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README

This is the Inuktitut portable library. 

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Find information at http://www-id.imag.fr/Logiciels/inuktitut/
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If you got the source files and want to compile and install the library,
read the INSTALL file
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If you got the source files and want make changes or add networks, you shuold
read the DEVELOPERS file
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What is Inuktitut ?

Context
In the context of cluster or grid computing numerous protocols and interfaces exist to communicate between machines (Socket, MPI, Madeleine, GM, ...). Inuktitut aims at defining a set of application programming interfaces (API) in order to develop programs that can be highly portable on different operating systems on top of these interfaces. Inuktitut defines two classes of interface for efficient exploitation of clusters of SMPs machines: the intra-node parallelism between processors is managed using light weight processes (threads) and the inter-node parallism between SMPs machines use one-side operations to exchange messages.

Overview of Inuktitut
Inuktitut aims to provide a C++ interface for:

    * Multithreading: we have defined a basic portability layer, called PThread,  which more or less a minimal union of the best of POSIX 1003c Thread interface and Windows Thread interface.
    * Communication: Inuktitut defines the concept of Network. A Network is a set of interface for communication using different kind of active message. A node (a process) could be bound to a network. Each neighbor nodes of one node of a network have an identifier, but no assumption is made about a global name, e.g. a node does not have necessarly a rank � la MPI.

The protocols defined in Inuktitut are:

    * Active Message: a message is sent to a node on which it is put on a stack before a call to a service is made. The stack (and thus the message) is lost after the call to the service.
    * Write and Signal: similar to the active message with the exception that the message is put into memory regions defined by the the user through the call to a special function. The message remains persistant with respect to the call to the service and it is the responsibility of the programmer to free the memory regions.
    * Allocate Write and Signal: similar Write and Signal protocol except that the network makes the allocation of the memory regions where to store the incomming message. The application is responsible for freeing the memory regions.

Note that Inuktitut does not define rendez-vous on message (no send-receive) operations, but only one-side operations.

Moreover, Inuktitut defines a library for collective communication using scalable algorithms (chain-tree, alpha-tree, flat-tree) and mixed-algorithms using the best algorithm for a range on input. This work is ongoing work and  cannot be considered as stable at the moment.


Currently Networks have been implemented on top of:

    * CORBA: we use CORBA to exchange data, due the protocols used in Inuktitut, a very low overhead in implementation have been mesured.
    * TCP/IP: we have built an implementation of our protocols directly on top of TCP/IP. 
    * Myrinet-GM: this is an ongoing work and not yet available in current release.

You can find documentation in the html directory and examples in the examples directory
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