Reduce Intents

Note: this is work in progress and is subject to change.


A reduce intent is defined as a forall intent for forall loops and a task intent for task-parallel constructs.

Reduce intents are distinct from other forall/task intents:

  • The shadow variable for a reduce intent implicitly references the accumulation state for the reduction. At the beginning of each task, its accumulation state is initialized to the identity value for the corresponding reduction. At the end of each task, its accumulation state is combined into the accumulation state of its parent task, if any, or into the top-level accumulation state.

  • The top-level accumulation state is accessed through the shadow variable for those loop iterations that correspond to top-level yield statements. Those are the yields that occur outside any task constructs in the iterator that is leading the loop.

  • The value of the corresponding outer variable immediately prior the forall loop or the task-parallel construct is accumulated into the top-level accumulation state. The value of the outer variable immediately after the loop / construct is the result of applying the reduction’s generate operation to the top-level accumulation state at that point. If this generate operation returns the accumulation state unchanged, then the implementation can be optimized by reusing the outer variable as the top-level accumulation state.

Reduce intents are currently implemented for forall and coforall statements.


Increment x in the loop – counts the number of iterations:

var x = 0;
forall myIterator() with (+ reduce x) {
  x += 1;
writeln("The number of loop iterations is: ", x);

Set x in the loop – counts the number of tasks:

var x = 0;
forall myIterator() with (+ reduce x) {
  x = 1;
writeln("The number of tasks is: ", x);

For a user-defined reduction, there is a task-private instance of the reduction class for each task created for the forall or coforall loop. The below section shows how to define and use a user-defined reduction.

User-Defined Reduction Example

Here is an example that defines and uses a user-defined reduction.

/* Implements + reduction over numeric data. */
class PlusReduceOp: ReduceScanOp {

  /* the type of the elements to be reduced */
  type eltType;

  /* task-private accumulator/reduction state */
  var value: eltType;

  /* identity w.r.t. the reduction operation */
  proc identity         return 0: eltType;

  /* accumulate a single element onto the accumulator */
  proc accumulate(elm)  { value = value + elm; }

  /* accumulate a single element onto the state */
  proc accumulateOntoState(ref state, elm)  { state = state + elm; }

  /* accumulate the value of the outer variable at the entry to the loop */
  // Note: this method is optional. If it is not provided,
  // accumulate(outerVar) is used instead.
  proc initialAccumulate(outerVar) { value = value + outerVar: eltType; }

  // Note: 'this' can be accessed by multiple calls to combine()
  // concurrently. The Chapel implementation serializes such calls
  // with a lock on 'this'.
  // 'other' will not be accessed concurrently.
  /* combine the accumulations in 'this' and 'other' */
  proc combine(other: borrowed PlusReduceOp)   { value = value + other.value; }

  /* Convert the accumulation into the value of the reduction
     that is reported to the user. This is trivial in our case. */
  proc generate()       return value;

  /* produce a new instance of this class */
  proc clone()          return new unmanaged PlusReduceOp(eltType=eltType);

// Use the above class.
var A = [1000, 200, 30, 4];
var sum: int;
forall elm in A with (PlusReduceOp reduce sum) {
  sum += elm;  // equivalently:  sum reduce= elm;

// To have different input/accumulator/result types of the reduction,
// specify the input type explicitly, e.g. PlusReduceOp(int) below:
var A = [false, false, true, false, true];
var sum: real;
forall elm in A with (PlusReduceOp(int) reduce sum) {
  sum reduce= elm;   // bools are implicitly coerced to 'int' input type
  writeln(sum);      // accumulation state: int
writeln(sum);        // result: real

Future Work

  • Switch to a light-weight interface for user-defined reductions. The current proposal is discussed in GitHub issue 9879.

  • Implement reduce= for task intents.

  • Implement reduce intents for cobegin statements. Consider reduce intents for begin statements.