Lattice Builder

A general software tool for constructing rank-1 lattice rules

Lattice rules are often used as a replacement for Monte Carlo to integrate multidimensional functions. For certain problems, well-constructed lattice rules can dramatically reduce the integration error with respect to Monte Carlo.

Lattice Builder is a software tool and library that implements a variety of construction algorithms for good rank-1 lattice rules. It supports exhaustive and random searches, as well as component-by-component (CBC) and random CBC constructions, for any number of points, and for various measures of (non)uniformity of the points. The implemented measures include the weighted Pα square discrepancy, the Rα criterion, and figures of merit based on the spectral test, with projection-dependent weights. For numbers of points that are integer powers of a prime base, the construction of embedded rank-1 lattice rules is supported through any of the above algorithms, and also through a fast CBC algorithm, with a variety of possibilities for the normalization of the merit values of individual embedded levels and for their combination into a single merit value.

Get the Software


Quick Start Guide

The easiest way to use Lattice Builder is to:

  1. Install Python (required for the web application).
  2. Download a binary package corresponding to your platform (currently, we are able to provide binary packages only for Linux and Windows platforms).
  3. Unpack the downloaded archive into a location of your choice. No further installation is required.
  4. Navigate to the directory named latbuilder in the unpacked archive, then to the subdirectory named bin.
  5. To use the Lattice Builder Web Application, launch the Python script. If Python is installed correctly, the web application will be displayed in your web browser.
  6. To use Lattice Builder Command-Line Tool, invoke the latbuilder (or latbuilder.exe for Windows users) program with appropriate arguments.

Binary Releases

Binary (pre-compiled) releases of Lattice Builder are available for Linux and Microsoft Windows platforms. These include the executable latbuilder program, library and documentation, together with the web application.

The binary distribution packages, under the latbuilder base directory, have the following directory structure:

Compiling the Source Code

Software Dependencies

Compiling Lattice Builder requires the following software to be installed on the system:

MacOS users can install these dependencies through MacPorts by installing the MacPorts software, then by installing the following packages: python27, boost, fftw-3, git and doxygen.

You will also need a recent compiler compliant with the C++11 standard. Lattice Builder is known to compile using:

Obtaining the Source Code

Get the latest source tree from GitHub, either by typing:

git clone

If Git is not available on your system, you can click on the Download ZIP link from the Lattice Builder GitHub page, then by unzipping the downloaded archive.

Configuring the Build

Lattice Builder relies on the waf meta build system for configuring and compiling the software source. Waf is included in the Lattice Builder source tree, but it depends on Python, which must be available on the system on which Lattice Builder is to be compiled.

The commands below should work verbatim under Linux and MacOS systems. Microsoft Windows users should replace every instance of ./waf with C:\Python27\python waf, assuming that the Python executable (python.exe) was installed under C:\Python27, or simply with python waf if the Python installation path is accessible from the system %PATH% environment variable.

Change the current directory to the root directory of the package, for example:

cd latbuilder

if you obtained the source code with the git command. If you obtained the source code from the ZIP archive, the directory should be named latbuilder-master instead of latbuilder. At the root of the source tree lies the waf script, manages the build process. Try:

./waf --help

to see the various commands and options. The most relevant options include --out to specify the directory in which the files created during the build process will be placed, --prefix to specify the directory under which you wish to install the Lattice Builder software once it is compiled, and --boost and --fftw to specify the directories under which Boost and FFTW were installed, if not under standard system directories. First, the project must be configured with:

./waf configure --prefix $HOME/latsoft

with $HOME/latsoft replaced with the directory into which you wish to install Lattice Builder. Here, $HOME will expand to your own home directory; you can specify any other directory to which you have permissions for write access, e.g., with --prefix /tmp/latsoft.

If Boost and FFTW are not part of the standard system installation and were manually installed under, say, the /opt/boost and /opt/fftw directories — which means that /opt/boost and /opt/fftw both contain subdirectories named include and lib — the following command indicates waf where to find these two libraries:

./waf configure --prefix $HOME/latsoft --boost /opt/boost --fftw /opt/fftw configure --link-static

The --link-static option suggested above will cause the Boost and FFTW libraries to be linked statically to the executable program, which may be desirable especially if these are not installed in standard locations.

It is possible to set the CXX environment variable to the path to a specific C++ compiler to be used to build Lattice Builder, before running the waf configure command.

The above waf configure commands configures waf for a minimal build, without documentation nor code examples. These can be built by appending the following options to waf configure:

Errors will be reported if required software components cannot be found. In that case, you should check the Boost and FFTW installation paths.

Building and Installing

Once everything is configured correctly, the following command will build the Lattice Builder library and command-line tool:

./waf build

If the build process completed without errors, Lattice Builder can be installed to $HOME/latsoft, or any directory specified with the --prefix options during the configuration step, with:

./waf install

The Lattice Builder executable can be found at $HOME/latsoft/bin/latbuilder (with an additional .exe extension under Windows systems).

