mpb-split(1) compute eigenmodes with MPB using multiple processes




mpb-split is a parallelizing front-end to MIT Photonic Bands (MPB). For a computation with several k points, it splits the list of k points over multiple processes. Of course, this will only benefit you on a system where different processes will run on different processors, such as an SMP or a cluster with automatic process migration (e.g. MOSIX). mpb-split is actually a trivial shell script, though, so you can easily modify it if you need to use a special command to launch processes on other processors/machines.

MIT Photonic Bands (MPB) is a free program to compute the band structures (dispersion relations) and electromagnetic modes of periodic dielectric structures, and is applicable both to photonic crystals (photonic band-gap materials) and a wide range of other optical problems.

More information on MPB, including a detailed manual, can be found online at the MPB home page:

A typical invocation of mpb-split looks like:

mpb-split num-split foo.ctl >& foo.out

This causes mpb-split to process the control file foo.ctl, divide the k points into num-split equal chunks, run each list in a separate process with MPB, and redirect the output (in order) to foo.out. (One typically redirects output to a file, as the output is verbose and contains a number of comma-delimited datasets that one can extract by grepping.)

Overall, the behavior and arguments are the same as for mpb except that the first argument must be the integer num-split.

What mpb-split technically does is to set the MPB variable k-split-num to num-split and k-split-index to the index (starting with 0) of the chunk for each process. If you want, you can use these variables to divide the problem in some other way and then reset them to 1 and 0, respectively.


Send bug reports to S. G. Johnson, [email protected].


Written by Steven G. Johnson. Copyright (c) 1999-2012 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.