[Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals

Vinod tipparaju tipparajuv at hotmail.com
Thu Sep 3 15:21:27 CDT 2009

please consider two process case an example. In my example there are two tasks exchanging a non collective memory object because then need to communicate. If all tasks need to communicate around a similar object, they would use the collective interface to create the memory object. So you either have 2, 3, 4 or n<<N tasks exchanging necessary mem object information peer-to-peer (many intermediate solutions exist) or all tasks need to exchange. If all tasks need to do this they might as well use the collective interface. If a system that is not very able cannot allocate symmetric (WRT address space) memory underneath the collective object allocation, both shmem and this interface will have the potential to incur cache misses. Note that I still don't require a collective interface like shmem does. Please let me know if you want me to expand my explanation. 

Vinod Tipparaju ^ http://ft.ornl.gov/~vinod ^ 1-865-241-1802

From: keith.d.underwood at intel.com
To: mpi3-rma at lists.mpi-forum.org
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 09:49:17 -0600
Subject: Re: [Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals

My commentary was on the design goals…  if we allow
collective creation of memory objects, and design goal #1 simply says we don’t
require it, that may be ok.  Design goal #1 could be
interpreted to mean that you wouldn’t have collective creation in the
semantic at all.  Do you really anticipate one data type for an object
that is either collectively or non-collectively created?  


I strongly disagree with your assertion that you can communicate
with no cache misses for the non-collectively allocated memory object.  In
a non-collectively allocated case, you will have to keep an array of these on
every process, right?  i.e. one for every process you are communicating
with?  Randomly indexing that array is going to pound on your cache.


We need to make sure that we don’t ignore the overhead having
multiple communicators and heterogeneity.  Yes, I think there are ways
around this, but we should at least consider what is practical and likely
rather than just what is possible.




mpi3-rma-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org
[mailto:mpi3-rma-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org] On Behalf Of Vinod

Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:15 AM

To: MPI 3.0 Remote Memory Access working group

Subject: Re: [Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals



are correct in trying to look at the best possible case and estimating
cache-misses/performance-bottlenecks. However, personally don't see any difference
between this and shmem. When you cannot really allocate symmetric memory
underneath, the amount of bookkeeping is same in both cases. When there is no
heterogeneity, the check for this can be disabled at MPI startup. When there is
heterogeneity we cannot compare with shmem.


cannot imagine not having symmetric/collective memory object creation to
support these RMA interfaces, I think it is a must-have. Sorry I have only been
saying we should have these interfaces but haven't given any example for this
yet. Given how many times this same issue is coming up, I will do it now.


the creation interfaces:

user_ptr, IN size, OUT mem_obj)

size, OUT mem_obj)

mem_obj, IN user_address, IN size) 


will be more details on how a mem object which is a result of create_memobj on
process A will be exchanged with process B. When it is exchanged explicitly,
the heterogeneity information can be created at process B. 


take the example with symmetric object:




= allocate(mysize);


all kinds of RMA_Xfers


an example without symmetric object:


= allocate(mysize);


objects here----

all kinds of RAM_Xfers


both cases, I can see being able to communicate without any cache misses for

Vinod Tipparaju ^ http://ft.ornl.gov/~vinod ^ 1-865-241-1802

From: keith.d.underwood at intel.com

To: mpi3-rma at lists.mpi-forum.org

Date: Tue, 1 Sep 2009 09:07:41 -0600

Subject: Re: [Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals

example, and combine it with the draft design goal #1: In order to support
RMA to arbitrary locations, no constraints on memory, such as symmetric
allocation or collective window creation, can be required


get an interesting view on how difficult it can be to get “close to the
metal”.  So, for MPI_RMA_xfer, we have to assume that the user has
some array of target_mem data items.  That means the sequence of steps in
user space is:


= ranks[dest];

target_mem, dest…);


we assume that the message sizes are small and the destinations randomly
selected and the machine is large… every access to ranks is a cache miss,
and we cannot prevent that by providing fancy hardware.  This actually
leads me to believe that we may need to reconsider design goal #1, or at least
clarify what it means in a way that makes the access more efficient.


