaaayysss...
III...

Crioca

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 03:57:10 am »

It's not certain that quantum computers will ever be used for general purpose computing, let alone within our lifetimes. We haven't actually BUILT a quantum computer yet, all the 'quantum computers' that are currently being advertised are binary computers integrated with a qubit register.
Logged
Crioca has been fine lately.
He is a worshipper of empiricism and reason. He is a citizen of The Commonwealth of Australia. He is a member of Surf Life Saving Australia.
He is twenty-five years old.
He is clean shaven. He is quite tall. His medium length hair is curly. His eyes are hazel. His once tanned skin is now pale.
He is strong and agile
Crioca likes 3D printers, open hardware and qubits for their superpositions of zero and one.

Cruxador

  • Bay Watcher
    • View Profile
Re: Quantum computing
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2013, 02:27:46 pm »

It's not certain that quantum computers will ever be used for general purpose computing, let alone within our lifetimes. We haven't actually BUILT a quantum computer yet, all the 'quantum computers' that are currently being advertised are binary computers integrated with a qubit register.
lPretty sure that's what folks are talking about. "Binary computer integrated with a qubit register" is just a bit of a mouthful. There's something to be said for correct terminology, but considering people nigh-universally do things even as basic as calling GNU/Linux just "Linux" I reckon this is one you're not going to win.
Logged