What is QIS-XML?

QIS-XML is a draft XML specification for the management of metadata in the emerging field of Quantum Information Science (QIS). The purpose of the specification is to provide a metadata model and tools to describe low level objects and concepts. A prototype module is also under development for the capture of information regarding quantum hardware.

The main objectives of QIS-XML are:

  • Provide a standard mechanism to describe quantum gates, quantum circuits, quantum pseudo-code and quantum device capabilities
  • Ensure Inter-operability of quantum systems with classic computer systems
  • Facilitate the integration of quantum technology in existing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure
  • Provide a framework for the storage and exchange of information by QIS software
  • Build the foundation for quantum compilers and procedure calls
  • Support the development of educational tools
  • Foster a better understanding of QIS amongst ICT experts

For a general introduction to QIS-XML, see "QIS-XML: A metadata specification for Quantum Information Science", Pascal Heus, Richard Gomez, Dec 2007, arXiv:0712.3925v1


Quantum Information Science is in its infancy. However, while we do not know precisely when production level quantum hardware will become available, rapid progress is being made and prototype quantum systems have been demonstrated to work. QIS research however has been so far primarily lead by physicists and the ICT community has shown little interest in it. This has been an impediment to the development of QIS as it will somehow need to smoothly integrate and co-exists with classic ICT. This lack of IT expertise may also lead to improperly designed architecture or incompatible systems.

QIS-XML is an effort to address some of these issues by bridging both fields though a widely accepted technology: the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Having an XML specification available will allow systems from both domains to understand each other. It will also familiarize IT experts with QIS technology by presenting quantum concepts through the well understood XML language. QIS will also benefit from the XML technology which will facilitate the development and harmonization of tools.

QIS-XML for the researcher

If you are a researcher in Quantum Information Science working on architecture, systems, or tools, QIS-XML will support your work by providing a solid metadata model for the description of gates, circuits an pseudo-code. By using an industry standard open technology, it will also ensure that your product will integrate smoothly within the classic information science infrastructure.

QIS-XML for ICT experts

If you are an ICT expert, QIS-XML will help you understand the foundation of Quantum Information Science and facilitate the integration of local or remote quantum hardware (such as quantum co-processors) in your products. It also facilitate the development and inter-operability of software tools by ensuring a common representation framework.

QIS-XML for Quantum equipment manufacturers

If you are producing quantum hardware (circuits, co-processors, computers), adopting QIS-XML will facilitate the integration of your product with other systems (classic or quantum) and ensure compatibility with QIS-XML based tools. Note that this does not precludes the use of proprietary solutions but mainly provides a generic abstratcion layer to exchnange information with other systems or tools.

QIS-XML Status and Timeline?

While fully usable, QIS-XML is currently in its proof of concept state and is moving towards a draft specification. The current plan is to have a version available for public review in the first half of 2008. The future of QIS-XML greatly depends on its adoption and the establishment of a well supported community. An XML specification cannot be lead by individual effort and, without institutional support and adoption, such specification is not sustainable. If you are interested in the QIS-XML initiave and can potentially support to its adoption, maintenannce and development, we encourage you to ontact us to discuss possible collaboration options.