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Q-CTRL Open Controls


Q-CTRL Open Controls is an open-source Python package that makes it easy to create and deploy established error-robust quantum control protocols from the open literature. The aim of the package is to be the most comprehensive library of published and tested quantum control techniques developed by the community, with easy to use export functions allowing users to deploy these controls on:

Anyone interested in quantum control is welcome to contribute to this project.


Q-CTRL Open Controls can be installed through pip or from source. We recommend the pip distribution to get the most recent stable release. If you want the latest features, then install from source.


To use Q-CTRL Open Controls you will need an installation of Python. We recommend using the Anaconda distribution of Python. Anaconda includes standard numerical and scientific Python packages which are optimally compiled for your machine. Follow the Anaconda Installation instructions and consult the Anaconda User guide to get started.

We use interactive jupyter notebooks for our usage examples. The Anaconda python distribution comes with editors for these files, or you can install the jupyter notebook editor on its own.

Using PyPi

Use pip to install the latest version of Q-CTRL Open Controls.

pip install qctrl-open-controls

From source

The source code is hosted on GitHub. The repository can be cloned using

git clone

Once the clone is complete, you have two options:

  1. Using Poetry

    Follow the instructions from the Poetry documentation to install Poetry.

    After you have installed Poetry, use:

    cd open-controls
    poetry install
  2. Using pip

    cd open-controls
    poetry export --dev -f requirements.txt --output requirements.txt --without-hashes
    pip install -r requirements.txt
    pip install -e .
    rm requirements.txt

Once installed via one of the above methods, test your installation by running pytest in the open-controls directory.



See the Jupyter notebooks examples and the Q-CTRL Open Controls reference documentation.


For general guidelines, see Contributing.

Building documentation

Documentation generation relies on Sphinx. The reference documentation for the latest released version of Q-CTRL Open Controls is hosted online in the Q-CTRL documentation website.

To build it locally:

  1. Ensure you have used one of the install options above.

  2. Execute the make file from the docs directory:

    If using Poetry:

    cd docs
    poetry run make html

    If using pip:

    cd docs
    # Activate your virtual environment if required
    make html

The generated HTML will appear in the docs/_build/html directory.

Formatting, linting, and static analysis

Code is formatted, linted and checked using the following tools:

These checks are run on all code merged to master, and may also be run locally from the open-controls directory:

pip install black isort mypy pylint
isort --check .
black --check .
pylint .

Note that you can speed up the execution of Pylint by running it in the parallel mode with the -j option: pylint -j 0 .. See the official documentation for details.

Black and isort, in addition to checking code, can also automatically apply fixes. To fix all code in the open-controls tree, run:

black .

You can also run these checks only in the files that you changed by using the pre-commit tool. To use it, run:

pip install pre-commit
pre-commit install

With this, the checks will run every time that you commit code with git commit. If you prefer to run the checks every time that you push changes instead of when you commit changes, use pre-commit install -t pre-push.

If you no longer wish to use pre-commit, you can uninstall it by running pre-commit uninstall in the open-controls directory (or by running pre-commit uninstall -t pre-push, if you used the pre-push hooks).


See Contributors.