Publications in Scientific Journals:

A. Carpen-Amarie, S. Hunold, J. Träff:
"On expected and observed communication performance with MPI derived datatypes";
Parallel Computing, Volume 69 (2017), Issue November; 98 - 117.

English abstract:
We are interested in the cost of communicating simple, common, non-contiguous data layouts in various scenarios using the MPI derived datatype mechanism. Our aim is twofold. First, we provide a framework for studying communication performance for non-contiguous data layouts described with MPI derived datatypes in comparison to baseline performance with the same amount of contiguously stored data. Second, we explicate natural expectations on derived datatype communication performance that any MPI library implementation should arguably fulfill. These expectations are stated semi-formally as MPI datatype performance guidelines.
Using our framework, we examine several MPI libraries on two different systems. Our findings are in many ways surprising and disappointing. First, using derived datatypes as intended by the MPI standard sometimes performs worse than the semantically equivalent packing and unpacking with the corresponding MPI functionality followed by contiguous communication. Second, communication performance with a single, contiguous datatype can be significantly worse than a repetition of its constituent datatype. Third, the heuristics that are typically employed by MPI libraries at type-commit time turn out to be insufficient to enforce the performance guidelines, showing room for better algorithms and heuristics for representing and processing derived datatypes in MPI libraries. In particular, we show cases where all MPI type constructors are necessary to achieve the expected performance.
Our findings provide useful information to MPI library implementers, and hints to application programmers on good use of derived datatypes. Improved MPI libraries can be validated using our framework and approach.

MPI (Message-Passing Interface); Derived datatypes; Non-contiguous communication; Benchmarking; Performance guidelines

"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

Related Projects:
Project Head Jesper Larsson Träff:

Project Head Jesper Larsson Träff:

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.