Version 2 to 3 Upgrade Guide

Here we list some of the largest and most important changes to know about when switching from ITensor version 2 to version 3. We also discuss some upgrades for specific tasks you may have, such as a DMRG calculation.

For much more detailed info about the changes made in version 3, see the changelog.

To move to version 3 if you have already cloned ITensor, you have to switch to the v3 branch. To do so, use the commands
git pull
git checkout v3

Major or Required Changes

  • C++17 is required to compile the ITensor Library. Switching to C++17 allows us to make significant interface improvements, such as using multiple return values, and also make internal, developer-level code easier to read and maintain. To upgrade, change your compiler flags
    from -std=c++11 to -std=c++17. (For C++ aficionados, here is a website with the new C++17 features.)

  • Changes to Index objects:

    • only the dimension is required to construct an Index (no name string)
    • you can optionally provide a string which is a comma-separated list of "tags" Index objects must have the same set of tags to compare equal. Tags can be added, removed, and replaced.
    • the dimension of an Index i is now accessed as dim(i), versus i.m() in version 2.
    Click to Show Example
    auto i = Index(3);
    println("i is an Index of dimension ",dim(i));
    //prints: i is an Index of dimension 3
    auto j = Index(5,"j,Site,Top");
    println("j has the tags ",tags(j));
    //prints: j has the tags j,Top,Site
  • The IQTensor, IQIndex, IQMPS, and IQMPO types have been removed. An IQIndex is now just an Index which carries extra quantum number (QN) information. An IQTensor is now just an ITensor with block-sparse storage internally and whose indices carry quantum numbers. You can use the hasQNs function to inspect whether an Index or ITensor has QN block structure.

    Click to Show Example
    auto i = Index(QN({"Sz",-1}),4,
                   QN({"Sz", 0}),8,
    //prints: hasQNs(i) = true
    println("i is an Index of dimension ",dim(i));
    //prints: i in an Index of dimension 16
    auto T = ITensor(i,prime(i));
    PrintData(T); //view the storage of T to see it's block-sparse
    //print: hasQNs(T) = true
  • Quantum number QN objects use strings to label each of their values. Each sector of a QN object is specified by a string and an integer value. You can optionally specify a "mod factor" N if the sector follows a @@\mathbb{Z}_N@@ addition rule. For efficiency, the name string of the sector must be seven characters or less. Sectors are sorted by their name and you must use the name to access the value. Having strings in QN objects allows sensible addition between QNs which do not all carry the same sectors; a missing sector is treated as having the value zero. For more information see the QN docs.

    Click to Show Example
    auto q1 = QN({"Sz",+1});
    //prints: q1.val("Sz") = 1
    auto q2 = QN({"N",3},{"T",-2});
    //prints: q2.val("T") = -2
    //prints: q2.val("N") = 3
    //Make a QN with a Z2 addition rule:
    auto q3 = QN({"P",1,2});
    //prints: q3.val("P") = 1
    //prints: q3.mod("P") = 2
    //prints: q3+q3 = QN({"P",0});

Recommended, Optional Changes

These are changes we recommend to follow the standards of version 3, or to avoid using now-deprecated features, but which are not required to make your code compile:

  • To retrieve elements of tensors use the free function elt if the ITensor is real, or eltC if the ITensor could be complex.

    Click to Show Example
    auto T = randomITensor(i,j,k);
    auto x = elt(T,i=1,j=1,k=1);
    auto V = randomITensorC(m,n);
    auto z = eltC(V,n=2,m=3);
  • Physics-specific Site Sets Carry QNs by Default. If you use a site set such as SpinHalf or Electron (formerly called "Hubbard"), the indices and operators produced from these will be QN-block-sparse. If you wish to omit or not have the QN sparsity, pass a named argument {"ConserveQNs=",false} to the site set constructor, for example
    auto sites = SpinHalf(N,{"ConserveQNs=",false});.

  • Tensor decompositions provide multiple return values. The new, preferred interfaces for tensor decompositions such as svd and diagHermitian no longer takes the factored results by reference, but returns them using the new "structured binding" or multiple-return-value feature of C++17. For more details, see the tensor decomposition docs.

