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Common Set of Open Source Math Libraries

This policy defines a set of open source math libraries and their consistent maintenance (same version and same configuration) across the resources at the participating centers. Same configuration is dependent on system compatibility, and also, some libraries may have slightly different configurations due to architectural differences. These differences, however, will not affect the use of the libraries. A user moving from one resource to another will notice no difference between the installations and it is expected to find an optimized version of that library.

BC Project LS206-01
Date of policy: 1st November 2011
First Update: 15th July 2011
Second Update: 23rd September 2011

The suite of maintained packages consists of:

Library API Purpose Compliance level References
ARPACK Solution of Eigenvalues/Eigenvectors SHOULD
FFTW Library for computing Discrete Fourier Transforms
Both MPI and non-MPI versions are maintained
PETSc Suite of scientific computing routines MUST
SuperLU Direct solution of sparse linear systems of equations SHOULD
LAPACK Software library of numerical linear algebra routines MUST
ScaLAPACK Subset of parallelized LAPACK routines MUST
BLAS Basic linear algebra routines
* GotoBLAS
SPRNG Pseudo-Random Number Generators for Stochastic computation via Monte Carlo methods et al MUST
GSL C/C++ library with a wide variety of mathematical routines MUST

Change notification

New versions of supported libraries will initially be installed as non-default. Notification will be sent to the project helpdesk announcing the new version and describing how to access it and use it. The helpdesk will be given a minimum of 2 weeks notice when the new version becomes the default version. The old version will not be deleted, but notice will be sent to the helpdesk describing how users can continue to use the old version. It is the responsibility of the individual centers to notify their users of any changes. This change notification is in the absence of any baseline configuration change notification policy that may exist. Any baseline configuration policy on change notification supersedes the change notification listed in this policy. The minimum of versions that will be kept, MUST follow BC LS2_05-01 policy. Old versions MAY be deleted when there are three newer versions available.

Native Libraries

The packages ScaLAPACK, LAPACK and/or ATLAS will not be installed whenever a system includes native libraries such as PESSL (Parallel ESSL) ACML or, MKL (Math kernel Libraries) that fully provide the same functionality and interface. However, if an explicit request is made to have ScaLAPACK, LAPACK and/or ATLAS available on a system, then these packages will also be installed.


The helpdesk team (User Support) maintains the suite of software listed in this policy, and it also provides the needed support channels.

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