### An introduction to quantum annealing

Quantum annealing, or quantum stochastic optimization, is a classical randomized algorithm which provides good heuristics for the solution of hard optimization problems. The algorithm, suggested by the behaviour of quantum systems, is an example of proficuous cross contamination between classical and quantum computer science. In this survey paper we illustrate how hard combinatorial problems are tackled by quantum computation and present some examples of the heuristics provided by quantum annealing....