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Publications of SPCL

T. Hoefler, J. Squyres, W. Rehm, A. Lumsdaine:

 A Case for Non-Blocking Collective Operations

(Vol 4331/2006, Nr. , In Frontiers of High Performance Computing and Networking - ISPA'06 Workshops, presented in Sorrento, Italy, pages 155-164, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, ISSN: , ISBN: 978-3-540-49860-5, Dec. 2006)


Non-blocking collective operations for MPI have been in discussion for a long time. We want to contribute to this discussion and to give a rationale for the usage these operations and assess their possible benefits. A LogGP model for the CPU overhead of collective algo- rithms and a benchmark to measures it are provided and show a large potential to overlap communication and computation. We show that non-blocking collective operations can provide at least the same benefits as non-blocking point to point operations already do. Our claim is that actual CPU overhead for non-blocking collective operations depends on the message size and the communicator size and benefits especially highly scalable applications with huge communicators. We prove that the share of the overhead of the overall communication time of current blocking collective operations gets smaller with bigger communicators and larger messages. We show that the user level CPU overhead is less than 10% for MPICH2 and LAM/MPI using TCP/IP communication, which leads us to the conclusion that, by using non-blocking collective communication, ideally 90% idle CPU time can be freed for the application.


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  author={Torsten Hoefler and J. Squyres and Wolfgang Rehm and Andrew Lumsdaine},
  title={{A Case for Non-Blocking Collective Operations}},
  booktitle={Frontiers of High Performance Computing and Networking - ISPA'06 Workshops},
  location={Sorrento, Italy},
  publisher={Springer Berlin / Heidelberg},