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MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple(3) man page (version 1.10.1)

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MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple - Spawns multiple binaries, or the same binary with multiple sets of arguments.


C Syntax

#include <mpi.h>
int MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple(int count, char *array_of_commands[],
    char **array_of_argv[], const int array_of_maxprocs[], const MPI_Info
    array_of_info[], int root, MPI_Comm comm, MPI_Comm *intercomm,
    int array_of_errcodes[])

Fortran Syntax

INCLUDE ’mpif.h’

C++ Syntax

#include <mpi.h>
MPI::Intercomm MPI::Intracomm::Spawn_multiple(int count,
    const char* array_of_commands[], const char** array_of_argv[],
    const int array_of_maxprocs[], const MPI::Info array_of_info[],
    int root, int array_of_errcodes[])
MPI::Intercomm MPI::Intracomm::Spawn_multiple(int count,
    const char* array_of_commands[], const char** array_of_argv[],
    const int array_of_maxprocs[], const MPI::Info array_of_info[],
    int root)

Input Parameters

Number of commands (positive integer, significant to MPI only at root -- see NOTES).
Programs to be executed (array of strings, significant only at root).
Arguments for commands (array of array of strings, significant only at root).
Maximum number of processes to start for each command (array of integers, significant only at root).
Info objects telling the runtime system where and how to start processes (array of handles, significant only at root).
Rank of process in which previous arguments are examined (integer).
Intracommunicator containing group of spawning processes (handle).

Output Parameters

Intercommunicator between original group and the newly spawned group (handle).
One code per process (array of integers).
Fortran only: Error status (integer).


MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple is identical to MPI_Comm_spawn(3) except that it can specify multiple executables. The first argument, count, indicates the number of executables. The next three arguments are arrays of the corresponding arguments in MPI_Comm_spawn(3). The next argument, array_of_info, is an array of info arguments, one for each executable. See the INFO ARGUMENTS section for more information.

For the Fortran version of array_of_argv, the element array_of_argv(i,j) is the jth argument to command number i.

In any language, an application may use the constant MPI_ARGVS_NULL (which is likely to be (char ***)0 in C) to specify that no arguments should be passed to any commands. The effect of setting individual elements of array_of_argv to MPI_ARGV_NULL is not defined. To specify arguments for some commands but not others, the commands without arguments should have a corresponding argv whose first element is null ((char *)0 in C and empty string in Fortran).

All of the spawned processes have the same MPI_COMM_WORLD. Their ranks in MPI_COMM_WORLD correspond directly to the order in which the commands are specified in MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple. Assume that m1 processes are generated by the first command, m2 by the second, etc. The processes corresponding to the first command have ranks 0, 1,..., m1-1. The processes in the second command have ranks m1, m1+1, ..., m1+m2-1. The processes in the third have ranks m1+m2, m1+m2+1, ..., m1+m2+m3-1, etc.

The array_of_errcodes argument is 1-dimensional array of size

     _ count
    \       n ,
    /_ i=1   i

where i is the ith element of array_of_maxprocs. Command number i corresponds to the i contiguous slots in this array from element

                      _              _
     _ i-1          |   _ i          |
    \       n ,  to |  \      n      | -1
    /_ j=1   i      |  /_ j=1  j     |
                     |_              _|

Error codes are treated as for MPI_Comm_spawn(3).

Info Arguments

The following keys for info are recognized in "Open MPI". (The reserved values mentioned in Section 5.3.4 of the MPI-2 standard are not implemented.)

