Argonne researchers receive award for MPI performance study

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This just in via email, news that a research team from Argonne National Lab has been selected as one of the award winners at this year’s  International Supercomputing Conference in Hamburg. From the abstract:

As high-end computing systems continue to grow in scale, the performance that applications can achieve on such large scale systems depends heavily on their ability to avoid explicitly synchronized communication with other processes in the system. Accordingly, several modern and legacy parallel programming models (such as MPI, UPC, Global Arrays) have provided many programming constructs that enable implicit communication using one-sided communication operations. While MPI is the most widely used communication model for scientific computing, the usage of one-sided communication is restricted; this is mainly owing to the inefficiencies in current MPI implementations that internally rely on synchronization between processes even during one-sided communication, thus losing the potential of such constructs.

In our previous work, we had utilized native one-sided communication primitives offered by high-speed networks such as InfiniBand (IB) to allow for true one-sided communication inMPI. In this paper, we extend this work to natively take advantage of one-sided atomic operations on cache-coherent multi-core/multi-processor architectures while still utilizing the benefits of networks such as IB. Specifically, we present a sophisticated hybrid design that uses locks that migrate between IB hardware atomics and multi-core CPU atomics to take advantage of both. We demonstrate the capability of our proposed design with a wide range of experiments illustrating its benefits in performance as well as its potential to avoid explicit synchronization.

This is the second year in succession that MCS Division researchers have won an outstanding paper award at the ISC. You can download the paper here [PDF].


  1. Christian Bell says

    Actually, the paper is exclusively about IB and multicore machines (not Bluegene). It discusses a mechanism to change between network and CPU-based locking in multicore clusters.

  2. John West says

    Christian – Thanks for the correction. I went by the info I was emailed…correction made.

  3. Matthew Koop says

    I think you have the wrong paper referenced here. ANL has one of three best papers at ISC. The one to mention is:

    Toward Message Passing for a Million Processes: Characterizing MPI on a Massive Scale Blue Gene. PDF:

    The other award winners:

    Faster FAST: Multicore Acceleration of Streaming Financial Data
    Davide Pasetto, IBM Computational Science Center, Ireland

    High Scalability Multipole Method. Solving Half Billion of Unknowns, J. C. Mouriño, Supercomputing Center of Galicia (CESGA), Spain