[Mpi3-ft] system-level C/R requirements

Supalov, Alexander alexander.supalov at intel.com
Fri Oct 24 16:27:55 CDT 2008

Thanks. Can (or should) one define semantics better than those of the
MPI_INIT and MPI_FINALIZE? MPI job starts after MPI_Init. The job ends
after MPI_Finalize. What happens before and after is almost undefined.
This is about all the standard specifies, and it's rather clear why: it
cannot prescribe the way in which processes are started, because it's
very system specific. CR is possibly even more system specific.

Let's get back to the proposal:


Use MPI_COMM_WORLD for global CR. Use MPI_COMM_SELF for local CR.

Call the first function immediately before the checkpoint, do the
checkpoint the way you like, and call the second immediately after to
re-enter the MPI session where you left it.

What else can be added to make this more clear and more precise than
MPI_INIT and MPI_FINALIZE definitions?

-----Original Message-----
From: mpi3-ft-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org
[mailto:mpi3-ft-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org] On Behalf Of Greg
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 11:14 PM
To: MPI 3.0 Fault Tolerance and Dynamic Process Control working Group;
MPI 3.0 Fault Tolerance and Dynamic Process Control working Group
Subject: Re: [Mpi3-ft] system-level C/R requirements

I think that the problem for the forum will be the unclear semantics 
of the new calls. MPI_Init is not a good example because it has clear 
semantics for all users of MPI but not system-level services. The 
difference with the quiscence calls is that we're trying to provide a 
way to by-pass to regular MPI semantics and plug into the middle of 
MPI without precisely defining how the by-pass works. Precise 
semantics didn't matter for MPI_Init exactly because there has never 
been a way to look into the MPI implementation until now. The 
solution to this is to provide very loose semantics to the new calls 
but this just means that there will actually be no standard way to 
use the new calls, which is why I'm afraid the forum will not like it.

I can think of only two things that we can compare these calls to. 
The first is the proposed performance hint API. However, this API is 
just about hints and may not be a good enough analogy for the rest of 
the forum. The other analogy is the performance profiling APIs that 
some MPI implementation support. These APIs allow tools to determine 
some statistics about internal MPI state. If that is the analogy that 
is drawn, then it is bad for this proposal because I don't think that 
the performance profiling API ever got much support because of the 
issues that we're discussing here.

Greg Bronevetsky
Post-Doctoral Researcher
1028 Building 451
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
(925) 424-5756
bronevetsky1 at llnl.gov

At 02:03 PM 10/24/2008, Supalov, Alexander wrote:
>Thanks. I can't speak for the whole Forum, but my impression is that if
>the choice will be between solving the problem of MPI and CR on one
>hand, and not solving it on the other hand, a reasonable proposal will
>go a long way toward convincing the majority, or at least moving the
>discussion to a still better proposal.
>As for the number of calls, this is question of ROI. We're going to add
>200 or so fancy calls by the latest guess, while here we have just 2
>that offer basic functionality of undeniable value. This should be

>Finally, I don't know a more implementation specific call than
>The proposed calls live close nearby.

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