[Mpi-forum] MPI_Abort - meaning

Richard Treumann treumann at us.ibm.com
Mon Apr 5 10:18:30 CDT 2010

It has come to my attention that there is at least one MPI user who
considers an MPI_Abort call to be a legitimate way to terminate an
application that has reached a correct result. I gather the situation is
that as soon as any task has a result it decides is satisfactory, whatever
the other tasks are working on becomes instantly irrelevant.

Is this a situation other members of the Forum consider as common or at
least legitimate?  I can see the approach as legitimate but question the
use of MPI_Abort.

Would you regard it as legitimate to consider an application that ended
with a call to MPI_Abort to be successful? If so, should we say something
explicit in the MPI_Abort description?

Should there be something new like MPI_Quit which is defined as a "correct"
single task termination of an MPI application?

We currently say that MPI_Abort makes a "best attempt" which to me implies
it is not guaranteed by the standard that it will really leave the system
as good as new. I am not aware of anybody having a problem making MPI_Abort
a total termination of processes and recovery of resources but the escape
hatch is there for an MPI implementation that was unable to do a perfectly
clean Abort.


Dick Treumann  -  MPI Team
IBM Systems & Technology Group
Dept X2ZA / MS P963 -- 2455 South Road -- Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Tele (845) 433-7846         Fax (845) 433-8363
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