itself is no picnic either.  If we take the draft design goal #5: The RMA
model must support non-cache-coherent and heterogeneous environments, then MPI
is required to maintain a data structure for every rank (ok, it has to do this
anyway, but we are trying to get close to the metal) and do a lookup into that
data structure with every MPI_RMA_xfer to find out if the target is
heterogeneous relative to the target rank – another cache miss. 
Now, nominally, since this is inside MPI, a lower layer could absorb that
check… or, a given MPI could refuse to support heterogeneity or…
but, you get the idea.  


we’ve got two cache line loads for every transfer.  One in the
application and one in the MPI library.  One is impossible to move to the
hardware and the other is simply very difficult to move.  


a contrast, look at SHMEM.  Assume homogeneous, only one communicator
context, and hardware mapping of ranks to physical locations.  A
shmem_put() of a short item could literally be turned into a few instructions
and a processor store (on machines that supported such things). 
Personally, I think we will have done well if we can get to the point that a
reasonable hardware implementation can get MPI RMA to within 2x of a reasonable
SHMEM implementation.  I think we have a long way to go to get there.





mpi3-rma-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org
[mailto:mpi3-rma-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org] On Behalf Of Vinod

Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 5:23 AM

To: MPI 3.0 Remote Memory Access working group

Subject: Re: [Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals


points! RMA interfaces should do nothing to prevent utilizing a high message
rate (or low overhead communication) that the underlying hardware may offer. To
ensure this happens, there should always be a unrestricted path (lets call it
this for now, people have called it a "thin layer", "direct
access") to the network. 


means, despite the fact the the RMA interface has features that abstract out
complexity by providing useful characteristics such as ordering and atomicity,
it (the RMA interface) should always have this unrestricted, close to the heart
of the hardware, path. To achieve this, the unrestricted path should not
require any book keeping (from implementation perspective) in relation to the
feature-rich path or vice-versa.  


believe this is what we have demonstrated with the example interfaces hence the
null set isn't the case here :-). I will distribute an example implementation
very soon so people can get a feel.



Tipparaju ^ http://ft.ornl.gov/~vinod ^ 1-865-241-1802

> From: keith.d.underwood at intel.com

> To: mpi3-rma at lists.mpi-forum.org

> Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:17:28 -0600

> Subject: Re: [Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals


> There has been stunning silence since this email, so I will go ahead and
toss out a thought...


> In the draft design goals, I don't see two issues that I see as key. The
first is "support for high message rate/low overhead communications to
random targets". As best I can tell, this is one of the key places were
the existing one-sided operations are perceived as falling down for existing
customers of SHMEM/PGAS. The second is "elimination of the access epoch
requirement". This one may be, um, more controversial, but I believe it is
part and parcel with the first one. That is, the first one is not that valuable
if the programming model requires an excessive amount of access epoch opens and
closes just to force the global visibility of the operations. Unfortunately,
the intersection of this solution space with the solution space for the current
draft design goal #5 (support non-cache-coherent and heterogeneous
environments) may be the null set... I will hold out hope that this isn't the
case ;-)


> Keith 


> > -----Original Message-----

> > From: mpi3-rma-bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org [mailto:mpi3-rma-

> > bounces at lists.mpi-forum.org] On Behalf Of William Gropp

> > Sent: Wednesday, August 05, 2009 12:37 PM

> > To: mpi3-rma at lists.mpi-forum.org

> > Subject: [Mpi3-rma] MPI3 RMA Design Goals

> > 

> > I've added versions of the RMA design goals that we discussed at the

> > Forum meeting last week to the wiki page for our group (

> > https://svn.mpi-forum.org/trac/mpi-forum-web/wiki/RmaWikiPage

> > ). This is a draft; lets discuss these. Also, feel free to add to

> > the discussion, particularly in the background section.

> > 

> > Bill

> > 

> > William Gropp

> > Deputy Director for Research

> > Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies

> > Paul and Cynthia Saylor Professor of Computer Science

> > University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

> > 

> > 

> > 

> > 

> > _______________________________________________

> > mpi3-rma mailing list

> > mpi3-rma at lists.mpi-forum.org

> > http://lists.mpi-forum.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/mpi3-rma


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