Intel® Trace Analyzer and Collector User and Reference Guide

ID 767272
Date 3/31/2023
Document Table of Contents

Overlapping Memory


Intel® Trace Collector keeps track of memory currently in use by MPI and before starting a new operation, checks that the memory that it references is not in use already.

The MPI standard explicitly transfers ownership of memory to MPI even for send operations. The application is not allowed to read it while a send operation is active and must not setup another send operation which reads it either. The rationale is that the MPI might modify the data in place before sending it and might revert the change afterwards. In practice MPI implementation do not modify the memory, so this is a minor problem and just triggers a warning.

Obviously, writing into the same memory twice in possibly random order or writing into memory which the MPI might read from is a real error. However, detecting these real errors is harder for message receives because the size of the buffer given to MPI might be larger than the actual message: even if buffers overlap, the messages might be small enough to not lead to writes into the same memory. Because the overlap check is done when a send buffer is handed over to MPI, only a warning is generated. The application might be able to continue normally, but the source code should be fixed because under a strict interpretation of the MPI standard using the same buffer twice is already illegal even if the actual messages do not overlap.

Because the problem might be at the place where the memory was given to MPI initially and not where it is reused, Intel® Trace Collector also provides both call stacks.