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PennyLane optimizers

In addition to the gradient-based and gradient-free optimizers discussed in the gradient-based optimizers and the gradient-free optimizers pages, some of the optimizers from the PennyLane library have been adapted for use with OpenQAOA. The following table shows this adapted optimizers:

OpenQAOA name PennyLane name Method Description
pennylane_adagrad AdagradOptimizer Adagrad Gradient-descent optimizer with past-gradient-dependent learning rate in each dimension.
pennylane_adam AdamOptimizer Adam Optimizer for building fully trained quantum circuits by adding gates adaptively.
pennylane_vgd GradientDescentOptimizer Gradient Descent Vanilla gradient-descent optimizer.
pennylane_momentum MomentumOptimizer Momentum Gradient Descent Gradient descent optimizer with momentum.
pennylane_nesterov_momentum NesterovMomentumOptimizer Nesterov Momentum Gradient Descent Gradient descent optimizer with Nesterov momentum.
pennylane_rmsprop RMSPropOptimizer Root Mean Squared Propagation Adaptive learning rate optimization method that uses a moving average of squared gradients to normalize the gradient.
pennylane_rotosolve RotosolveOptimizer Rotosolve Gradient-free optimizer that updates circuit parameters by separately reconstructing the cost function for each parameter while holding all other parameters constant.
pennylane_spsa SPSAOptimizer Rotosolve A gradient-free optimizer that uses stochastic approximations of the gradient.

For more information on these optimizers and their hyperparameters, we recommend referring to the PennyLane optimizers documentation.


It's worth noting that some of the optimizers from the PennyLane library, namely Gradient Descent, RMSProp, and SPSA, are already directly implemented in OpenQAOA. This means that using pennylane_vgd is equivalent to using vgd, pennylane_rmsprop is equivalent to rmsprop, and pennylane_spsa is equivalent to spsa.

Example in OpenQAOA

In this example, we demonstrate how to run a QAOA by using an optimizer adapted from the PennyLane library in OpenQAOA. Specifically, we use pennylane_nesterov_momentum optimizer, which updates the parameters according to the following formula:

\[ \vec\gamma^{(k+1)} = \vec\gamma^{(k)} - \vec a^{(t+1)}, \]


\[ \vec a^{(t+1)}=m \,\vec a^{(t)}+\alpha \vec \nabla f\left(\vec\gamma^{(k)}-m \,\vec a^{(t)}\right),\]

here, \(\alpha\) denotes the step size, and \(m\) denotes the momentum.

The following code snippet shows how to use pennylane_nesterov_momentum in OpenQAOA:

from openqaoa import QAOA 

# create the QAOA object
q = QAOA()

# set optimizer and properties

# compile and optimize using the chosen optimizer

In this example, we set the method argument to pennylane_nesterov_momentum and approximate the Jacobian using finite_difference. We then set the maximum number of iterations to 200 and customize the optimizer by setting the step size to 0.015 and the momentum to 0.5.