    Click to Show Example
    auto l1 = Index(8,"l1");
    auto l2 = Index(4,"l2");
    auto s = Index(2,"s1");
    auto T = randomITensor(l1,s,l2);
    auto [U,S,V] = svd(T,{l1,s});
  • To access individual MPS tensors, say of an MPS object psi, just call psi(j). To replace the tensor at site j with a tensor T, call psi.set(j,T). Or to modify the tensor in-place, do psi.ref(j) = T.

Task-Specific Upgrades

  • Upgrading a DMRG Calculation The following steps should be sufficient for upgrading an existing DMRG code from version 2. Also we suggest you look at the sample DMRG codes in the sample/ folder distributed with the ITensor source.

    • if using AutoMPO to construct your Hamiltonian MPO, replace the line auto H = MPO(ampo); with auto H = toMPO(ampo);
    • if using IQMPO and IQMPS, just replace these with MPO and MPS instead and make sure the indices or site set you use to construct these carry QN block structure (you can print out these objects to see the QNs and ITensor storage type).
    • make sure to initialize the MPS you pass as an initial state to the dmrg function. In version 2, a non-QN MPS would be randomly initialized, but now you must initialize all MPS. See the sample/ code for an example of initializing an MPS to a particular product state.
    • when constructing a Sweeps object, replace the line sweeps.maxm() = 10,20,40; with sweeps.maxdim() = 10,20,40;
    • prefer to call dmrg as auto [energy,psi] = dmrg(H,psi0,sweeps,"Quiet");
  • Changes to priming functions To accommodate the new tags interface, some priming functions have been superceded by tag functions (since the prime level can be accessed through the new tag interface). Please see the Tag and Prime Methods section of the IndexSet docs for more details on the new interface. This interface works for ITensor, MPS and MPO objects. For example:

    • instead of mapprime(T,0,1), use mapPrime(T,0,1) or replaceTags(T,"0","1") (note that tags that are just integer numbers are interpreted as prime levels).
    • for all tagging and priming methods, optional matching tags and indices are the last input of the function (for example, use prime(T,2,i) to increase the prime level of Index i of ITensor T by two).
    • indices used for matching are now always matched exactly, without ignoring the prime level. For example, if ITensor auto T = ITensor(i,prime(i),j) where Index i is auto i = Index(2,"i") and Index j is Index(3,"j"), to prime indices i and prime(i) use either prime(T,{i,prime(i)}) or prime(T,"i") since prime(T,i) will only prime Index i).
  • Changes to MPS and MPO Functions Some conventions and names have changed for common MPS and MPO functions, such as applyMPO and nmultMPO. For more details, please see the MPS and MPO docs.

    • Use removeQNs to remove the QNs of an MPS or MPO, instead of converting from IQMPS to MPS or IQMPO to MPO.
    • use inner and innerC instead of overlap and overlapC to get inner products of MPSs (and inner products of MPSs contracted with MPOs).
    • use trace and traceC to get the trace of an MPO or the trace of the product of two MPOs (superceding some use cases of overlap).
    • the interfaces exactApplyMPO and fitApplyMPO have been removed in favor of the single applyMPO function.
    • when calling auto y = applyMPO(A,x), for MPS x with unprimed site indices and MPO A with pairs of prime and unprimed site indices, the resulting MPS y will have primed indices (or in general, the site indices that are not shared by MPO A and x). Use y.mapPrime(1,0,"Site"), y.replaceTags("Site,1","Site,0") or y.noPrime("Site") to get back an MPS with unprimed site indices (assuming the site indices have the tag "Site").
    • for MPOs A and B with pairs of primed and unprimed site indices, contract them together with auto C = nmultMPO(prime(A),B). The inputs must share one site index per tensor, and the output MPO C will have the remaining unshared site indices (so one unprimed site index and one site index of prime level 2). One can use C.mapPrime(2,1,"Site") or C.replaceTags("Site,2","Site,1") to get an MPO C with pairs of unprimed and single-primed indices (assuming the site indices of the MPO have tags "Site").

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