We apply recent work [9] on empirical estimates of quantum speedups to the practical task of community detection in complex networks. We design several quantum variants of a popular classical algorithm – the Louvain algorithm for community detection – and first study their complexities in the usual way, before analysing their complexities empirically across a variety of artificial and real inputs. We find that this analysis yields insights not available to us via the asymptotic analysis, further emphasising the utility in such an empirical approach. In particular, we observe that a complicated quantum algorithm with a large asymptotic speedup might not be the fastest algorithm in practice, and that a simple quantum algorithm with a modest speedup might in fact be the one that performs best. Moreover, we repeatedly find that overheads such as those arising from the need to amplify the success probabilities of quantum sub-routines such as Grover search can nullify any speedup that might have been suggested by a theoretical worst- or expected-case analysis.

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Quantum Information and Computation
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Cade, C., Folkertsma, M., Niesen, I., & Weggemans, J. (2024). Quantum algorithms for community detection and their empirical run-times. Quantum Information and Computation, 24(5-6), 0361–0410. doi:10.26421/QIC24.5-6-1