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3.5 Collective Communication

In this module, we will learn how to write distributed applications in the Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) model, specifically by using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) library. MPI processes can send and receive messages using primitives for point-to-point communication, which are different in structure and semantics from message-passing with sockets. We will also learn about the message ordering and deadlock properties of MPI programs. Non-blocking communications are an interesting extension of point-to-point communications, since they can be used to avoid delays due to blocking and to also avoid deadlock-related errors. Finally, we will study collective communication, which can involve multiple processes in a manner that is more powerful than multicast and publish-subscribe operations. The knowledge of MPI gained in this module will be put to practice in the mini-project associated with this module on implementing a distributed matrix multiplication program in MPI.

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