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INTEL-MPI-5.0: Bug in MPI-3 shared-memory allocation (MPI_WIN_ALLOCATE_SHARED, MPI_WIN_SHARED_QUERY)


Dear developers of Intel-MPI,

First of all:   Congratulations, that INTEL-MPI now supports also MPI-3 !

However, I found a bug  in INTEL-MPI-5.0 when running the MPI-3 shared memory feature (calling MPI_WIN_ALLOCATE_SHARED, MPI_WIN_SHARED_QUERY) on a Linux Cluster (NEC Nehalem)  by a  Fortran95 CFD-code.

I isolated the problem into a small Ftn95 example program, which allocates shared an integer*4-array of array dimension N , then uses it by the MPI-processes (on the same node), and then repeats the same for the next shared allocation. So, the number of shared windows do accumulate in the run, because I do not free the shared windows allocated so far. This allocation of shared windows works, but only until the total number of allocated memory exceeds a limit of ~30 millions of Integer*4 numbers (~120 MB).

When that limit is reached, the next call of MPI_WIN_ALLOCATE_SHARED, MPI_WIN_SHARED_QUERY  to allocated one more shared window do not give an error message, but the 1st attempt to use that allocated shared array results in a bus error (because the shared array has not been allocated correctly).


The problem is independent of the number of MPI-processes started by mpirun on the node (I used only 1 node)

   Example:     N=      100 000   à  bus error occurred at iwin=288   (i.e. the allocation of the 288-th shared window had failed)

                         N=   1 000 000   à  bus error occurred at iwin=  30

                         N=   5 000 000   à  bus error occurred at iwin=    6

                         N= 28 000 000   à  bus error occurred at iwin=    2

                         N= 30 000 000   à  bus error occurred at iwin=    1   (i.e. already the 1st allocation failed)


The node on the cluster has 8 Nehalem cores, and had a free memory of 10 GB, and I was the only user on it. I used the INTEL-13 and also the INTEL-14 compiler for compiling the example program.

       mpiifort -O0 -debug -traceback -check -fpe0 sharedmemtest.f90

       mpirun -binding -prepend-rank -ordered-output -np 4 ./a.out

If it is helpful for you, I could send you the source code of the program.

It seems to me, that there is an internal storage limitation in the implementation of the MPI-3 shared memory feature in INTEL-MPI-5.0 . I cannot use INTEL-MPI in my real CFD-code with that limitation, because in case of very large grids the total storage allocated simultaneously by the shared windows can exceed 10 GB.

Greetings to you all

 Michael R.









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6 Replies

This is a known bug at this time, and we are working to correct it.



Is there a limit on the size of MPI-3 shared memory? In my tests, it seems that the maximum size is about 4GB for each shared window. The total number of windows cannot exceed 16381. Please confirm. I used intel MPI 2017.1.143, and all the tests were performed on HP workstation with 16 cores and 64GB RAM.





I'm checking with our engineering team regarding any limits set.


We do not have any specific limits set for the size of a window.  There is a limit of 16381 for the number of windows, due to a limitation on the number of communicators.



Sorry for insisting on the topic of shared windows' individual size limit, raised by Qinghua W., but I've been facing similar difficulties. According to my tests, when using MPI_Win_allocate_shared, I'm not able to allocate anything beyond the limit of 4GB for a single MPI shared window, just like what was previously reported by Qinghua W.

In my test code, I'm just trying to allocate an array of (mySize x nProcs) floats in total, where "mySize" is the number of floats allocated by each MPI process and nProcs is the number processes.

    float* myPtrA;    
    MPI_Win_allocate_shared( mySize*sizeof(float), sizeof(float), MPI_INFO_NULL, MPI_COMM_WORLD, &myPtrA, &winA );   

No mattering how many MPI processes I have, the total amount of allocated memory in the window "winA" cannot exceed the limit of 4GB, or i'll get an error. In this example, I can allocate up to 1073741823 floats (i.e. mySize x nProcs = 1073741823). When trying to allocate 1073741824 floats, I get the following error:

Fatal error in PMPI_Win_allocate_shared: Other MPI error, error stack:
PMPI_Win_allocate_shared(168).........: MPI_Win_allocate_shared(size=536870912, MPI_INFO_NULL, MPI_COMM_WORLD, baseptr=00000000002DFA00, win=00000000002DFA10) failed
MPIU_SHMW_Seg_create_attach_templ(783): unable to attach to shared memory - MapViewOfFile (...).

I'm using Intel(R) MPI Library for Windows* OS, Version 5.0 Update 1 Build 20140709.

Thanks in advance.


Using Intel® MPI Library 2017 Update 2, I am able to allocate up to the maximum memory my system has available.  Please try with this version.