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A Lightweight C++ Interface to MPI

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3 Author(s)
Pellegrini, S. ; Inst. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria ; Prodan, R. ; Fahringer, T.

The Message Passing Interface (MPI) provides bindings for the three programming languages commonly used in High Performance Computing (HPC): C, C++ and Fortran. Unfortunately, MPI supports only the lowest common denominator of the three languages, providing a level of abstraction far lower than typical C++ libraries. Lately, after the decision of the MPI committee to deprecate and remove the C++ bindings from the MPI standard, programmers are forced to use either the C API or rely on third-party libraries. In this paper we present a lightweight, header-only C++ interface to MPI which uses object oriented and generic programming concepts to improve its integration into the C++ programming language. We compare our wrapper with a related approach called Boost. MPI showing how MPP facilitates the interaction with C++ objects. Performance wise, MPP outperforms Boost. MPI by reducing the interface overhead by a factor of eight. Additionally, MPP's handling of user-defined data types allows transferring of STL containers (e.g. std::list) up to 20 times faster than Boost. MPI for small linked lists by relying on software serialization.

Published in:

Parallel, Distributed and Network-Based Processing (PDP), 2012 20th Euromicro International Conference on

Date of Conference:

15-17 Feb. 2012