NP-complete Problems and Physical Reality
Aaronson (Scott)
Source: SIGACT News, Complexity Theory Column, March 2005
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryNotes Citing this Paper


Author’s Abstract

  1. Can NP-complete problems be solved efficiently in the physical universe?
  2. I survey proposals including soap bubbles, protein folding, quantum computing, quantum advice, quantum adiabatic algorithms, quantum-mechanical nonlinearities, hidden variables, relativistic time dilation, analog computing, Malament-Hogarth spacetimes, quantum gravity, closed timelike curves, and “anthropic computing.”
  3. The section on soap bubbles even includes some “experimental” results. While I do not believe that any of the proposals will let us solve NP-complete problems efficiently, I argue that by studying them, we can learn something not only about computation but also about physics.

Comment:

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