Data Sets Tutorial

This tutorial demonstrates how to create and use DataSet objects. At its core Gate Set Tomography finds a gate set which best fits some experimental data, and in pyGSTi a DataSet is used to hold that data. DataSets are essentially nested dictionaries which associate a count (a number, typically an integer) with (gate string, SPAM label) pairs so that dataset[gateString][spamLabel] can be used to read & write the number of spamLabel outcomes of the experiment given by the sequence gateString.

There are a few important differences between a DataSet and a dictionary-of-dictionaries:

  • DataSet objects can be in one of two modes: static or non-static. When in non-static mode, data can be freely modified within the set, making this mode to use during the data-entry. In the static mode, data cannot be modified and the DataSet is essentially read-only. The done_adding_data method of a DataSet switches from non-static to static mode, and should be called, as the name implies, once all desired data has been added (or modified). Once a DataSet is static, it is read-only for the rest of its life; to modify its data the best one can do is make a non-static copy via the copy_nonstatic member and modify the copy.

  • When data for a gate string is present in a DataSet, counts must exist for all SPAM labels. That is, for a given gate string, you cannot store counts for only a subset of the SPAM labels. Because of this condition, dictionary-access syntax of the SPAM label (i.e. dataset[gateString][spamLabel]) cannot be used to write counts for new gateString keys; One must either assign an entire dictionary of SPAM label-count pairs to dataset[gateString] or use the add_xxx methods (these methods add data for all SPAM labels at once).

Once a DataSet is constructed, filled with data, and made static, it is typically passed as a parameter to one of pyGSTi's algorithm or driver routines to find a GateSet estimate based on the data. This tutorial focuses on how to construct a DataSet and modify its data. Later tutorials will demonstrate the different GST algorithms.

In [1]:
import pygsti

Creating a DataSet

There three basic ways to create DataSet objects in pygsti:

  • By creating an empty DataSet object and manually adding counts corresponding to gate strings. Remember that the add_xxx methods must be used to add data for gate strings not yet in the DataSet. Once the data is added, be sure to call done_adding_data, as this restructures the internal storage of the DataSet to optimize the access operations used by algorithms.
  • By loading from a text-format dataset file via The result is a ready-to-use-in-algorithms static DataSet, so there's no need to call done_adding_data this time.
  • By using a GateSet to generate "fake" data via generate_fake_data. This can be useful for doing simulations of GST, and comparing to your experimental results.

We do each of these in turn in the cells below.

In [2]:
#1) Creating a data set from scratch
#    Note that tuples may be used in lieu of GateString objects
ds1 = pygsti.objects.DataSet(spamLabels=['plus','minus'])
ds1.add_count_dict( ('Gx',), {'plus': 10, 'minus': 90} )
ds1.add_count_dict( ('Gx','Gy'), {'plus': 40, 'minus': 60} )
ds1[('Gy',)] = {'plus': 10, 'minus': 90} # dictionary assignment

#Modify existing data using dictionary-like access
ds1[('Gx',)]['plus'] = 15
ds1[('Gx',)]['minus'] = 85

#GateString objects can be used.
gs = pygsti.objects.GateString( ('Gx','Gy'))
ds1[gs]['plus'] = 45
ds1[gs]['minus'] = 55

In [3]:
#2) By creating and loading a text-format dataset file.  The first
#    row is a directive which specifies what the columns (after the
#    first one) holds.  Other allowed values are "plus frequency", 
#    "minus count", etc.  Note that "plus" and "minus" in are the 
#    SPAM labels and must match those of any GateSet used in 
#    conjuction with this DataSet.
dataset_txt = \
"""## Columns = plus count, count total
{} 0 100
Gx 10 90
GxGy 40 60
Gx^4 20 90
ds2 ="tutorial_files/Example_TinyDataset.txt")
Loading tutorial_files/Example_TinyDataset.txt: 100%
In [4]:
#3) By generating fake data (using our example gate list string from the previous tutorial)

#Load the example gate set from Tutorial 01
gateset ="tutorial_files/Example_Gateset.txt")

#Depolarize it (Tutorial 01)
depol_gateset = gateset.depolarize(gate_noise=0.1)

#Load the example gatestring list from Tutorial 02
gatestring_list ="tutorial_files/Example_GatestringList.txt")

#Generate fake data (Tutorial 00)
ds3 =, gatestring_list, nSamples=1000,
                                             sampleError='binomial', seed=100)
ds3b =, gatestring_list, nSamples=50,
                                              sampleError='binomial', seed=100)

#Write the ds3 and ds3b datasets to a file for later tutorials"tutorial_files/Example_Dataset.txt", ds3, spamLabelOrder=['plus','minus'])"tutorial_files/Example_Dataset_LowCnts.txt", ds3b) 

Viewing DataSets

In [5]:
#It's easy to just print them:
print "Dataset1:\n",ds1
print "Dataset2:\n",ds2
print "Dataset3 is too big to print, so here it is truncated to Dataset2's strings\n", ds3.truncate(ds2.keys())
Gx  :  {'plus': 15.0, 'minus': 85.0}
GxGy  :  {'plus': 45.0, 'minus': 55.0}
Gy  :  {'plus': 10.0, 'minus': 90.0}

{}  :  {'plus': 0.0, 'minus': 100.0}
Gx  :  {'plus': 10.0, 'minus': 80.0}
GxGy  :  {'plus': 40.0, 'minus': 20.0}
GxGxGxGx  :  {'plus': 20.0, 'minus': 70.0}

Dataset3 is too big to print, so here it is truncated to Dataset2's strings
{}  :  {'plus': 0.0, 'minus': 1000.0}
Gx  :  {'plus': 499.0, 'minus': 501.0}
GxGy  :  {'plus': 504.0, 'minus': 496.0}
GxGxGxGx  :  {'plus': 171.0, 'minus': 829.0}

Iteration over data sets

In [6]:
# A DataSet's keys() method returns a list of GateString objects
[GateString(Gx), GateString(GxGy), GateString(Gy)]
In [7]:
# There are many ways to iterate over a DataSet.  Here's one:
for gatestring in ds1.keys():
    dsRow = ds1[gatestring]
    for spamlabel in dsRow.keys():
        print "Gatestring = %s, SPAM label = %s, count = %d" % \
            (gatestring, spamlabel, dsRow[spamlabel])
Gatestring = Gx, SPAM label = plus, count = 15
Gatestring = Gx, SPAM label = minus, count = 85
Gatestring = GxGy, SPAM label = plus, count = 45
Gatestring = GxGy, SPAM label = minus, count = 55
Gatestring = Gy, SPAM label = plus, count = 10
Gatestring = Gy, SPAM label = minus, count = 90
In [8]: