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Subject: Re: [boost] Synchronization (RE: [compute] review)
From: Kyle Lutz (kyle.r.lutz_at_[hidden])
Date: 2014-12-29 16:16:54

On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Thomas M <firespot71_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> On 29/12/2014 17:56, Kyle Lutz wrote:
>> On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 1:21 AM, Thomas M <firespot71_at_[hidden]> wrote:
>>> On 29/12/2014 03:23, Kyle Lutz wrote:
>>>> On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 6:16 PM, Gruenke,Matt <mgruenke_at_[hidden]>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Boost [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]] On Behalf Of Kyle
>>>>> Lutz
>>>>> Sent: Sunday, December 28, 2014 20:36
>>>>> To: boost_at_[hidden] List
>>>>> Subject: Re: [boost] Synchronization (RE: [compute] review)
>>>>>> On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM, Gruenke,Matt wrote:
>>>>>>> My understanding, based on comments you've made to other reviewers,
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>> that functions like boost::compute::transform() are asynchronous when
>>>>>>> the result is on the device, but block when the result is on the
>>>>>>> host.
>>>>>>> This is what I'm concerned about. Is it true?
>>>>>> Yes this is correct. In general, algorithms like transform() are
>>>>>> asynchronous
>>>>>> when the input/output ranges are both on the device and synchronous
>>>>>> when
>>>>>> one
>>>>>> of the ranges is on the host. I'll work on better ways to allow
>>>>>> asynchrony in
>>>>>> the latter case. One of my current ideas is add asynchronous
>>>>>> memory-mapping
>>>>>> support to the mapped_view class [1] which can then be used with any
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> algorithms in an asynchronous fashion.
>>> When you speak of input/output ranges on the host, to what kinds of
>>> iterators do you refer to? Any input/output iterator kind (e.g. iterators
>>> from a std:: container -> just tried a std::vector on
>>> boost::compute::transform, didn't compile if provided as input range), or
>>> iterators that are part of your library?
>> In general, all of the algorithms operate on Boost.Compute iterators
>> rather than STL iterators. The main exception to this rule is the
>> boost::compute::copy() algorithm which copies between ranges of STL
>> iterators on the host and Boost.Compute iterators on the device.
>> Anther exception is the boost::compute::sort() algorithm which can
>> directly sort ranges of random-access iterators on the host (as long
>> as the data is contiguous, e.g. std::vector<T>). I am working to add
>> more direct support for host ranges to the other algorithms. Currently
>> the best way to use the Boost.Compute algorithms together with host
>> memory is with the mapped_view [1] class.
> I would find it very helpful to forbid invalid iterators as arguments as
> much as possible at compile time. For example I can use a
> std::vector::iterator as output range argument:
> std::vector<int> stdvec(100, 0);
> boost::compute::transform(some_begin(), some_end(), stdvec.begin(), ...);
> I guess such a use would be invalid; if transform accepts only iterators
> from your library then I suppose such compile-time checks should be possible
> for both input and output (including targeted error message).

Fully agree. And Boost.Compute already has an internal
`is_device_iterator` trait which we could use to check for proper
device iterators. I've opened an issue for this [1].



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