3.12.5. Use of general datatypes in communication


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Handles to derived datatypes can be passed to a communication call wherever a datatype argument is required. A call of the form MPI_SEND(buf, count, datatype , ...), where , is interpreted as if the call was passed a new datatype which is the concatenation of count copies of datatype. Thus, MPI_SEND(buf, count, datatype, dest, tag, comm) is equivalent to,

MPI_TYPE_CONTIGUOUS(count, datatype, newtype) 
MPI_TYPE_COMMIT(newtype) 
MPI_SEND(buf, 1, newtype, dest, tag, comm). 
Similar statements apply to all other communication functions that have a count and datatype argument.

Suppose that a send operation MPI_SEND(buf, count, datatype, dest, tag, comm) is executed, where datatype has type map,

and extent extent. (Empty entries of ``pseudo-type'' MPI_UB and MPI_LB are not listed in the type map, but they affect the value of extent.) The send operation sends entries, where entry is at location

and has type , for and j = 0 ,..., n-1. These entries need not be contiguous, nor distinct; their order can be arbitrary.

The variable stored at address in the calling program should be of a type that matches , where type matching is defined as in section Type matching rules . The message sent contains entries, where entry has type .

Similarly, suppose that a receive operation MPI_RECV(buf, count, datatype, source, tag, comm, status) is executed, where datatype has type map,

with extent extent. (Again, empty entries of ``pseudo-type'' MPI_UB and MPI_LB are not listed in the type map, but they affect the value of extent.) This receive operation receives entries, where entry is at location

and has type . If the incoming message consists of k elements, then we must have ; the -th element of the message should have a type that matches .

Type matching is defined according to the type signature of the corresponding datatypes, that is, the sequence of basic type components. Type matching does not depend on some aspects of the datatype definition, such as the displacements (layout in memory) or the intermediate types used.


Example This example shows that type matching is defined in terms of the basic types that a derived type consists of.

... 
CALL MPI_TYPE_CONTIGUOUS( 2, MPI_REAL, type2, ...) 
CALL MPI_TYPE_CONTIGUOUS( 4, MPI_REAL, type4, ...) 
CALL MPI_TYPE_CONTIGUOUS( 2, type2, type22, ...) 
... 
CALL MPI_SEND( a, 4, MPI_REAL, ...) 
CALL MPI_SEND( a, 2, type2, ...) 
CALL MPI_SEND( a, 1, type22, ...) 
CALL MPI_SEND( a, 1, type4, ...) 
... 
CALL MPI_RECV( a, 4, MPI_REAL, ...) 
CALL MPI_RECV( a, 2, type2, ...) 
CALL MPI_RECV( a, 1, type22, ...) 
CALL MPI_RECV( a, 1, type4, ...) 
Each of the sends matches any of the receives.

A datatype may specify overlapping entries. The use of such a datatype in a receive operation is erroneous. (This is erroneous even if the actual message received is short enough not to write any entry more than once.)

A datatype may specify overlapping entries. If such a datatype is used in a receive operation, that is, if some part of the receive buffer is written more than once by the receive operation, then the call is erroneous.

Suppose that MPI_RECV(buf, count, datatype, dest, tag, comm, status) is executed, where datatype has type map,

The received message need not fill all the receive buffer, nor does it need to fill a number of locations which is a multiple of n. Any number, k, of basic elements can be received, where . The number of basic elements received can be retrieved from status using the query function MPI_GET_ELEMENTS.

MPI_GET_ELEMENTS( status, datatype, count)
[ IN status] return status of receive operation (Status)
[ IN datatype] datatype used by receive operation (handle)
[ OUT count] number of received basic elements (integer)

int MPI_Get_elements(MPI_Status *status, MPI_Datatype datatype, int *count)

MPI_GET_ELEMENTS(STATUS, DATATYPE, COUNT, IERROR)
INTEGER STATUS(MPI_STATUS_SIZE), DATATYPE, COUNT, IERROR

The previously defined function, MPI_GET_COUNT (Sec. Return status ), has a different behavior. It returns the number of ``top-level entries'' received, i.e. the number of ``copies'' of type datatype. In the previous example, MPI_GET_COUNT may return any integer value k, where . If MPI_GET_COUNT returns k, then the number of basic elements received (and the value returned by
MPI_GET_ELEMENTS) is . If the number of basic elements received is not a multiple of n, that is, if the receive operation has not received an integral number of datatype ``copies,'' then MPI_GET_COUNT returns the value MPI_UNDEFINED.


Example Usage of MPI_GET_COUNT and MPI_GET_ELEMENT.

... 
CALL MPI_TYPE_CONTIGUOUS(2, MPI_REAL, Type2, ierr) 
CALL MPI_TYPE_COMMIT(Type2, ierr) 
... 
CALL MPI_COMM_RANK(comm, rank, ierr) 
IF(rank.EQ.0) THEN 
      CALL MPI_SEND(a, 2, MPI_REAL, 1, 0, comm, ierr) 
      CALL MPI_SEND(a, 3, MPI_REAL, 1, 0, comm, ierr) 
ELSE 
      CALL MPI_RECV(a, 2, Type2, 0, 0, comm, stat, ierr) 
      CALL MPI_GET_COUNT(stat, Type2, i, ierr)     ! returns i=1 
      CALL MPI_GET_ELEMENTS(stat, Type2, i, ierr)  ! returns i=2 
      CALL MPI_RECV(a, 2, Type2, 0, 0, comm, stat, ierr) 
      CALL MPI_GET_COUNT(stat, Type2, i, ierr)     ! returns i=MPI_UNDEFINED 
      CALL MPI_GET_ELEMENTS(stat, Type2, i, ierr)  ! returns i=3 
END IF 

The function MPI_GET_ELEMENTS can also be used after a probe to find the number of elements in the probed message. Note that the two functions MPI_GET_COUNT and MPI_GET_ELEMENTS return the same values when they are used with basic datatypes.


[] Rationale.

The extension given to the definition of MPI_GET_COUNT seems natural: one would expect this function to return the value of the count argument, when the receive buffer is filled. Sometimes datatype represents a basic unit of data one wants to transfer, for example, a record in an array of records (structures). One should be able to find out how many components were received without bothering to divide by the number of elements in each component. However, on other occasions, datatype is used to define a complex layout of data in the receiver memory, and does not represent a basic unit of data for transfers. In such cases, one needs to use the function MPI_GET_ELEMENTS. ( End of rationale.)

[] Advice to implementors.

The definition implies that a receive cannot change the value of storage outside the entries defined to compose the communication buffer. In particular, the definition implies that padding space in a structure should not be modified when such a structure is copied from one process to another. This would prevent the obvious optimization of copying the structure, together with the padding, as one contiguous block. The implementation is free to do this optimization when it does not impact the outcome of the computation. The user can ``force'' this optimization by explicitly including padding as part of the message. ( End of advice to implementors.)



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