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Lemon is an MPI parallel I/O library that is intended to allow for efficient parallel I/O of both binary and metadata on massively parallel architectures. Data is stored in the SciDAC Lattice QCD Interchange Message Encapsulation format, that allows for storing large blocks of binary data and corresponding metadata in the same file.
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A longer description of this library, including a detailed overview of all the 
functions that are part of its API, has been published as 
A. Deuzeman, S.F. Reker and C. Urbach, for the ETM Collaboration,
"Lemon: an MPI parallel I/O library for data encapsulation using LIME"
and is currently available from

This README is intended to help new users get Lemon up and running quickly. Upon
downloading and extracting the Lemon tarball, one should have a obtained a 
directory containing, amongst this README file, a configure script and several 
subdirectories. These subdirectories include all the headers associated with the
library (in the directory include), the source code itself (in the directory
src) and some binaries that do not themselves form part of Lemon (in the
directory check).

The GNU build system is used for Lemon and the usual configure script is
provided. Configuring Lemon should be straightforward, as only the common
arguments are taken into consideration. Of relevance is mainly the --prefix
argument, that will set the install directory. It is crucial, however, to either
use an MPI wrapper around the compiler, or set the include and linker paths
such that MPI can be found. This can be done by setting environment variables,
e.g. CC=mpicc

Once the library has been configured, make will compile both the library itself
and two binaries that can be found in the test subdirectory (The system will
call aclocal-1.9, automake-1.9 and autoconf. This will result in an error if
only newer versions are available, but one can simply invoke aclocal, automake
and autoconf manually and call make again to continue). These two binaries not
only provide short, self-contained samples of Lemon usage, but are in fact
potentially useful in a production environment. The first, lemon_contents, is a
direct port of the C-LIME lime_contents program. It displays a short overview of
all the records available within a particular LIME file. If the contents of a
record data block are both non-binary and short enough, lemon_contents will send
it to standard output. Potential uses for lemon_contents include checking if a
LIME file is well-formed and displaying the metadata associated with a
particular file. The second program that is compiled by default is
lemon_benchmark. This executable will generate an artificial lattice of random
data, the topology of which will be generated automatically taking into account
the number of MPI processes. This lattice is written out and subsequently
read in, both using Lemon's parallel I/O routines. The I/O speed is calculated
from the timing of both operations and reported on standard output. Two arguments 
should be provided. The first is the length L of the spatial dimensions of the 
lattice, which determines the global size of the lattice as L^3 x 2 L. The second
is the number of iterations of the write-read cycle. To check the correct operation 
of the library, an MD5  hash is calculated for the data before and after the I/O 
operations and any discrepancies will be reported. The MD5 implementation included 
here was written by L. Peter Deutsch and is available freely from This code is intended to allow 
the user to obtain basic information on the I/O performance on his or her particular
system and to give some indication of the scaling. Of course, it also functions as
a basic tool for detecting major problems in the writing or retrieving of data. 
After running make, the user can run make install to install the library, its headers 
and the two binaries described above to the directory specified by the --prefix argument 
to configure (or the default location if that argument has been omitted). 

Additional binaries can still be compiled by calling make check. These will
include the writing and reading of an artifical metadata record, both using
blocking and non-blocking I/O (xlf and xlf_non_blocking}), that can be displayed
using lemon_contents. Also provided are two programs that write a small amount
of data using the mapped parallel I/O routines, again in a blocking and
non-blocking version (parallel and parallel_non_blocking). The data written will
be a set of characters identifying a particular MPI process, such that the
output file demonstrates the linearisation of the data. The last sample program
that has been included is canonical, a skeleton implementation of the library.
None of these binaries will be installed, as they serve no particular function
other than being examples.

As an example, an MPI run of lemon_benchmark on 4 MPI processes, performing 3
measurements of the IO timings for an 8 x 8 x 8 x 16 lattice should provide the
following result (your reading and writing speeds and times may vary):

mpirun -np 4 lemon_benchmark 8 3
Benchmark on a block of data  4.72 MB in size,
representing a 8 x 8 x 8 x 16 lattice,
distributed over 4 MPI processes
for a local 4 x 4 x 8 x 16 lattice.

Measurement 1 of 3.
Time spent writing was 0.15 s.
Time spent reading was 0.016 s.
All nodes report that MD5 hash matches.

Measurement 2 of 3.
Time spent writing was  0.2 s.
Time spent reading was 0.017 s.
All nodes report that MD5 hash matches.

Measurement 3 of 3.
Time spent writing was 0.21 s.
Time spent reading was 0.018 s.
All nodes report that MD5 hash matches.

Average time spent writing was 1.88e-01 s, with a standard deviation of 2.50e-02 s.
Average time spent reading was 1.68e-02 s, with a standard deviation of 1.05e-03 s.

Average writing speed was  25.1 MB/s
Average reading speed was   281 MB/s
All data hashed correctly.
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