Key                    Type     Description
---                    ----     -----------
host                   char *   Comma-separated list of hosts on which
                                the processes should be spawned.  See
                                the orte_host man page for an
                                explanation of how this will be used.
hostfile               char *   Hostfile containing the hosts on which
                                the processes are to be spawned. See
                                the orte_hostfile man page for
                                an explanation of how this will be
add-host               char *   Add the specified hosts to the list of
                                hosts known to this job and use it for
                                the associated processes. This will be
                                used similarly to the -host option.
add-hostfile           char *   Hostfile containing hosts to be added
                                to the list of hosts known to this job
                                and use it for the associated
                                process. This will be used similarly
                                to the -hostfile option.
wdir                   char *   Directory where the executable is
                                located. If files are to be
                                pre-positioned, then this location is
                                the desired working directory at time
                                of execution - if not specified, then
                                it will automatically be set to
ompi_prefix            char *   Same as the --prefix command line
                                argument to mpirun.
ompi_preload_binary    bool     If set to true, pre-position the
                                specified executable onto the remote
                                host. A destination directory must
                                also be provided.
ompi_preload_files     char *   A comma-separated list of files that
                                are to be pre-positioned in addition
                                to the executable.  Note that this
                                option does not depend upon
                                ompi_preload_binary - files can
                                be moved to the target even if an
                                executable is not moved.
ompi_stdin_target   char* Comma-delimited list of ranks to
                                receive stdin when forwarded.
ompi_non_mpi           bool     If set to true, launching a non-MPI
                                application; the returned communicator
                                will be MPI_COMM_NULL. Failure to set
                                this flag when launching a non-MPI
                                application will cause both the child
                                and parent jobs to "hang".
ompi_param             char *   Pass an OMPI MCA parameter to the
                                child job.  If that parameter already
                                exists in the environment, the value
                                will be overwritten by the provided
mapper                    char*  Mapper to be used for this job
map_by                    char*  Mapping directive indicating how
                                processes are to be mapped (slot,
                                node, socket, etc.).
rank_by                   char *  Ranking directive indicating how
                                processes are to be ranked (slot,
                                node, socket, etc.).
bind_to                    char *  Binding directive indicating how
                                processes are to be bound (core, slot,
                                node, socket, etc.).
path                         char*  List of directories to search for
                                the executable
npernode                 char* Number of processes to spawn on
                                each node of the allocation
pernode                   bool  Equivalent to npernode of 1
ppr                          char* Spawn specified number of processes
                               on each of the identified object type
env                         char*  Newline-delimited list of envars to
                               be passed to the spawned procs

bool info keys are actually strings but are evaluated as follows: if the string value is a number, it is converted to an integer and cast to a boolean (meaning that zero integers are false and non-zero values are true). If the string value is (case-insensitive) "yes" or "true", the boolean is true. If the string value is (case-insensitive) "no" or "false", the boolean is false. All other string values are unrecognized, and therefore false.

Note that if any of the info handles have ompi_non_mpi set to true, then all info handles must have it set to true. If some are set to true, but others are set to false (or are unset), MPI_ERR_INFO will be returned.

Note that in "Open MPI", the first array location in array_of_info is applied to all the commands in array_of_commands.


The argument count is interpreted by MPI only at the root, as is array_of_argv. Since the leading dimension of array_of_argv is count, a nonpositive value of count at a nonroot node could theoretically cause a runtime bounds check error, even though array_of_argv should be ignored by the subroutine. If this happens, you should explicitly supply a reasonable value of count on the nonroot nodes.

Similar to MPI_Comm_spawn(3), it is the application’s responsibility to terminate each individual set of argv in the array_of_argv argument. In C, each argv array is terminated by a NULL pointer. In Fortran, each argv array is terminated by an empty string (note that compilers will not automatically insert this blank string; the application must ensure to have enough space for an empty string entry as the last element of the array).

Other restrictions apply to the array_of_argv parameter; see MPI_Comm_spawn(3)’s description of the argv parameter for more details.

Calling MPI_Comm_spawn(3) many times would create many sets of children with different MPI_COMM_WORLDs, whereas MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple creates children with a single MPI_COMM_WORLD, so the two methods are not completely equivalent. Also if you need to spawn multiple executables, you may get better performance by using MPI_Comm_spawn_multiple instead of calling MPI_Comm_spawn(3) several times.


Almost all MPI routines return an error value; C routines as the value of the function and Fortran routines in the last argument. C++ functions do not return errors. If the default error handler is set to MPI::ERRORS_THROW_EXCEPTIONS, then on error the C++ exception mechanism will be used to throw an MPI::Exception object.

Before the error value is returned, the current MPI error handler is called. By default, this error handler aborts the MPI job, except for I/O function errors. The error handler may be changed with MPI_Comm_set_errhandler; the predefined error handler MPI_ERRORS_RETURN may be used to cause error values to be returned. Note that MPI does not guarantee that an MPI program can continue past an error.

See Also


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