🧬 Tools for Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization models in Julia
Author psrenergy
13 Stars
Updated Last
7 Months Ago
Started In
June 2022


CI JuliaCon 2022 Docs DOI
Tools for Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization models in Julia


The QUBOTools.jl package implements codecs for QUBO (Quadratic Unconstrained Binary Optimization) instances. Its purpose is to provide fast and reliable conversion between common formats used to represent such problems. This allows for rapid leverage of many emergent computing architectures whose job is to solve this kind of optimization problem.

The term QUBO is widely used when referring to boolean problems of the form

$$\begin{array}{rl} \min & \mathbf{x}'\ Q\ \mathbf{x} \\ \text{s.t.} & \mathbf{x} \in \mathbb{B}^{n} \end{array}$$

with symmetric $Q \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n}$. Nevertheless, this package also fully supports Ising Models, given by

$$\begin{array}{rl} \min & \mathbf{s}'\ J\ \mathbf{s} + \mathbf{h}'\ \mathbf{s} \\ \text{s.t.} & \mathbf{s} \in \left\lbrace-1, 1\right\rbrace^{n} \end{array}$$

where $J \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n}$ is triangular and $\mathbf{h} \in \mathbb{R}^{n}$.

Getting Started


julia> import Pkg

julia> Pkg.add("QUBOTools")

Basic Usage

julia> using QUBOTools

julia> model = QUBOTools.read_model("problem.json")

julia> write("problem.qubo", model)

Supported Formats

The r and w marks indicate that reading and writing modes are available for the corresponding file format, respectively.


The BQPJSON format was designed at LANL-ANSI to represent Binary Quadratic Programs in a platform-independet fashion. This is accomplished by using .json files validated using a well-defined JSON Schema.


The QUBO specification appears as the input format in many of D-Wave's applications. A brief explanation about it can be found in qbsolv's repository README.

Qubist rw

This is the simplest of all current supported formats.

MiniZinc rw

MiniZinc is a constraint modelling language that can be used as input for many solvers.


HFS is a very low-level mapping of weights to D-Wave's chimera graph.

Conversion Flowchart

Bold arrows indicate that a bijective (modulo rounding erros) conversion is available. Regular arrows indicate that some non-critical information might get lost in the process, such as problem metadata. Dashed arrows tell that even though a format conversion exists, important information such as scale and offset factors will be neglected.

flowchart TD;
    MODEL["QUBOTools Model"];






    QUBIST -.-> MODEL;

    MODEL --> HFS;


    QUBO  <==> MODEL;


The AbstractModel{D} abstract type is defined, where D <: Domain. Available variable domains are BoolDomain and SpinDomain, respectively, $x \in \mathbb{B} = \lbrace 0, 1 \rbrace$ and $s \in \lbrace -1, 1 \rbrace$. Conversion between domains follows the identity

$$s = 2x - 1$$

QUBOTools.jl also exports the StandardQUBOModel{S, U, T, D} <: AbstractModel{D} type, designed to work as a powerful standard backend for all other models. Here, S <: Any plays the role of variable indexing type and usually defaults to Int. It is followed by U <: Integer, used to store sampled states of type Vector{U}.

When D <: SpinDomain, it is necessary that U <: Signed. T <: Real is the type used to represent all coefficients. It is also the choice for the energy values corresponding to each solution. It's commonly set as Float64.

This package's mathematical formulation was inspired by BQPJSON's, and is given by

$$\min f(\mathbf{x}) = \alpha \left[{ \sum_{i < j} q_{i, j},x_{i},x_{j} +\sum_{i} l_{i},x_{i} + \beta }\right]$$

where $\alpha$ is a scaling factor, $\beta$ a constant offset, $l_{i},x_{i}$ are the linear terms and $q_{i, j},x_{i},x_{j}$ the quadratic ones.

We defined our problems to follow a minimization sense by default. The scaling factor $\alpha$ is strictly positive.

JuMP Integration

One of the main ideas was to make JuMP / MathOptInterface integration easy and, in fact, the implemented backend does a lot of the the data crunching. When S is set to MOI.VariableIndex and T matches Optimzer{T}, we can say that most of the hard work is done.

PSR Quantum Optimization Toolchain

ToQUBO.jl QUBODrivers.jl QUBOTools.jl