RFC0003

Title

Modification of the PMIx_Connect and PMIx_Disconnect functions to support new proposed programming model behavior

Abstract

New programming models, and changes to existing programming models, are emerging that desire the ability to more flexibly connect and disconnect processes from groups. This proposed change will:

  • modify two existing client-side APIs (PMIx_Connect and PMIx_Disconnect) plus their corresponding resource manager interfaces

  • add several new info keys

  • modify the PMIx server library to track the nspaces of connected groups

Labels

[MODIFICATION][BEHAVIOR][CLIENT-API][RM-INTERFACE]

Action

[APPROVED]

Copyright (c) 2016-2017 Intel, Inc. All rights reserved.

This document is subject to all provisions relating to code contributions to the PMIx community as defined in the community’s LICENSE file. Code Components extracted from this document must include the License text as described in that file.

Description

The current connect and disconnect APIs reflect the needs of bulk-synchronous programming models such as today’s MPI. Both require that the operation be executed as a collective, with all specified processes participating in the operation prior to it being declared complete. In addition, the standard requires that the host resource manager (RM) treat the specified processes as a new "group" when considering notifications, termination, and other operations.

Since the original definition was released, users and RM developers have noted that the PMIx_Connect operation fails to return a new nspace corresponding to the "group" that was just created. Creating a new nspace for the group would allow users to perform group operations (e.g., PMIx_Fence and PMIx_Notify_event). RM’s need to create some kind of identifier for the group for tracking purposes anyway – it would be beneficial if that could be passed down to the caller. This would also assist the RM when processing the PMIx_Disconnect request as the caller could just specify the new nspace.

In addition, programming libraries have continued to evolve towards more of an asynchronous model where processes regularly aggregate into groups that subsequently dissolve after completing some set of operations. These new approaches would benefit from an ability to notify other processes of a desire to aggregate, and to allow the aggregation process itself to take place asynchronously.

Accordingly, this RFC proposes to modify the current PMIx_Connect[_nb], PMIx_Disconnect[_nb], and their associated server-RM interfaces to accommodate the requests. It is recognized that this causes a backward-compatibility issue. However, only one library currently uses these interfaces (and they are accessed via an abstraction layer that can hide the changes) – thus, the disruption should be minimal provided these changes can be adopted and implemented before other libraries adopt them.

Some additional info keys are provided for the revised operations:

  • PMIX_CONNECT_NOTIFY_EACH: generate a local event notification using the PMIX_PROC_HAS_CONNECTED event each time a process connects, and the PMIX_PROC_HAS_DISCONNECTED event each time a process disconnects. The PMIx server is responsible for generating these events.

  • PMIX_CONNECT_NOTIFY_REQ: notify each of the indicated procs that they are requested to connect using the PMIX_CONNECT_REQUESTED event. The PMIx server is responsible for generating this event.

  • PMIX_CONNECT_OPTIONAL: participation is optional – do not return error if procs terminate without having connected. This is the joint responsibility of the host RM (to notify if remote procs terminate early) and the PMIx server.

  • PMIX_CONNECT_EARLY_TERM_ALLOWED: do not generate an error if a process terminates without disconnecting. The host RM and PMIx server are responsible for adjusting completion requirements on any ongoing or future collectives for this nspace.

  • PMIX_CONNECT_XCHG_ONLY: ensure that all participating processes have a copy of the job-level info from each nspace, but do not assign a new nspace and rank

Note that any single process can be simultaneously engaged in multiple connect operations. For scalability, PMIx does not use a collective to assign an identifier to the connect operation. Instead, it is expected that the provided array of process IDs will serve to identify a specific PMIx_Connect operation. Ordering of processes within the array is disregarded. PMIX_RANK_WILDCARD can be used to indicate the participation of all processes within that nspace.

It is possible that multiple PMIx_Connect operations could operate in parallel involving the same processes. Examples might include calls stemming from different threads, or from different libraries included by the application. Accordingly, the following attribute is defined to allow the application to provide its own operation identifier:

  • PMIX_CONNECT_ID: an application-provided string identifier for a PMIx_Connect operation.

This identifier will be used in addition to the array of participating process identifiers as a means of uniquely identifying multiple parallel operations. Note that all partitipants are required to call PMIx_Connect with the same PMIX_CONNECT_ID attribute value.

