### Abstract

We perform a direct variational determination of the second-order (two-particle) density matrix corresponding to a many-electron system, under a restricted set of the two-index $N$-representability $\mathcal{P}$-, $\mathcal{Q}$-, and $\mathcal{G}$-conditions. In addition, we impose a set of necessary constraints that the two-particle density matrix must be derivable from a doubly-occupied many-electron wave function, i.e.\ a singlet wave function for which the Slater determinant decomposition only contains determinants in which spatial orbitals are doubly occupied. We rederive the two-index $N$-representability conditions first found by Weinhold and Wilson and apply them to various benchmark systems (linear hydrogen chains, He, $\text{N}_2$ and $\text{CN}^-$). This work is motivated by the fact that a doubly-occupied many-electron wave function captures in many cases the bulk of the static correlation. Compared to the general case, the structure of doubly-occupied two-particle density matrices causes the associate semidefinite program to have a very favorable scaling as $L^3$, where $L$ is the number of spatial orbitals. Since the doubly-occupied Hilbert space depends on the choice of the orbitals, variational calculation steps of the two-particle density matrix are interspersed with orbital-optimization steps (based on Jacobi rotations in the space of the spatial orbitals). We also point to the importance of symmetry breaking of the orbitals when performing calculations in a doubly-occupied framework.