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Using Python multiprocessing on an HPC cluster RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am running a Python script on a Windows HPC cluster. A function in the script uses `starmap` from the `multiprocessing` package to parallelize a certain computationally intensive process.

    When I run the script on a single non-cluster machine, I obtain the expected speed boost. When I log into a node and run the script locally, I obtain the expected speed boost. However, when the job manager runs the script, the speed boost from `multiprocessing` is either completely mitigated or, sometimes, even 2x slower. We have noticed that memory paging occurs when the `starmap` function is called. We believe that this has something to do with the nature of Python's `multiprocessing`, i.e. the fact that a separate Python interpreter is kicked off for each core.

    Since we had success running from the console from a single node, we tried to run the script with `HPC_CREATECONSOLE=True`, to no avail.

    Is there some kind of setting within the job manager that we should use when running Python scripts that use `multiprocessing`? Is `multiprocessing` just not appropriate for an HPC cluster?
    Saturday, May 14, 2016 12:31 AM

All replies

  • Can you share the job submission commandline? Have you asked the whole node (instead of core) to your job? If not by default, only one core is assigned to your python even it is "multiprocessing".

    Qiufang Shi

    Monday, May 16, 2016 9:19 AM