YetAnotherCoupler 3.1.1
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MPI handshake algorithm


In complex coupled run configurations with multiple different executables, a common problem is the initial MPI communicator splitting. At the start of the run multiple communicators have to be built, for example one for each executable or for groups of executables. These communicators are required by the models themselves and by libraries used by one or more of the models (e.g. coupler or IO).

Each library and/or model can implement its own algorithm for splitting the initial MPI_COMM_WORLD. However, this can lead to conflicts and deadlocks between the different algorithms.

YAC provides the routine yac_cmpi_handshake, which implements a MPI handshake algorithm that can generate multiple different communicators in a single collective operation. If this algorithm is used by all processes in a coupled run, the communicators for all models and libraries can be generated without any conflicts.

As long as all participating processes use a compatible implementation of the algorithm, process are not required to use or link against YAC.

DKRZ has a dedicated repository containing a reference implemenation for this algorithm:
MPI Handshake reference implementation

MPI handshake interface

MPI_Comm comm,
size_t n,
char const ** group_names,
MPI_Comm * group_comms);
void yac_cmpi_handshake(MPI_Comm comm, size_t n, char const **group_names, MPI_Comm *group_comms)
  • comm
    • communicator from which all new communicators are generated from
  • n
    • number of communicators that have to generated
  • group_names
    • array of names used to determine members for each communicator
  • group_comms
    • array of generated communicators

For each entry in group_names this algorithm will generate a new communicator that contains all processes in comm that provided the same name to this algorithm and store it at the respective position in group_comms.

This algorithm is collective for all processes in comm. Each process can provide a different set of group names in an arbitrary order.

Language interoperability

Interoperability between Fortran and C MPI datatypes is not portable (MPI_INTEGER is not necessary the same as MPI_INT).

This makes the implementation of Fortran version of this algorithm, which is compatible with a C version, difficult. Therefore, it is advised to use a C implementation and provide a Fortran interface for this implementation.

An example can be found here.