The high complexity of numerous optimal classic communication schemes, such as the maximum likelihood (ML) multiuser detector (MUD), often prevents their practical implementation. In this paper, we present an extensive review and tutorial on quantum search algorithms (QSA) and their potential applications, and we employ a QSA that finds the minimum of a function in order to perform optimal hard MUD with a quadratic reduction in the computational complexity when compared to that of the ML MUD. Furthermore, we follow a quantum approach to achieve the same performance as the optimal soft-input soft-output classic detectors by replacing them with a quantum algorithm, which estimates the weighted sum of a function's evaluations. We propose a soft-input soft-output quantum-assisted MUD (QMUD) scheme, which is the quantum-domain equivalent of the ML MUD. We then demonstrate its application using the design example of a direct-sequence code division multiple access system employing bit-interleaved coded modulation relying on iterative decoding, and compare it with the optimal ML MUD in terms of its performance and complexity. Both our extrinsic information transfer charts and bit error ratio curves show that the performance of the proposed QMUD and that of the optimal classic MUD are equivalent, but the QMUD's computational complexity is significantly lower.
Left: Comparison between classic serial, parallel and quantum computing. Right: Probability of obtaining the solution after having applied a specific number of Grover operators.