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MeDiPack (Message Differentiation Package) is a tool that handles the MPI communication of Algorithmic Differentiation (AD) tools like CoDiPack.

The features of the initial release are:

  • Full forward of the MPI 3.1 specification
  • AD handling for nearly all MPI functions
    • This includes:
      • Point to point communication
      • Collective communication
      • Blocking as well as non-blocking variants
    • This excludes (will be handled later):
      • One-Sided communication
      • IO functions

The Scientific Computing Group at the TU Kaiserslautern develops MeDiPack and will enhance and extend MeDiPack in the future. There is a newsletter available at (The newsletter for MeDiPack and CoDiPack is the same.)

List of supported and unsupported functions


Most of the MPI standard is covered by the MeDiPack library. The functions that are not supported are mostly very specialized routines. The following general list describes features of MPI that are handled, but makes no claim to be complete:

  • Asynchronous communication
  • Custom data types
  • In place buffers
  • Operators
    • Here the interface needed to be extended for AD handling. The default creation of operators will still work but the reduction operations for AD types are handled by performing a gather. Afterwards a local reduce is performed. See the tutorial for further information.

Statistics about the handled functions:

  • MPI 1.* 124/129 (96 %)
  • MPI 2.* 153/183 (83 %)
  • MPI 3.* 70/109 (64 %)
  • Total 347/421 (82 %)


Our aim is to support all MPI functions in MeDiPack, therefore most of the functions in this listing will be removed in the next releases. If you require a function that is in the list below please feel free to contact us.

In general the following class of functions are not supported:

  • One sided communication
  • *w methods
  • Fortran conversion functions
  • *neighbor* functions
  • Handling intercommunicators

The MPI IO functions are just forwarded to there MPI versions. A special handling for the AD types is not implemented.

The missing functions by MPI version:

  • MPI 1.0
    • Sendrecv_replace, Pack, Pack_size, Unpack, Reduce_scatter
  • MPI 2.0
    • Pack_external, Pack_external_size, Type_create_darray, Unpack_external, Alltoallw, Accumulate, Get, Put, Win_complete, Win_create, Win_fence, Win_free, Win_get_group, Win_lock, Win_post, Win_start, Win_test, Win_wait, Type_create_f90_complex, Type_create_f90_integer, Type_create_f90_real, Type_match_size, Op_c2f, Op_f2c, Request_c2f, Request_f2c, Type_c2f, Type_f2c
  • MPI 2.2
    • Reduce_scatter_block
  • MPI 3.0
    • Ialltoallw, Ireduce_scatter, Ireduce_scatter_block, Ineighbor_allgather, Ineighbor_allgatherv, Ineighbor_alltoall, Ineighbor_alltoallv, Ineighbor_alltoallw, Neighbor_allgather, Neighbor_allgatherv, Neighbor_alltoall, Neighbor_alltoallv, Neighbor_alltoallw, Compare_and_swap, Fetch_and_op, Get_accumulate, Raccumulate, Rget, Rget_accumulate, Rput, Win_allocate, Win_allocate_shared, Win_attach, Win_create_dynamic, Win_detach, Win_flush, Win_flush_all, Win_flush_local, Win_flush_local_all, Win_get_info, Win_lock_all, Win_set_info, Win_shared_query, Win_sync, Win_unlock_all, Message_c2f, Message_f2c, T_cvar_get_info, T_pvar_get_info


MeDiPack is published under the GNU LGPL v3 license.


In order to use MeDiPack in your application the following steps have to be taken:

  • Include <medi/medi.hpp> in a global header
  • Use the MeDiPack namespace (using namespace medi;)
  • Rename all uses of MPI_ to AMPI_
  • Include <medi/medi.cpp> file in a translation unit of you program
  • Initialize the specific implementation of your AD tool

Hello World Example

The example uses CoDiPack as an AD tool.

#include <medi/medi.hpp>

#include <codi.hpp>
#include <codi/tools/mpi/codiMpiTypes.hpp>

#include <iostream>

using namespace medi;

using Real = codi::RealReverse;
using Tape = typename Real::Tape;

using MpiTypes = codi::CoDiMpiTypes<Real>;
MpiTypes* mpiTypes;

int main(int nargs, char** args) {
  AMPI_Init(&nargs, &args);

  mpiTypes = new MpiTypes();

  int rank;

  AMPI_Comm_rank(AMPI_COMM_WORLD, &rank);

  Tape& tape = Real::getTape();

  Real a = 3.0;
  if( 0 == rank ) {

    AMPI_Send(&a, 1, mpiTypes->MPI_TYPE, 1, 42, AMPI_COMM_WORLD);
  } else {
    AMPI_Recv(&a, 1, mpiTypes->MPI_TYPE, 0, 42, AMPI_COMM_WORLD, AMPI_STATUS_IGNORE);





  if(0 == rank) {
    std::cout << "Adjoint of 'a' on rank 0 is: " << a.getGradient() << std::endl;

  delete mpiTypes;


#if MEDI_HeaderOnly
#include <medi/medi.cpp>


CMake should be able to find MeDiPack either if CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH contains the MeDiPack directory or if the parameter MeDiPack_DIR is provided to CMake. If you install MeDiPack into a directory which is in the default search path for CMake then you do not need to specify any additional path. An installed MeDiPack also no longer requires the include of medi/medi.cpp. The library will automatically be linked.

The path is different if you use the MeDiPack directory or a CMake installation of MeDiPack.

  • MeDiPack directory (e.g. github checkout):
    • export CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=$CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH:<MeDiPack root>/cmake
    • cmake . -DMeDiPack_DIR=<MeDiPack root>/cmake
  • MeDiPack CMake installation:
    • export CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=$CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH:<MeDiPack install>/share/MeDiPack/cmake
    • cmake . -DMeDiPack_DIR=<MeDiPack install>/share/MeDiPack/cmake

You also have to add MeDiPack as a target link library in the CMakeLists.txt of your project:

find_package(MeDiPack CONFIG REQUIRED)
target_link_libraries(<target> MeDiPack)

Please visit the tutorial page for further information.