HPX - High Performance ParalleX

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Writing HPX applications

In order to write an application which uses services from the HPX runtime system you need to initialize the HPX library by inserting certain calls into the code of your application. Depending on your use case, this can be done in 3 different ways:

Re-use the main() function as the main HPX entry point

This method is the least intrusive to your code. It however provides you with the smallest flexibility in terms of initializing the HPX runtime system only. The following code snippet shows what a minimal HPX application using this technique looks like:

#include <hpx/hpx_main.hpp>

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    return 0;
}

The only change to your code you have to make is to include the file hpx/hpx_main.hpp. In this case the function main() will be invoked as the first HPX thread of the application. The runtime system will be initialized behind the scenes before the function main() is executed and will automatically stopped after main() has returned. All HPX API functions can be used from within this function now.

[Note] Note

The function main() does not need to expect receiving argc/argv as shown above, but could expose the signature int main(). This is consistent with the usually allowed prototypes for the function main() in C++ applications.

All command line arguments specific to HPX will still be processed by the HPX runtime system as usual. However, those command line options will be removed from the list of values passed to argc/argv of the function main(). The list of values passed to main() will hold only the commandline options which are not recognized by the HPX runtime system (see the section HPX Command Line Options for more details on what options are recognized by HPX).

The value returned from the function main() as shown above will be returned to the operating system as usual.

[Important] Important

To achieve this seamless integration, the header file hpx/hpx_main.hpp defines a macro

#define main hpx::user_main

which could result in unexpected behavior.

Supply your own main HPX entry point while blocking the main thread

With this method you need to provide an explicit main thread function named hpx_main at global scope. This function will be invoked as the main entry point of your HPX application on the console locality only (this function will be invoked as the first HPX thread of your application). All HPX API functions can be used from within this function.

The thread executing the function hpx::init will block waiting for the runtime system to exit. The value returned from hpx_main will be returned from hpx::init after the runtime system has stopped.

The function hpx::finalize has to be called on one of the HPX localities in order to signal that all work has been scheduled and the runtime system should be stopped after the scheduled work has been executed.

This method of invoking HPX has the advantage of you being able to decide which version of hpx::init to call. This allows to pass additional configuration parameters while initializing the HPX runtime system.

#include <hpx/hpx_init.hpp>

int hpx_main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    // Any HPX application logic goes here...
    return hpx::finalize();
}

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    // Initialize HPX, run hpx_main as the first HPX thread, and
    // wait for hpx::finalize being called.
    return hpx::init(argc, argv);
}
[Note] Note

The function hpx_main does not need to expect receiving argc/argv as shown above, but could expose one of the following signatures:

int hpx_main();
int hpx_main(int argc, char* argv[]);
int hpx_main(boost::program_options::variables_map& vm);

This is consistent with (and extends) the usually allowed prototypes for the function main() in C++ applications.

The header file to include for this method of using HPX is hpx/hpx_init.hpp.

Supply your own main HPX entry point while avoiding to block the main thread

With this method you need to provide an explicit main thread function named hpx_main at global scope. This function will be invoked as the main entry point of your HPX application on the console locality only (this function will be invoked as the first HPX thread of your application). All HPX API functions can be used from within this function.

The thread executing the function hpx::start will not block waiting for the runtime system to exit, but will return immediatlely.

[Important] Important

You cannot use any of the HPX API functions other that hpx::stop from inside your main() function.

The function hpx::finalize has to be called on one of the HPX localities in order to signal that all work has been scheduled and the runtime system should be stopped after the scheduled work has been executed.

This method of invoking HPX is useful for applications where the main thread is used for special operations, such a GUIs. The function hpx::stop can be used to wait for the HPX runtime system to exit and should be at least used as the last function called in main(). The value returned from hpx_main will be returned from hpx::stop after the runtime system has stopped.

#include <hpx/hpx_start.hpp>

int hpx_main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    // Any HPX application logic goes here...
    return hpx::finalize();
}

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
{
    // Initialize HPX, run hpx_main.
    hpx::start(argc, argv);

    // ...Execute other code here...

    // Wait for hpx::finalize being called.
    return hpx::stop();
}
[Note] Note

The function hpx_main does not need to expect receiving argc/argv as shown above, but could expose one of the following signatures:

int hpx_main();
int hpx_main(int argc, char* argv[]);
int hpx_main(boost::program_options::variables_map& vm);

This is consistent with (and extends) the usually allowed prototypes for the function main() in C++ applications.

The header file to include for this method of using HPX is hpx/hpx_start.hpp.


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