Message Passing used in Calculating the Block Average of a Distributed Matrix

In parallel computing, communication between workers extracts a heavy cost and therefore a rule of thumb is to keep processing local. But certain array operations, such as averaging over a window, require access to neighbors of an array element which may reside in the memory of neighboring workers. In this case communication becomes necessary. However, instead of repeatedly communicating with neighbors we can exploit the symmetry in element access and exchange the necessary elements in one go.

In this exercise, we will sample a large image to get a smaller single image that can fit on our local machine. We will subsample and average the large image and visually compare the results.

We will use a distributed array to hold the data in the memory of the participating workers. Since we wish to perform subsampling and averaging and want to keep processing local, we will retrieve elements from neighboring workers in advance using the haloNodes function and construct a new larger array that holds the local elements of the distributed array in addition to the elements from the neighbors. We can then perform the operations on each worker independently and concatenate the results later.


Open matlabpool

if matlabpool('size') == 0
    matlabpool open 4
    warning('MATLAB:poolOpen', 'matlabpool already open')
Destroying 1 pre-existing parallel job(s) created by matlabpool that were in the 
finished or failed state.

Starting matlabpool using the parallel configuration 'local'.
Waiting for parallel job to start...
Connected to a matlabpool session with 4 labs.
clear all

n = 5000; % original size of the surface, n-x-n
distDim = 2; % dimension distributing over

Create the surface to sample


    % Creating the surface to sample
    origSurf = createSurface(n,distDim); % creates a square matrix, n x n
    sizeFull = size(origSurf);


Averaging, every sampleRate points

View haloNodes

View sampleFunctionAvg

sampleRate = 100;


    % uses message passing functionality to get necessary overlapping nodes
    a = haloNodes(origSurf,sampleRate);
    a = sampleFunctionAvg(a,sampleRate,sizeFull,distDim);

    a = codistributed(a,codistributor('1d', distDim));
    a = gather(a,1);



View sampleFunctionNoAvg


    b = localPart(origSurf);
    b = sampleFunctionNoAvg(b,sampleRate,sizeFull,distDim);

    b = codistributed(b,codistributor('1d', distDim));
    b = gather(b,1);


Compare Averaging vs Subsampling

title('Averaging every sampleRate Points');

title('Subsampling every sampleRate Points');

Close matlabpool

if matlabpool('size') ~= 0
    matlabpool close
    warning('MATLAB:poolClose', 'matlabpool already closed')
Sending a stop signal to all the labs...
Waiting for parallel job to finish...
Performing parallel job cleanup...