The Message Passing Interface Standard (MPI) is a message passing library standard based on the consensus of the MPI Forum, which has over 40 participating organizations, including vendors, researchers, software library developers, and users. The goal of the Message Passing Interface is to establish a portable, efficient, and flexible standard for message passing that will be widely used for writing message passing programs. As such, MPI is the first standardized, vendor independent, message passing library. The advantages of developing message passing software using MPI closely match the design goals of portability, efficiency, and flexibility. MPI is not an IEEE or ISO standard, but has in fact, become the “industry standard” for writing message passing programs on HPC platforms.

The goal of this tutorial is to teach those unfamiliar with MPI how to develop and run parallel programs according to the MPI standard. The primary topics that are presented focus on those which are the most useful for new MPI programmers. The tutorial begins with an introduction, background, and basic information for getting started with MPI. This is followed by a detailed look at the MPI routines that are most useful for new MPI programmers, including MPI Environment Management, Point-to-Point Communications, and Collective Communications routines. Numerous examples in both C and Fortran are provided, as well as a lab exercise.

The tutorial materials also include more advanced topics such as Derived Data Types, Group and Communicator Management Routines, and Virtual Topologies. However, these are not actually presented during the lecture, but are meant to serve as “further reading” for those who are interested.

Level/Prerequisites: This tutorial is ideal for those who are new to parallel programming with MPI. A basic understanding of parallel programming in C or Fortran is required. For those who are unfamiliar with Parallel Programming in general, the material covered in EC3500: Introduction To Parallel Computing would be helpful.