Before executing the Lattice Builder program, it may be necessary to to add the paths to the Boost and FFTW libraries to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH (for Linux) or to the DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH (for MacOS) environment variables, especially if you did not use the --link-static option on waf configure. For example, if you're using an sh-compatible shell and Boost and FFTW were manually installed under the /opt/boost and /opt/fftw directories, respectively, type:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/boost/lib:/opt/fftw/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

under Linux, or


under MacOS.

Microsoft Windows users might need to copy the Boost and FFTW DLLs into the same directory ($HOME/latsoft/bin, for example) as the latbuilder executable program.

To check that the program installed correctly, run:

$HOME/latsoft/bin/latbuilder --version

which should report the current Lattice Builder version. Help on usage can be obtained by replacing the --version switch with the --help switch.

Using Lattice Builder

The Lattice Builder Command-Line Tool

Information on using the Lattice Builder program is given in the Lattice Builder command line tutorial that can also be found in share/doc/latbuilder/html/cmdtut.html. Compact usage information can also be obtained with bin/latbuilder --help.

As a concrete example of how the program can be used, to construct, using the component-by-component (CBC) algorithm, a rank-1 lattice rule with 8191 points in 5 dimensions using the Pα criterion with α=2 and with uniform product weights with value 0.1, issue the following command (from the installation directory):

bin/latbuilder -l ordinary -n 8191 -d 5 -m CU:P2 -w product:0.1 -c CBC

The above command line assumes that the current working directory is that which contains the bin subdirectory. If you installed a binary package, it is the latbuilder directory at the root of the package.

Microsoft Windows users should replace bin/latbuilder with bin\latbuilder.exe in the above.

The Lattice Builder Web Application

The Lattice Builder Web Application is included in the binary packages. Python must be installed on the host machine. A connection to the Internet is also necessary to display the mathematical symbols. The local web server can be started by launching the following Python script:


The web application can then be used by connecting a browser to the It requires the Lattice Builder program above to be working properly.

Microsoft Windows users should replace bin/ with C:\Python27\python.exe bin\ in the above, assuming that Python was installed under C:\Python27.


The Lattice Builder Library

Understanding the API

Several examples of code using the Lattice Builder application programming interface (API) can be found under the share/doc/latbuilder/examples directory under the installation directory and in subdirectories.

To teach yourself how to code using the Lattice Builder library, you can read:

Compiling and Linking

Compiling and linking code with the Lattice Builder library requires the same software dependencies to be available as for compiling the Lattice Builder program itself.

External software can make use of the Lattice Builder libraries by setting the compiler to use the C++11 standard, by adding the include and lib directories (under the installation directory) to the include and library paths, respectively, then by linking with the latcommon and latbuilder libraries, together with the fftw3 library. An example Makefile to build a project that uses the Lattice Builder application programming interface (API) can be found under $HOME/latsoft/share/doc/latbuilder/examples/myproject. If you compiled Lattice Builder yourself from the source code, this Makefile will be adapted to your specific system configuration; otherwise, it may need to be customized.

In particular, if Lattice Builder, Boost and FFTW were respectively installed under $HOME/latsoft, /opt/boost and /opt/FFTW, a C++ source file called can be compiled and linked into an executable called myprog by using the following command line with GCC:

g++ -std=c++11 -I$HOME/latsoft/include -I/opt/boost/include -I/opt/fftw/include -O2 -o myprog -L$HOME/latsoft/lib -l latbuilder -l latcommon -L/opt/fftw/lib -l fftw3

With clang, just replace g++ with clang++.

Using Lattice Builder with Xcode 6.0

To create an Xcode project that uses Lattice Builder, follow the following steps:

  1. Create a new Xcode projet as: Application ► Command Line Tool
  2. Once the Xcode project displays, select the application name (blue file) on the left pane.
  3. Set Build Settings ► Search Paths ► Always Search User Paths to Yes.
  4. To Build Settings ► Search Paths ► User Header Search Paths, add the path to the include directory from your Lattice Builder installation (e.g., /Users/me/latbuilder/include) and the paths to the include directories from your Boost and FFTW installations if not under standard system locations.
  5. To Build Phases ► Link Binary With Libraries, add (+) the following files:
    • liblatbuilder.a and liblatcommon.a from the lib directory of your Lattice Builder installation (e.g., /Users/me/latbuilder/lib);
    • libfftw3.a from your FFTW installation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What construction type should I use to find good high-dimensional lattices in reasonable time?

Fast CBC with a coordinate-uniform figure of merit.

For example, the following command line performs a fast CBC construction using the weighted Pα criterion with α=2 and with product weights giving the same weight of 0.01 to every coordinate (this means a weight of 10-2 for projections of order 1, of 10-4 for projections of order 2, of 10-6 for projections of order 3, etc.):

latbuilder -l ordinary -n 2^16 -d 100 -m CU:P2 -c fast-CBC -w product:0.01

The above search is for n=216=65,536 points in dimension 100. Lattice Builder does that very quickly. It may be necessary to enclose some arguments in double quotes, depending on the shell (command line interpreter), e.g.:

latbuilder -l "ordinary" -n "2^16" -d "100" -m "CU:P2" -c "fast-CBC" -w "product:0.01"