Fortran
Fortran is a compiled programming language with a long history available on Compute Canada's servers thanks to the compilers that are installed (gfortran and ifort). In general you will get much better performance using a compiled language and we encourage you to write your programs in these languages, which could be Fortran, C or C++.
Useful Compiler Options
Most contemporary Fortran compilers have a variety of options that can be very helpful during the debugging phase of code development.
- -fcheck=all for the gfortran compiler and -check for the ifort compiler check array bounds and alert for disassociated pointers and uninitialized variables;
- -fpe0 (ifort) causes the application to halt for floating point exceptions such as division by zero or the square root of a negative, instead of simply generating a NaN and letting the application run;
- during testing, you should use -O0 to disable optimizations and -g to add debugging symbols.
Numerical Linear Algebra
Note that modern versions of Fortran, i.e. from Fortran 90 on, include built-in functions to handle basic linear algebra operations like multiplication involving matrices and vectors (matmul and dot_product) and tranposition of matrices (transpose). You should use these or the system-provided BLAS/LAPACK libraries and never attempt to write your own methods for such operations, except as an educational exercise. The BLAS matrix-matrix multiplication routine can be up to 100 times faster than a naive implementation involving three nested loops.
Segmentation Faults
An error that is frequently seen with a Fortran program comes from interface problems. These problems surface if a pointer, a dynamically allocated array or even a function pointer is passed as an argument to a subroutine. There are no compile-time problems, but when the program is ran you see for example the following message:
- forrtl: severe (174): SIGSEGV, segmentation fault occurred
To correct this problem, you should ensure that the interface of the subroutine is explicitly defined. This can be done in Fortran using the INTERFACE command. Then the compiler can construct the interface and the segmentation faults are fixed.
When the argument is an allocatable array, you should replace the following code:
Program Eigenvalue
implicit none
integer :: ierr
integer :: ntot
real, dimension(:,:), pointer :: matrix
read(5,*) ntot
ierr = genmat( ntot, matrix )
call Compute_Eigenvalue( ntot, matrix )
deallocate( matrix )
end
by this code:
Program Eigenvalue
implicit none
integer :: ierr
integer :: ntot
real, dimension(:,:), pointer :: matrix
interface
function genmat( ntot, matrix )
implicit none
integer :: genmat
integer, intent(in) :: ntot
real, dimension(:,:), pointer :: matrix
end function genmat
end interface
read(5,*) ntot
ierr = genmat( ntot, matrix )
call Compute_Eigenvalue( ntot, matrix )
deallocate( matrix )
end
The same principle applies when the argument is a function pointer. Consider, for example, the following code:
Program AreaUnderTheCurve
implicit none
real,parameter :: boundInf = 0.
real,parameter :: boundSup = 1.
real :: area
real, external :: computeIntegral
real, external :: FunctionToIntegrate
area = computeIntegral( FunctionToIntegrate, boundInf, boundSup )
end
function FunctionToIntegrate( x )
implicit none
real :: FunctionToIntegrate
real, intent(in) :: x
FunctionToIntegrate = x
end function FunctionToIntegrate
function computeIntegral( func, boundInf, boundSup )
implicit none
real, external :: func
real, intent(in) :: boundInf, boundSup
...
To avoid segmentation faults you should replace the above code by the following:
Program Eigenvalue
implicit none
real,parameter :: boundInf = 0.
real,parameter :: boundSup = 1.
real :: area
real, external :: computeIntegral
interface
function FunctionToIntegrate( x )
implicit none
real :: FunctionToIntegrate
real, intent(in) :: x
end function FunctionToIntegrate
end interface
area = computeIntegral( FunctionToIntegrate, boundInf, boundSup )
end
function FunctionToIntegrate( x )
implicit none
real :: FunctionToIntegrate
real, intent(in) :: x
FunctionToIntegrate = x
end function FunctionToIntegrate
function computeIntegral( func, boundInf, boundSup )
implicit none
real, intent(in) :: boundInf, boundSup
interface
function func( x )
implicit none
real :: func
real, intent(in) :: x
end function func
end interface
...