Learn to Use ITensor
Downloading the Library
The preferred method is to "clone" the latest version of the library using the following command
git clone https://github.com/ITensor/ITensor itensor
This allows you to track any updates to ITensor by just doing
git pull in the ITensor folder.
If you do not have git on your computer, you can obtain it through your package manager or from the
You can also download a zip file of the latest code by clicking this link.
Building the Library
Check that you have a C++ compiler and LAPACK libraries installed on your system.
- On Mac OS, this typically requires installing the free XCode package available from the App Store.
- On Linux, the
g++(gcc) program is typically available. Many package managers offer a lapack-devel package which includes the LAPACK headers.
- On Windows a good option is to install Cygwin, which lets you run Unix programs inside a terminal. If you use Cygwin, make sure to install the C++ compiler (gcc) and LAPACK packages.
Edit the user configurable options. Start by making a copy of the sample Makefile options file:
cp options.mk.sample options.mk
Then begin editing options.mk in a text editor and follow the remaining instructions.
Within the options.mk file, choose which compiler to use by setting the
CCCOMvariable. Make sure whichever compiler you select supports C++11, the latest version of the C++ standard (this is true for Clang v3.0; and G++ v4.8 and after) as well as the C++11 standard libraries and make sure to set the flag -std=c++11 or similar to enable C++11 language support.
Within the options.mk file, edit
BLAS_LAPACK_LIBFLAGSto reflect the type and location of your BLAS/LAPACK libraries. The list of currently available platforms is: macos, mkl, acml, lapack (for details see matrix/lapack_wrap.h). See examples within the file for common settings of these variables for the various platforms. The
PLATFORMvariable selects which function signature definitions will be used to wrap vendor-specific BLAS/LAPACK fortran calls into C.
Finally, at the top level of the library (same directory as this file), run the commmand "make" on the command line. If all goes well, the built library files should appear in the LIBDIR folder specified in options.mk.
Note: sometimes ITensor has issues compiling if the make "-j" flag is used
(this flag enables parallel compilation on multi-core machines). Try
disabling it (e.g. explicitly type
make -j 1) if you have compilation
Building the sample and sandbox apps
We have provided sample applications under the "sample" directory. If you would like to experiment with these, consider making a copy of this folder to keep the original sample codes as a reference (and experiment on the copy).
To build the sample apps, simply 'cd' into the "sample" folder and type 'make'.
To build an individual app type 'make
Linking your own applications to the libraries
We strongly recommend placing your own client/driver code outside the ITensor library source directory. The location you choose is up to you.
To get started quickly on your own driver code, we have put a folder
project_template under the
tutorial folder. Copy the
folder to your personal software folder then follow the instructions in the
Makefile to customize it.
Helpful Makefile variables in options.mk
options.mk file at the top level of the ITensor source directory
defines a number of Makefile variables that you may find useful in writing
your own Makefiles. To include these variables, at the top of your Makefile
put the lines
LIBRARY_DIR=/path/to/itensor include $(LIBRARY_DIR)/this_dir.mk include $(LIBRARY_DIR)/options.mk
where of course
/path/to/itensor/ should be replaced with the actual
location of the ITensor source directory on your machine.
options.mk file in this way defines certain useful
variables such as
ITENSOR_INCLUDEFLAGS: compiler flags (of the form
-I/folder/name) specifying paths to ITensor header files, Boost header files, and BLAS/LAPACK header files.
ITENSOR_LIBDIR: the path to the lib/ subdirectory of the ITensor source directory
ITENSOR_LIBFLAGS: flags that specify the names of the statically linked ITensor library files, for example
-litensor -lmatrix -lutilities.
OPTIMIZATIONS: user-defined compiler optimization flags, such as
-O2. It can be helpful for these to match the ones used to build ITensor.
DEBUGFLAGS: user-defined compiler debug-mode flags.
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