MT-MPI: Multithreaded MPI for Many-core Environments

TitleMT-MPI: Multithreaded MPI for Many-core Environments
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSi, M, Pena, AJ, Balaji, P, Takagi, M, Ishikawa, Y
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P5111-0314

Many-core architectures, such as the Intel Xeon Phi, provide dozens of cores and hundreds of hardware threads. To utilize such architectures, application programmers are increasingly looking at hybrid programming models, where multiple threads interact with the MPI library (frequently called “MPI+X” models). A common mode of operation for such applications is where multiple threads are used to parallelize the computation, while one of the threads also issues MPI operations (i.e., MPI FUNNELED or SERIALIZED thread-safety mode). In MPI+OpenMP applications, this is achieved, for example, by placing MPI calls in OpenMP critical sections or outside the OpenMP parallel regions. However, such a model often means that the OpenMP threads are active only during the parallel computation phase and idle during the MPI calls, resulting in wasted computational resources. In this paper, we present MT-MPI, an internally multithreaded MPI implementation that transparently coordinates with the threading runtime system to share idle threads with the application. It is designed in the context of OpenMP and requires modifications to both the MPI implementation and the OpenMP runtime in order to share appropriate information between them. We demonstrate the benefit of such internal parallelism for various aspects of MPI processing, including derived datatype communication, shared-memory communication, and network I/O operations.