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IPM is a widely-used MPI profiler with many sites using it by default for every MPI job. The level of detail is selectable at runtime and presented through a variety of text and web reports. IPM can also provide information from the CPU HW counters giving basic CPU as well as MPI statistics.   

The following versions of IPM are available:

  1. ipm/0.983-nci
    1. works with openmpi/1.6.5 or less
    2. gives nice graph with communication pattern
  2. ipm/0.983-cache
    1. works with openmpi/1.6.5 or less
    2. gives L1 L2 L3 cache misses
  3. ipm/2.0.2
    1. only works with openmpi/1.7.* and 1.8.*
    2. the only version gives flops
  4. ipm/2.0.5
    1. works with openmpi/1.10.2


Using IPM does not require code recompilation. Instead, LD_PRELOAD is used to dynamically load the IPM library ( as a wrapper to the MPI runtime.   

A simple PBS job script using the IPM profiler with an MPI executable (prog.exe) is as shown below:

#PBS -l ncpus=2
module load openmpi
module load ipm
mpirun prog.exe > output

Currently, IPM is available for openmpi version 1.4.1 and above.   

User can also define the IPM log directory and log file name via setting following environment variables in the PBS job script before mpirun, an good example of IPM log directory and file name are:

export IPM_LOGDIR=/short/$PROJECT/ipm_logs

NOTE: For some applications, defining IPM_LOGDIR in .bashrc or .cshrc is compulsory to successfully generate IPM profile data file. These applications usually have following features:   

  • different MPI ranks working in different directories,
  • PBS job scripts are automatically generated by some sense,
  • more to be added …

Profile Data

By default IPM produces a summary of the performance information for the application on stdout. IPM also generates an XML data file which will be named something like (if user hasn’t define IPM_LOGFILE environment variable):   

your_username.1231369287.321103.0 eg. jxc900.1231369287.321103.0  

Graphical Parser and Viewer

The XML data file can be used to generate a graphical webpage in one of two ways.   

Use lightweight browser on NCI machine

To visualize the IPM XML data on Raijin, you need to login to Raijin with an X display, eg. using ssh -X or ssh -Y, or with VNC. The detailed sample instruction on Raijin is listed below.

ssh -X raijin
module load openmpi
module load ipm
ipm_view IPM_XML_file

Use your favourite browser on your laptop/desktop

Alternatively, the IPM XML data file can be parsed to HTML format. The detailed sample instruction on raijin are:

ssh raijin
module load openmpi
module load ipm
module load ploticus
ipm_parse -html <IPM_XML_file>

The ipm_parse command will generate a directory containing parsed IPM profile data with graphs. The directory will be named something like:   


You can secure copy the directory to your local disk. A sample instruction is as follows.

scp -r a.out_1_your_username.1231369287.321103.0_ipm_${jobid} user@your_local_machine:path_to_store/

Then you can view it with your favourite web browser, e.g. firefox, on your desktop:

firefox path_to_store/a.out_1_your_username.1231369287.321103.0_ipm_${jobid}/index.html

Integration with Hardware Performance Counters (HPM)

IPM can be integrated with hardware performance counters and profile useful information such as GFlops, cache misses, etc. PAPI is used for this purpose. Currently, IPM-HPM are only avaialble for Open MPI version 1.4.3.   

To usage IPM with HPM, please do following:   

module load ipm/0.983-cache

A sample PBS job script will be similar to following:

#PBS -l ncpus=2
module load openmpi
module load ipm/0.983-cache


mpirun prog.exe > output

Pre-defined PAPI Eventsets

The environment variable IPM_HPM can be selected from following predefined PAPI event sets for Raijin.   

For Raijin:  


Customize Your Own PAPI Eventsets

You can also customize your own PAPI eventsets for IPM_HPM environment variable via using papi_event_chooser command.  

module load papi
papi_event_chooser -help

Both PAPI pre-define events, and native hardware events can be used.   

NCI Customised IPM Settings

Message sizes rounding to power of 2

export IPM_ROUNDED=yes

This feature significantly reduces the memory usage and postprocessing time during both runtime and parsing time.   

IPM Check-pointing


This feature allow IPM to checkpoint profile status in $IPM_CHKPT_INTERVAL seconds intervals. The checkpointed profile data will be stored in a.out_1_your_username.1231369287.321103.0_ipm_${jobid}.${rank} files.   

These files can be merged (using cat command) into a single XML file, and parsed with ipm_parse.