It is also possible that connect operations could span processes on multiple clusters, each controlled by an independent resource manager instance. In such cases, the nspace is no longer guaranteed to be unique across clusters, thereby leading to potential confusion in the process identifiers. Accordingly, this RFC defines a method for resolving the potential nspace overlap by modifying the nspace value for a given process identifier to include a "cluster identifier" – a string name for the cluster that is provided by the host RM via the PMIX_CLUSTER_ID attribute. In the case where a process is known to exist on a remote cluster, the cluster identifier shall be prepended to the nspace, separated by a colon (‘:’). A macro is provided to assist in assembling and parsing the combined identifer.

Of course, specifying the cluster identifier and nspace assigned to an application potentially executing on a remote cluster requires that one first determine that this is the case and obtain the required identifier values. PMIx and the host RM do not provide a direct mechanism for resolving this question. Instead, applications are directed to the PMIx_Publish and PMIx_Lookup functions for executing an appropriate rendezvous protocol between the applications.

Thus, the procedure for executing a connect that involves processes on multiple clusters and includes the possibility that more than one identical collection of processes could be executing the operation in parallel might look like the following (in this example, the call is being made on cluster A and involves processes also located on cluster B):


pmix_info_t *info;
pmix_proc_t proc, procs[2];
pmix_value_t *val;
char *myclusterid, *clusterB;
char myid[PMIX_MAX_NSLEN+1], remote_nspace[PMIX_MAX_NSLEN+1], newnspace[PMIX_MAX_NSLEN+1];
pmix_pdata_t pdata;
pmix_rank_t newrank;

/* get my cluster ID */
PMIX_PROC_LOAD(&proc, mynspace, PMIX_RANK_WILDCARD);
PMIx_Get(&proc, PMIX_CLUSTER_ID, NULL, 0, &val);
myclusterid = strdup(val->data.string);
PMIX_VALUE_RELEASE(val);

/* construct an ID for me that includes my nspace and cluster ID */
PMIX_MULTICLUSTER_NSPACE_CONSTRUCT(myid, myclusterid, mynspace);

/* publish that value using a key that my remote partner knows */
PMIX_INFO_CREATE(info, 2);
PMIX_INFO_LOAD(&info[0], "myrendezvouskey", myid, PMIX_STRING);
PMIX_INFO_LOAD(&info[1], PMIX_RANGE, PMIX_RANGE_GLOBAL, PMIX_DATA_RANGE);
PMIx_Publish(info, 2);
PMIX_INFO_FREE(info, 2);

/*  lookup the corresponding ID published by my remote partner */
PMIX_PDATA_CONSTRUCT(&pdata);
pdata.key = strdup("remoterendezvouskey");
PMIx_Lookup(&pdata, 1);
remoteid = strdup(pdata->value.data.string);
PMIX_PDATA_DESTRUCT(&pdata);

/* construct the process identifier array - for this example, we assume all processes
 * in each nspace are participating */
PMIX_PROC_LOAD(&procs[0], myid, PMIX_RANK_WILDCARD);
PMIX_PROC_LOAD(&procs[0], remoteid, PMIX_RANK_WILDCARD);

/* pass a unique identifier for this operation */
PMIX_INFO_CONSTRUCT(&info)
PMIX_INFO_LOAD(&info, PMIX_CONNECT_ID, "myconnect", PMIX_STRING);

/* connect the two groups of processes */
PMIx_Connect(procs, 2, info, ninfo, newnspace, &newrank);
PMIX_INFO_DESTRUCT(&info);

/* cleanup */
free(myclusterid);
free(remoteid);

The following APIs are included in this RFC.

PMIx_Connect

Record the specified processes as "connected". Both blocking and non-blocking versions are provided. This means that the resource manager should treat the failure of any process in the specified group as a reportable event, and take appropriate action. Note that different resource managers may respond to failures in different manners.

Unless the PMIX_CONNECT_XCHG_ONLY attribute is provided, the host RM will assign a unique nspace to the resulting process group. The new nspace must be provided when disconnecting from the group. All processes are required to disconnect from the nspace prior to terminating unless the PMIX_CONNECT_EARLY_TERM_ALLOWED directive is provided.

As in the case of the fence operation, the info array can be used to pass user-level directives regarding the algorithm to be used for the collective operation involved in the "connect", timeout constraints, and other options available from the host RM.

