Boson sampling is a computational problem that has recently been proposed as a candidate to obtain an unequivocal quantum computational advantage. The problem consists in sampling from the output distribution of indistinguishable bosons in a linear interferometer. There is strong evidence that such an experiment is hard to classically simulate, but it is naturally solved by dedicated photonic quantum hardware, comprising single photons, linear evolution, and photodetection. This prospect has stimulated much effort resulting in the experimental implementation of progressively larger devices. We review recent advances in photonic boson sampling, describing both the technological improvements achieved and the future challenges. We also discuss recent proposals and implementations of variants of the original problem, theoretical issues occurring when imperfections are considered, and advances in the development of suitable techniques for validation of boson sampling experiments. We conclude by discussing the future application of photonic boson sampling devices beyond the original theoretical scope.
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