Also known as Cubature, Averaging set.


A code whose codewords are uniformly distributed in a way that is useful for determining averages of polynomials over the code's underlying space \(X\). In that way, the codewords form an approximation of the space. A code is a design on \(X\) of strength \(t\), i.e., a \(t\)-design on \(X\), if the average of any polynomial of degree up to \(t\) over its codewords is equal to the uniform average over all of \(X\).

Fixed-weight codewords of a binary code can form a design on \(X\) being a Johnson space \(J^n_w\), i.e., the space of length-\(n\) binary strings of weight \(w\). Such a design is called a combinatorial design (a.k.a. block design or covering design) [1]. Designs on the full space of binary string (Hamming space) are called orthogonal arrays.

More generally, designs exist when \(X\) is \(q\)-ary Hamming space (where they are called orthogonal arrays), ordered Hamming space [2,3], \(q\)-Johnson space [4,5] (where they are called subspace designs), a sphere [6] (where they are called spherical designs), or a compact connected two-point homogeneous space [79] (the sphere or the real, complex, quaternionic, or octonionic projective spaces [10]). Complex projective designs are designs on the space of all quantum states [1113].

Designs can also exist on groups. Designs on the unitary (projective unitary) group are called strong unitary (unitary) designs [14], while \(t\)-designs on the permutation group are called permutation \(t\)-designs [15] (a.k.a. \(t\)-wise independent permutations).

Other notable designs include torus designs [16,17], simplex designs [1821], Grassmanian designs [22,23], and (exact) quadrature/cubature formulas for integration over the reals [2427]. Existence has been proven for combinatorial designs [28], subspace designs [29,30], as well as designs on continuous topological spaces [31].



  • Sharp configuration — Sharp configurations attain a universal bound expressed in terms of the minimal distance, the number of distances between codewords, and the strength of the design formed by the codewords.
  • Orthogonal array (OA) — Orthogonal arrays are designs on Hamming space \(GF(q)^n\) (a.k.a. the Hamming association scheme) [1,8,32][7; Exam. 1]; see also Ref. [33].
  • Subspace design — Subspace designs are designs on a space of fixed-weight \(q\)-ary strings (a.k.a. \(q\)-Johnson association scheme) [32].
  • Spherical design — Spherical designs are designs on real or complex spheres.


  • Kerdock code — Kerdock codes correspond to cluster states, and the corresponding Clifford-group automorphisms of this set form a particular group [34] that is a unitary two-design [35].
  • Bosonic code — The notion of quantum state designs has been extended to bosonic modes [36].
  • Haar-random qubit code — Approximating the random projections through \(t\)-designs is necessary in order to make the protocol practical. Replacing with random Clifford gates is especially convenient since the Clifford group forms a unitary 2-design and produces stabilizer codes.
  • Qubit stabilizer code — Stabilizer states on \(n\) qubits form complex projective 3-designs [37], while the Clifford group is a unitary 3-design [38,39].
  • Modular-qudit stabilizer code — Stabilizer states on \(n\) prime-dimensional qubits form complex projective 2-designs [37], while the prime-qudit Clifford group is a unitary 2-design [40].
  • Twisted \(1\)-group code — Twisted unitary \(t\)-group generalize the idea of unitary \(t\)-groups, which are subgroups of the unitary group that form unitary \(t\)-designs.


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“Design”, The Error Correction Zoo (V. V. Albert & P. Faist, eds.), 2024.
@incollection{eczoo_t-designs, title={Design}, booktitle={The Error Correction Zoo}, year={2024}, editor={Albert, Victor V. and Faist, Philippe}, url={} }
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“Design”, The Error Correction Zoo (V. V. Albert & P. Faist, eds.), 2024.