The server is required to return any job-level info for the connecting processes that they might not already have – i.e., if the connect request involves processes from different nspaces, then each process shall receive the job-level info from those nspaces other than their own.

The blocking form of this call must provide a character array of size PMIX_MAX_NSLEN+1 for the assigned nspace of the resulting group, and a pointer to an pmix_rank_t location where the new rank of this process in the assigned nspace can be returned. Calls will return once the specified operation is complete (i.e., all participants have called PMIx_Connect).


PMIX_EXPORT pmix_status_t PMIx_Connect(const pmix_proc_t procs[], size_t nprocs,
                                       const pmix_info_t info[], size_t ninfo,
                                       char nspace[], pmix_rank_t *newrank);

The callback function for the non-blocking form of the PMIx_Connect operation will be called once the operation is complete. By default, any participant that fails to call "connect" prior to terminating will cause the operation to return a "failed" status to all other participants – this can be modified by including the PMIX_CONNECT_OPTIONAL directive.


/* define a callback function for calls to PMIx_Connect_nb - the function
 * will be called upon completion of the command. The status will indicate
 * whether or not the connect operation succeeded. The nspace will contain
 * the new identity assigned by the host RM to the specified group of
 * processes, and the rank will be the rank of this process within that new
 * group. Note that the returned nspace value may be
 * released by the library upon return from the callback function, so
 * the receiver must copy it if it needs to be retained */
typedef void (*pmix_connect_cbfunc_t)(pmix_status_t status,
                                      char nspace[], int rank,
                                      void *cbdata);

PMIX_EXPORT pmix_status_t PMIx_Connect_nb(const pmix_proc_t procs[], size_t nprocs,
                                          const pmix_info_t info[], size_t ninfo,
                                          pmix_connect_cbfunc_t cbfunc, void *cbdata);

PMIx_Disconnect

Disconnect this process from a specified nspace. An error will be returned if the specified nspace is not recognized. The info array is used as above.

Processes that terminate while connected to other processes will generate a "termination error" event that will be reported to any process in the connected group that has registered for such events. Calls to "disconnect" that include the PMIX_CONNECT_NOTIFY_EACH info key will cause other processes in the nspace to receive an event notification of the disconnect, if they are registered for such events.


PMIX_EXPORT pmix_status_t PMIx_Disconnect(const char nspace[],
                                          const pmix_info_t info[], size_t ninfo);

PMIX_EXPORT pmix_status_t PMIx_Disconnect_nb(const char nspace[],
                                             const pmix_info_t info[], size_t ninfo,
                                             pmix_op_cbfunc_t cbfunc, void *cbdata);

RM-Interface: Connect

Record the specified processes as "connected". This means that:

  • the resource manager should treat the specified group as a group when reporting events.

  • processes can address the group by the newly assigned nspace when passing requests

  • the server (in partnership with the host RM) shall provide a copy of job-level info to each process for any nspace that process does not yet know about

As in the case of the fence operation, the info array can be used to pass user-level directives regarding the algorithm to be used for the collective operation involved in the "connect", timeout constraints, and other options available from the host RM.

The callback function will be called once the operation is complete. By default, any participant that fails to call "connect" prior to terminating will cause the operation to return a "failed" status to all other participants.


typedef pmix_status_t (*pmix_server_connect_fn_t)(const pmix_proc_t procs[], size_t nprocs,
                                                  const pmix_info_t info[], size_t ninfo,
                                                  pmix_connect_cbfunc_t cbfunc, void *cbdata);

RM-Interface: Disconnect

Disconnect this process from a specified nspace. An error will be returned if the specified nspace is not recognized. The info array is used as above.

Processes that terminate while connected to other processes will generate a "termination error" event that will (in the absence of any provided directive) be reported to any process in the connected group that has registered for such events. Calls to "disconnect" that include the PMIX_CONNECT_NOTIFY_EACH info key will cause other processes in the nspace to receive an event notification of the disconnect, if they are registered for such events.


typedef pmix_status_t (*pmix_server_disconnect_fn_t)(const char nspace[],
                                                     const pmix_info_t info[], size_t ninfo,
                                                     pmix_op_cbfunc_t cbfunc, void *cbdata);

Protoype Implementation

The PMIx library implementation is covered in the Modification of connect/disconnect API pull request.

Author(s)

Ralph H. Castain
Intel, Inc.
Github: rhc54