Publications in Scientific Journals:

J. Träff, S. Hunold, G. Mercier, D. Holmes:
"MPI collective communication through a single set of interfaces: A case for orthogonality";
Parallel Computing, Volume 107 (2021), 102826:1 - 102826:11.

English abstract:
We present and discuss a unified view of and interface for collective communication in the MPI (Message-Passing Interface) standard that in a natural way exploits MPI´s orthogonality of concepts. We observe that the currently separate and different interfaces for sparse and global collective communication can be unified under the global collective communication interfaces, and at the same time lead to leaner and stronger support for stencil-like, sparse collective communication on Cartesian communicators. Our observations not only significantly reduce the number of concrete operation interfaces, but extend the functionality that can be supported by MPI while provisioning for possible future, much more wide-ranging functionality.

We suggest to (re)define communicators as the sole carriers of the topological structure over processes that determines the semantics of the collective operations, and to limit the functions that can associate topological information with communicators to the functions for distributed graph topology and inter-communicator creation. As a consequence, one set of interfaces for collective communication operations (in blocking, non-blocking, and persistent variants) will suffice, thereby explicitly eliminating the MPI_Neighbor_ interfaces (in all variants) from the MPI standard. Topological structure will no longer be implied by Cartesian communicators, which in turn will have the sole role of naming processes in a (𝑑-dimensional, Euclidean) geometric point-space. The geometric naming can be passed to the topology creating functions as part of the communicator, and guide process rank reordering and topological collective algorithm selection. We also explore ramifications of our proposal for one-sided communication.

Concretely, at the price of only one essential, additional function, our suggestion eliminates 10 concrete collective function interfaces from MPI 3.1, and 15 from MPI 4.0, while providing vastly more optimization scope for the MPI library implementation. Interfaces for Cartesian communicators can likewise be simplified and/or eliminated from the MPI standard, as could the general active (post-start) synchronization mechanism for one-sided communication.

Message-Passing Interface (MPI), Collective operations, Neighborhood collectives, Communicators, Cartesian communicators

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

Related Projects:
Project Head Jesper Larsson Träff:
Process Mapping

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