Dear Open-MPI Developers,

investigations on the segmentation fault (see previous postings "Signal: Segmentation fault (11) Problem") lets us suspect that Open-MPI allows only a limited number of elements in the description of user-defined MPI_Datatypes.

Our application segmentation-faults when a large user-defined data structure is passed to MPI_Send.

The segmentation fault happens in the function ompi_generic_simple_pack in datatype_pack.c when trying to access pElem (Bad address). The structure pElem is set in line 276, where it is retrieved as

276: pElem = &(description[pos_desc]);

pos_desc is of type uint32_t with the value 0xffff929f (4294939295), which itself is set on line 271 by a variable of type int16_t and value -1. This leads to the indexing of the description structure at position -1, producing the segmentation fault. The origin of the pos_desc can be faund in the same function at line 271:

271: pos_desc = pStack->index;

The structure to which pStack is pointing is of type dt_stack, defined in ompi/datatype/convertor.h starting at line 65, where index is and int16_t and  commented with “index in the element description”:


typedef struct dt_stack {

    int16_t   index;    /**< index in the element description */

    int16_t   type;     /**< the type used for the last pack/unpack (original or DT_BYTE) */

    size_t    count;    /**< number of times we still have to do it */

    ptrdiff_t disp;     /**< actual displacement depending on the count field */

} dt_stack_t;


We therefore conclude that MPI_Datatypes, which are constructed with Open-MPI (in the release of 1.2.1a of April 10th 2007)
have the limitation of containing a maximum of 32’768 separate entries.

Although changing the type of the index to int32_t solves the problem of the segmentation fault, I would be happy if the author / maintainer of the code could have a look at it and decide if this is viable fix. Having spent a lot of time in hunting down the issue into the Open-MPI code, I would be glad to see the issue fixed in upcoming releases.

Thanx and regards,
Michael Gauckler