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From: Hurd, Matthew (hurdm_at_[hidden])
Date: 2003-12-16 08:55:07

Robert, or other interested party,

Any thoughts about including a so called "fast wire" approach in
serialisation. That is, using a block of data that is the same as the
internal representation, including alignment padding, and being able to
blurt that out, perhaps with an optional native data representation
(NDR) suffix or prefix that describes the block. I read an interesting
report, "Efficient Wire Formats for High Performance Computing",
Bustamante, Eisenhauer, Schwan, Widener (, on this speeding
network comms up considerably. The principle being that sending and
reconstruction can be quicker as well as there existing zero-copy
potential... The paper suggests 3 orders of magnitude speed up for send
and one order for receiving to give a 45% reduction in round trip time
for their network case (relative to MPI).

The authors' Portable Binary I/O approach seems a little clumsy for a
C++ app compared to the neat potential to do the same with the
serialization library. There is a bit more meat in their sandwich as
they can generate custom translators on the fly on the receiver side to
translate the NDR incoming format into a consumable morsel.

I guess such a beast would only work with POD compatible stuff, but
could be extended to having some fast pointer replacement scheme on
reception with an appropriate customer allocator thrown in...

I understand that you're concentrating on accuracy and "beauty" rather
than performance, as you quite rightly should, but there might be some
interesting thoughts here for you and boost::serialization, so I thought
I'd pass this on...


Matt Hurd

PS: The paper is available at the always too busy citeseer, but if
anyone would like it, send me a mail and I'll forward it on.

Susquehanna Pacific P/L

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