Connections involving distributed variables

The purpose of this section is to describe the behavior you should expect when connecting two variables together when at least one of them is a distributed variable.

Distributed output to serial input

Because distributed variables may have different sizes and/or values on different ranks, and serial variables must have the same value and size on all ranks, the only way that a distributed to serial connection is allowed is if src_indices are specified for the serial input and that the specified src_indices are identical on all ranks where the input variable exists. Otherwise the serial inputs could have different values on different ranks, which is illegal. Note that in previous versions of OpenMDAO the behavior when connecting a distributed output to a serial input when src_indices were not specified was that the serial input on each rank will be the same size as the full distributed output. This is no longer the case. In fact, this case is no longer allowed. However, you can still achieve the same behavior by specifying src_indices of om.slicer[:] on the input, which explicitly specifies that the input on each rank is the same size as the full distributed output. For example:

group.connect('mydistcomp.out', '', src_indices=om.slicer[:])

Distributed output to distributed input

When connecting two distributed variables, you can specify src_indices on the input however you choose, or OpenMDAO will automatically assign src_indices to the input based on the size of the input in each rank. For example, if the component that owns the input is running on 3 ranks with input sizes of [2, 3, 4], then src_indices of [0, 1], [2, 3, 4], and [5, 6, 7, 8] will be specified on the 3 ranks. If, however, the global size of the output does not equal the global size of the input, an exception will be raised saying that OpenMDAO is not able to determine the src_indices.

Serial output to distributed input

These types of connections are deprecated and will become errors in a future release, but for now, you are allowed to connect a serial output to a distributed input, provided that the global sizes of input and output are equal and the inputs are the same size on every rank.