Parallel Sparse BLAS


Parallel Sparse BLAS


Great addition to any scientific project

Comes with a range of interfaces

Tested on tens of thousands of cores


PSBLAS library


The test/util directory contains some utilities to convert to/from Harwell-Boeing and MatrixMarket file formats.


See docs/psblas-3.5.pdf; an HTML version of the same document is available in docs/html. Please consult the sample programs, especially test/pargen/psb_[sd]_pde[23]d.f90


We originally included a modified implementation of some of the Sparker (serial sparse BLAS) material; this has been completely rewritten, way beyond the intention(s) and responsibilities of the original developers. The main reference for the serial sparse BLAS is:

Duff, I., Marrone, M., Radicati, G., and Vittoli, C. Level 3 basic linear algebra subprograms for sparse matrices: a user level interface, ACM Trans. Math. Softw., 23(3), 379-401, 1997.


Library releases can be downloaded from: psblas3/releases


To compile and run our software you will need the following prerequisites (see also SERIAL below):

  1. A working version of MPI

  2. A version of the BLAS; if you don’t have a specific version for your platform you may try ATLAS available from

  3. We have had good results with the METIS library, from This is optional; it is used in the util and test/fileread directories but only if you specify --with-metis.

  4. If you have the AMD package of Davis, Duff and Amestoy, you can specify --with-amd (see ./configure --help for more details).

The configure script will generate a file suitable for building the library. The script is capable of recognizing the needed libraries with their default names; if they are in unusual places consider adding the paths with --with-libs, or explicitly specifying the names in --with-blas, etc. Please note that a common way for the configure script to fail is to specify inconsistent MPI vs. plain compilers, either directly or indirectly via environment variables; e.g. specifying the Intel compiler with FC=ifort while at the same time having an MPIFC=mpif90 which points to GNU Fortran. The best way to avoid this situation is (in our opinion) to use the environment modules package (see, and load the relevant variables with (e.g.)

module load gnu46 openmpi

This will delegate to the modules setup to make sure that the version of openmpi in use is the one compiled with the gnu46 compilers. After the configure script has completed you can always tweak the file yourself.

After you have fixed, run


to compile the library; go to the test directory and its subdirectories to get test programs done. If you specify --prefix=/path you can do make install and the libraries will be installed under /path/lib, while the module files will be installed under /path/modules. The regular and experimental C interface header files are under /path/include.


Configuring with --enable-serial will provide a fake MPI stub library that enables running in pure serial mode; no MPI installation is needed in this case (but note that the fake MPI stubs are only guaranteed to cover what we use internally, it’s not a complete replacement).


We have an experimental flag --enable-long-integers that will enable having 8-byte integer data, allowing an index space larger than 2G; some small cases have been tested but we do not offer full guarantee (yet).


Fix all reamining bugs. Bugs? We dont’ have any ! ;-)

The PSBLAS team.

Project lead: Salvatore Filippone

Contributors (roughly reverse cronological order):

  • Fabio Durastante
  • Soren Rasmussen
  • Zaak Beekman
  • Ambra Abdullahi Hassan
  • Pasqua D’Ambra
  • Alfredo Buttari
  • Daniela di Serafino
  • Michele Martone
  • Michele Colajanni
  • Fabio Cerioni
  • Stefano Maiolatesi
  • Dario Pascucci