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Published on Jul 19, 2012
Presenters: Joachim Protze and Andreas Knüpfer
The MPI (Message Passing Interface) standard is the one established method to achieve highest scale parallelism on today's biggest supercomputers. There are many implementations including free ones. Yet the standard makes life for debuggers pretty difficult.
The MPI API hides away all sorts of management information in handles to give maximum flexibility to implementors. Unfortunately, this includes data type information of all messages. Therefore, debuggers are pretty much unable to show the contents of messages that are exchanged between parallel processes.
We implemented a solution for GDB using two stages: one to collect data type information from the MPI API and a GDB plugin to print a message's contents in a correct and convenient way. With this, GDB and MPI work together like they should have in the first place ... in our opinion.