vysmaw client library
maw /mȯ/ noun
- the jaws or throat of a voracious animal
vys·maw /'vizmȯ/ noun
- a library for receiving a fast stream of visbility data
The vysmaw client library is intended to facilitate the development of code for processes to tap into the fast visibility stream on the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array correlator back-end InfiniBand network. Please be aware that this library, as well as the implementation of the fast visibility stream at the VLA, is experimental in nature.
- cmake, version 2.8 or later
- gcc, tested on version 5.x and 6.1.0; other C compilers may work
- libibverbs, OFED version 1.1.8 or later?
- librdmacm, OFED version 1.1.8 or later?
- glib-2.0, version 2.28 or later
- Python, version 2.7 or later (including 3.x)
- cython, version 0.24 or later
The above dependencies must be satisfied with "development" versions of packages, where applicable.
The version numbers quoted above reflect those used in development so far; they are subject to change, and may or may not correspond to strict version requirements. If you successfully build this project, please send a note to the repository owner with the versions of the above dependencies you used.
Simple: run cmake, followed by make. Below are some cmake scripts that I've used for development on two different systems to help get you started.
A debug build on a standard NRAO RHEL 6.6 machine, with a locally installed, modern version of cmake, in a pyenv environment (Python v 2.7.11):
GCC=/opt/local/compilers/gcc-6/bin/gcc PYTHON_EXECUTABLE=$( python-config --prefix )/bin/python PYTHON_LIBRARY=$( ls $( python-config --prefix )/lib/libpython*.so ) PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR=$( ls -d $( python-config --prefix )/include/python* ) BUILD_DIR=./build CMAKE="mkdir -p $BUILD_DIR && cd $BUILD_DIR && \ ~/stow/cmake-3.6.3/bin/cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug \ -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=$GCC -DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=$PYTHON_EXECUTABLE \ -DPYTHON_LIBRARY=$PYTHON_LIBRARY -DPYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR=$PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR .." echo $CMAKE eval $CMAKE
A release build on a Ubuntu 16.10 machine:
GCC=$( which gcc ) PYTHON_EXECUTABLE=$( which python3 ) PYTHON_LIBRARY=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpython3.5m.so.1.0 PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include/python3.5m BUILD_DIR=./build CMAKE="mkdir -p $BUILD_DIR && cd $BUILD_DIR && \ cmake -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=$GCC \ -DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=$PYTHON_EXECUTABLE -DPYTHON_LIBRARY=$PYTHON_LIBRARY \ -DPYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR=$PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR .." echo $CMAKE eval $CMAKE
I recommend building the project in a sub-directory of the top level project directory. This allows one to keep the source tree clean, and easily remove all build artifacts, including the cmake generated files.
# from the top level project directory... mkdir build cd build cmake .. # replace with your cmake command
Note that if you intend to build and run sample code from your own source tree,
you may have to set PYTHONPATH to point to the
py sub-directory of the build
The two primary artifacts produced by the build are a C language shared library, and a Python extension with a Python/Cython interface to the shared library.
A smaller artifact is a vys system configuration library, which supports both vysmaw and the visibility stream producers (i.e., the sending processes: the correlator back-end or a simulator).
A distributed visibility stream simulator application. This application must be
launched (and is compiled) as an MPI application, using any MPI job launcher
that is compatible with the MPI library used to build the application. For the
time being, the only further usage instruction is available by starting the
application with the
Configuration files for both the vysmaw and vys libraries are available in the source tree. These may be installed by the user, but are operationally optional. As an alternative to, or in addition to, installing these files on a system, they may be used as templates by application developers for application-specific configurations.
To install the project libraries, include files and configuration files, a make
install target is provided. Note that the install directory may be set in the
call to cmake, using the
CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX variable. An additional option
is to use the
DESTDIR variable in the
make install command, but keep in mind
DESTDIR only sets a prefix to the value of
As an example that illustrates the effect of the two variables used to define
the top-level installation directory, the following commands will result in
files installed under
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/vys # ... truncated make DESTDIR=/tmp/foo install
Finally, note that for a debug build, nothing will be installed when running
At the moment, the API for the C language library is detailed in the
source file. Python programmers are encouraged to refer the comments in that
file for documentation, as well.
A complete API is available in Python, although production code should resort to the Cython interface in some circumstances. In particular, for performance reasons, the callback provided by the client, which is used to decide which spectra are of interest to the client, ought to be implemented in Cython (or C). The callback will be called very frequently by the client library under most conditions; therefore, the callback is executed without locking the Python GIL, and the callback itself should preferably not lock the GIL. Using an inefficient callback will result in the client not receiving all the spectra that it wishes to receive (although such a callback will not affect other clients, or the correlator back-end.)
Building a client application
To ensure binary compatibility for servers and clients, applications should be compiled with the (gcc) "-fno-short-enums" flag. This advice applies to C, C++ and Cython applications.
Running a client application
Efficient access to InfiniBand resources by vysmaw requires a large amount of
"locked" memory. However, many systems are configured to severely limit the
amount of locked memory available to user processes. While this limit may be
increased by using the
ulimit -l command, there is often a hard limit on this
value that cannot be overridden by most users. A failure to access the required
amount of locked memory oftentimes appears as a failure to start an application,
with InfiniBand-related warning messages referring to "rdma" or "cq" (the exact
messages being dependent upon application error handling).
Every client that initializes the library receives upon return from the initialization function a vysmaw client handle, representing the resources allocated by the library for that client, and a visibility data queue reference. Upon initialization, a client provides the library with a callback function predicate that is used by the library to determine the visibility spectra that are to be delivered to the client via the visibility data queue. Only those spectra that satisfy the predicate will be passed to the client on its data queue. After initialization, the client must simply take items (i.e., mostly spectra) from the queue repeatedly, eventually call a shutdown function, and continue to take items from the queue until a special, sentinel value is retrieved. For efficiency in the library implementation, the memory used to store spectra is a limited resource, which requires that client applications make an effort to release references to spectral data as soon as possible. Failure to release spectral data references in the client application may result in failures of the client to receive all the spectra that are expected.
All sample code can be found under the
examples project directory.
sample1 (mostly Python)
The sample1 application is trivial in that it uses a callback that selects no spectra. It will run to completion on any machine, even in the absence of an InfiniBand HCA. The application will simply print the end-of-data-stream message to stdout, since no spectra are selected.
If there is no InfiniBand HCA, the library will immediately signal the end of the data stream, and provide error messages to the client in the end-of-data-stream message. Note that on some systems the OFS software may insist on printing messages to stderr if no InifiniBand HCA is present.
Note that the sample uses the start_py method, which is convenient for development and testing, but is not recommended for production code.
sample2 (Python with Cython callback)
The sample2 application has the same functionality as sample1, but, with a bit more usage of Cython and the vysmaw Cython API (cy_vysmaw) than sample1, its implementation avoids locking the Python GIL in the callback function predicate.
sample3 (optimized Cython)
The sample3 application demonstrates several Cython optimization techniques, as well as providing a non-trivial callback function predicate. It implements a message processing loop in Cython that compiles entirely to C, without entry to the Python interpreter.
sample4 is an application written in C++. It can be used
as a simple, diagnostic vysmaw application, or as the basis for developing a
more interesting application. Starting the program with the
option may be useful for performance testing; starting without that option may be
preferable to review the metadata of the spectra that have been received.