Women Trafficking in Nepal - A Humanitarian Problem for a Quantum Computer?
OneQuantum Nepal is back with a very-exciting second project!
OneQuantum Nepal is back with another very exciting project. This time, we shall consider a humanitarian problem of women trafficking. The problem of women trafficking is rampant in Nepal, and, we believe, a potential solution of which can be elucidated using a quantum computer.
Along with arms and drugs violence, women trafficking is considered to be the fastest growing criminal activity. In Nepal, the situation is particularly dire owing to numerous factors such as poverty, lack of proper education and domestic abuse, among others. Nepal’s Human Rights Commission estimates that tens of thousands of young girls fall victim to human trafficiking each year in Nepal. Most of them hail from poverty stricken part of the rural Nepal, and are often forced by their parents to stay home and perform household chores. These vulnerable girls fall trap to agents that are family members, neighbours or distant relatives, for the most part. The agents lure these girls with the promise of money and better future only to sell them afterwards to brothels in big cities and foreign countries.
There is no easy solution to this problem except to manually patrol along the boarder that separates Nepal from its neighbours. However, Nepal has 1200 KM long border, which requires a large number of border patrolling policemen to track the traffickers and victims in real time. An alternative solution is to identify the circle of agents at the local level - within the affected village itself. This poses yet another problem which is that it is difficult to efficiently identify the right group of people that can provide intelligence to get hold of the traffickers (known as agents hereafter).
The figure above shows an example of a social network of people in a particular affected village of Nepal. We shall assume exactly three categories of people in a given village - normal people, agents and victims. The problem is to efficiently scan through these individuals to locate the circle of agents. An easiest way to start the search process is to partition this social network into two halves, and allocate a number of policemen into one of the halves. However, clearly there are not enough policemen to allocate, and hence one should partition the network such that the connecting links to the other half is maximized. This is equivalent to the maxcut problem, which reads: Given a network composed of vertices and links, find a bipartition of the vertex set that cuts as many edges as possible. Our humanitarian problem can be mapped onto the maxcut problem to speedup the search process to locate the circle of culprits. For instance, if one partitions the network with a curved line, like the one shown above, the number of links (indicated by red colour) connecting the two halves is maximized. In our model example, one first allocates the policemen on the nodes of agent 2 and victim 2 (which makes up one of the halves). The policemen then questions the respective individuals (or their family members), and subsequently move to the connecting links. This will manifest into a rather efficient search process, but one which is NP-hard on a classical computer. This means there is no efficient algorithm to solve this problem on a classical device - the complexity scales badly with the dimensionality.
OneQuantum Nepal wishes to find a solution to this problem using a quantum computer. We shall utilize QAOA to find an optimal cut that maximizes the connectivity between the two partitions of people in the affected village. We shall use Strangeworks platform to crack the problem using a number of available quantum computing architectures. We have formed a team of 5 OQN members to work on this project for the next months:
Sahaj Raj Malla
To make this a joint effort, we encourage OneQuantum members from other chapters to participate too. We hope to make this project a success, just as we did the last one (publicly available on quntumcomputing.com).