Test Suite for Evaluating Performance of MPI Implementations That Support MPI_THREAD_MULTIPLE

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Abstract

MPI implementations that support the highest level of thread safety for user programs, MPI_THREAD_MULTIPLE, are becoming widely available. Users often expect that different threads can execute independently and that the MPI implementation can provide the necessary level of thread safety with only a small overhead. The MPI Standard, however, requires only that no MPI call in one thread block MPI calls in other threads; it makes no performance guarantees. Therefore, some way of measuring an implementation’s performance is needed. In this paper, we propose a number of performance tests that are motivated by typical application scenarios. These tests cover the overhead of providing the MPI_THREAD_MULTIPLE level of thread safety for user programs, the amount of concurrency in different threads making MPI calls, the ability to overlap communication with computation, and other features. We present performance results with this test suite on several platforms (Linux cluster, Sun and IBM SMPs) and MPI implementations (MPICH2, Open MPI, IBM, and Sun).