The continuous evolution of technology constantly surprises us, and once again we witness an extraordinary result that initially seemed impossible. In fact, quantum computing has proven to outperform its traditional counterpart in analyzing a concrete problem, such as detecting cyber attacks in internet traffic. This success is the result of joint research conducted by the University of Milan in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Milan. We will examine the fundamental distinctions between a quantum computer and a traditional one, and analyze the implications of this study for the technological field.
Quantum computer vs traditional computer
A quantum computer uses the principles of quantum mechanics to process information in a revolutionary way. Unlike traditional computers that use binary bits (0 or 1), the quantum computer employs qubits , which can simultaneously represent 0, 1 or both, thanks to the phenomenon of quantum superposition. However, it is important to note that qubits are highly sensitive to measurements, meaning that the measurement process can affect their state.
Another crucial distinction is the ability of quantum computers to perform a vast amount of operations simultaneously thanks to quantum superposition, allowing complex problems to be solved in significantly less time than classical computers.
When it comes to algorithms, quantum computers excel in specific categories of problems, such as factoring large numbers, while for other operations, classical computers maintain an advantage in efficiency. In summary, quantum computers offer extraordinary potential to solve specific problems with astonishing speed compared to traditional computers. However, it is important to note that they are still in a development stage and will not completely replace traditional computers in the near future.
The learning efficiency study
The research, recently published in Nature Communication Physics , represents the fruit of the collaboration between the University of Milan and the Polytechnic of Milan. This study indicates that quantum machine learning could revolutionize the traditional approach to machine learning, making it possible to tackle computationally demanding tasks. The research team concluded that the quantum computer outperforms its traditional equivalent. Specifically, a Canadian D-Wave Advantage quantum computer, with 5,000 qubits, was used in combination with the help of artificial intelligence. This synergy has enabled faster detection of cyber attacks.
To achieve this, the learning method was applied to real databases of internet traffic, the same ones used to train the data security systems of giants such as Microsoft and Amazon, as well as by government institutions. The analysis obtained is known as anomaly detection because, among millions of data packets, it is able to identify those that show anomalies, thus providing an indication of possible cyber attacks.
How did quantum computing beat traditional computing?
The use of a quantum computer, such as the one from Canada, has demonstrated significant potential in increasing performance and significantly reducing calculation times, including the training period and the processing itself. Decreasing the time required for training is of vital importance in any area where the model requires periodic retraining to adapt to constantly changing contexts. At the same time, restricting query times proves crucial in applications that benefit from instantaneous responses, such as anomaly detection.
This synergy between quantum hardware and artificial intelligence has enabled more efficient use of resources, making it possible to analyze realistic databases, such as those used in the field of cybersecurity. The study revealed surprising efficiency, with the quantum computer capable of being up to 64 times faster than a traditional system.
The article Quantum computer beats the traditional one even in the analysis of a concrete problem was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .