Postdoc Researcher: Quantum computing algorithms based on annealing for solving parametric optimal transport problems for the efficient construction of smart cities digital twins (DesCartes – WP9)


Job offer posted on 10 May 2023.

DesCartes Program is looking for a Postdoc Researcher on Quantum computing algorithms based on annealing for solving parametric optimal transport problems for the efficient construction of smart cities digital twins.


CNRS@CREATE Ltd., the first CNRS’ overseas subsidiary, acts as a program operator to build and conduct large transdisciplinary research programs. It is a trans-continental hub for research with unique opportunities for high quality faculties, researchers & postgraduate/postdoctoral students. Located in Singapore, on the Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) it’s main purposes are: (i) To strengthen France and Singapore’s global position in the areas of research of the highest potential for present and future society; (ii) To create unique initiatives in trans disciplinary research of excellence and technology development which would not exist under normal circumstances or within a single country or institution; and (iii) To encourage direct industry participation in research projects to ensure efficient transformation of research results into innovative products.

Program DesCartes aims to develop disruptive hybrid AI to serve the smart city and enable optimized decision-making in complex situations for critical urban systems. Hybrid AI will help us support smart city critical infrastructures: (i) Smartly, with less data (knowledge / physics AI); (ii) Safely, certified and regulated (trustworthy AI); (iii) Carefully, in a human centric way (human AI); and (iv) Responsibly, by empowering people (societal AI).

Read more about the DesCartes program here.


Nowadays, the design of parametric solutions exhibiting localization in space is only ensured by costly and time-consuming tests.

Numerical methodologies used classically imply enormous computational efforts for exploring the design space. Therefore, parametric solutions obtained using advanced nonlinear regressions are an essential tool to address this challenge. However, classical regression techniques, even the most advanced ones, can lead to non-physical interpolation in some fields such as remote sensing of damaged structures, CFD, plumes dispersion, GNSS coverage, … all them being major protagonists of the DesCartes project that CNRS@CREATE is leading, on smart modelling for decision making in critical urban systems, in Singapore.

In this context, Optimal Transport (OT) offers a mathematical approach to measure distances and interpolate between general objects in a, sometimes, more physical way than the classical interpolation approach.

However, the OT problem is usually computationally costly to solve and not adapted to be accessed in an online manner. In our former works we succeeded in combining advanced nonlinear regressions with Optimal Transport in order to implement a parametric real-time model based on OT. However, the technique employed performed a particles decomposition of the solutions and then match them prior to construct the regression. As many other assignment problems, the matching between many distributions becomes a NP-complete problem with the associated numerical difficulties.

In the last decade, the development of Quantum Annealing (QA) has created a new paradigm for solving NP-complete combinatorial optimization problems. QA is an alternative type of computation in which problems are encoded in quantum Hamiltonians (energy functions) and quantum dynamics is used to find solutions (ground states of minimal energy). Quantum computers such as the D-Wave systems are indeed implementing those ideas in hardware, and are using the formalism of Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization (QUBO) as input modelling language, making thus proof-of-concept experiments easy to develop.

We are now at the point that the many populations of particles matching problem can be formulated as QUBO and experimented on actual quantum and quantum-inspired systems.

The purpose of this post-doctoral research would be to formally develop this approach, to experiment it on current systems and define its limits (if any), and further envision its developments in future quantum-based systems.


  • You must hold a PhD or equivalent University level diploma in computer science or quantum physics.
  • Principal qualifications include quantum information, quantum algorithms, computational physics, combinatorial optimization, mathematical programming and artificial intelligence.
  • You should be further experienced in programming languages, in particular Python.
  • A solid knowledge of written and spoken English is mandatory.
  • We expect good interpersonal skills, the ability to thrive in a diverse, multidisciplinary environment, and the ability to present work at international conferences.


Salary range: 6100 to 7200 SGD (depending on suitability and experience)

1 year position , renewable (depending on results)

Workplace address: CREATE Campus, CREATE Tower, 1 Create Way #08-01 Singapore 138602

Interested applicants please send your resume to:

Email : Francisco Chinesta

Email : Philippe Codognet

Subject template for application by email:

DesCartes Program – WP # – Position – Name of the offer

Applications consisting of

– A letter of motivation

– CV

– Copies of degrees and certificates

– Two (maximum) recommendation letters

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