Argonne National Laboratory

Advanced Thread Synchronization for Multithreaded MPI Implementations

TitleAdvanced Thread Synchronization for Multithreaded MPI Implementations
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDang, H, Seo, S, Amer, A, Balaji, P
AbstractConcurrent multithreaded access to the Message Passing Interface (MPI) is gaining importance to support emerging hybrid MPI applications. The interoperability between threads and MPI, however, is complex and renders efficient implementations nontrivial. Prior studies showed that threads waiting for communication progress (waiting threads) often interfere with others (active threads) and degrade their progress. This situation occurs when both classes of threads compete for the same MPI resource and ownership passing to waiting threads does not guarantee communication to advance. The best-known practical solution prioritizes active threads and adapts first-in-first-out arbitration within each class. This approach, however, suffers from residual wasted resource acquisitions (waste) and ignores data locality, thus resulting in poor scalability. In this work, we propose thread synchronization improvements to eliminate waste while preserving data locality in a production MPI implementation. First, we leverage MPI knowledge and a fast synchronization method to eliminate waste and accelerate progress. Second, we rely on a cooperative progress model that dynamically elects and restricts a single waiting thread to drive a communication context for improved data locality. Third, we prioritize active threads and synchronize them with a locality-preserving lock that is hierarchical and exploits unbounded bias for high throughput. Results show significant improvement in synthetic microbenchmarks and two MPI+OpenMP applications.