HPX - High Performance ParalleX

Applying an Action Synchronously

This method will schedule the function wrapped in the specified action on the target locality. While the invocation appears to be synchronous (as we will see), the calling thread will be suspended while waiting for the function to return. Invoking a plain action (e.g. a global function) synchronously is straightforward:

some_global_action act;     // define an instance of some_global_action
act(hpx::find_here(), 2.0);

While this call looks just like a normal synchronous function invocation, the function wrapped by the action will be scheduled to run on a new thread and the calling thread will be suspended. After the new thread has executed the wrapped global function, the waiting thread will resume and return from the synchronous call.

Equivalently, any action wrapping a component member function can be invoked synchronously as follows:

some_component_action act;     // define an instance of some_component_action
int result = act(id, "42");

The action invocation will either schedule a new thread locally to execute the wrapped member function (as before, id is the global address of the component instance the member function should be invoked on), or it will send a parcel to the remote locality of the component causing a new thread to be scheduled there. The calling thread will be suspended until the function returns its result. This result will be returned from the synchronous action invocation.

It is very important to understand that this 'synchronous' invocation syntax in fact conceals an asynchronous function call. This is beneficial as the calling thread is suspended while waiting for the outcome of a potentially remote operation. The HPX thread scheduler will schedule other work in the mean time, allowing the application to make further progress while the remote result is computed. This helps overlapping computation with communication and hiding communication latencies.

[Note] Note

The syntax of applying an action is always the same, regardless whether the target locality is remote to the invocation locality or not. This is a very important feature of HPX as it frees the user from the task of keeping track what actions have to be applied locally and which actions are remote. If the target for applying an action is local, a new thread is automatically created and scheduled. Once this thread is scheduled and run, it will execute the function encapsulated by that action. If the target is remote, HPX will send a parcel to the remote locality which encapsulates the action and its parameters. Once the parcel is received on the remote locality HPX will create and schedule a new thread there. Once this thread runs on the remote locality, it will execute the function encapsulated by the action.