Overview of the MPI-IO parallel I/O interface

Peter Corbett, Dror Feitelson, Sam Fineberg, Yarsun Hsu, Bill Nitzberg, Jean Pierre Prost, Marc Snir, Bernard Traversat, Parkson Wong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Thanks to MPI, writing portable message passing parallel programs is almost a reality. One of the remaining problems is file I/O. Although parallel file systems support similar interfaces, the lack of a standard makes developing a truly portable program impossible. It is not feasible to develop large scientific applications from scratch for each generation of parallel machine, and, in the scientific world, a program is not considered truly portable unless it not only compiles, but also runs efficiently. The MPI-IO interface is being proposed as an extension to the MPI standard to fill this need. MPI-IO supports a high-level interface to describe the partitioning of file data among processes, a collective interface describing complete transfers of global data structures between process memories and files, asynchronous I/O operations, allowing computation to be overlapped with I/O, and optimization of physical file layout on storage devices (disks).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigh Performance Mass Storage and Parallel I/O
Subtitle of host publicationTechnologies and Applications
PublisherWiley-IEEE Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780470544839
ISBN (Print)0471208094, 9780471208099
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Arrays
  • File systems
  • Layout
  • Message passing
  • Semantics
  • Writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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