Archive for the ‘Fortran’ Category

eMarch 4: Compilation environment variable

March 22, 2013 Leave a comment

I sometime use improved library like mkl, in my code, the later need to have their path added to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH, in order to be accessed during compilation. Eventually, this may prevent the very handful M-x compile command to work with emacs. The fix I found on stackoverflow

(let ((path (shell-command-to-string ". ~/.bashrc; echo -n $PATH")))
(setenv "PATH" path)
 (setq exec-path
 (split-string-and-unquote path ":")
 (let ((ld_library_path (shell-command-to-string ". ~/.bashrc; echo -n $LD_LIBRARY_PATH")))
 (setenv "LD_LIBRARY_PATH" ld_library_path)
 (setq exec-path
 (split-string-and-unquote ld_library_path ":")
Categories: emacs, Fortran, Linux


June 30, 2012 Leave a comment

After some months of work, we had our article accepted in bioinformatics and the accompanying  software GLASCOW released (available on the GIGA website).

Basically, the software perform a generalized linear mixed model analysis on (preferably) hidden states (obtained e.g. with PHASEBOOK) after a correction for population stratification. This approach has already been successfully applied in : Durkin et al, Sartelet et al, Dupuis et al.

I contribute to the software with some optimizations and code rewriting. The code is thus a mix of several coding practice and style, I must admit that to some extent this can made the code hard to follow.

Seen on this blog

Concerning programming, several details of the package are available on the blog  :

  1. The general framework of the package was set by the script
  2. I use command argument as described here 
  3. The use of Lapack is conditional, and therefore I add some preprocessor instructions in the code
  4. In order to get info on date of compilation I also add some preprocessor instructions

…coming soon on this blog ?

Others key features are :

  • A parallelized reading of the files (we rely on the use of one phase/hidden states file per chromosome, obtained with PHASEBOOK), this trick plus a neat storage of the partial relationship between individuals allow to obtain great speed improvements and lower memory consumption.
  • The computation of score on residuals allow both a general speed-up and an ability to restart analysis only from these last steps.
  • Permutations are done in parallel, nevertheless this last part was very tricky to implement, and I must says that the speed-up didn’t fulfill my expectations….I’ll try to see how to fix this.
  • We add an option for outputting results in a “.assoc” file for a better viewing experience in IGV.

So even if the code still contain some old fashion Fortran (goto etc…) the adventure was fun, inspired me some posts, give me some experience in glmm and add one article to my publications list ! Not so bad, isn’t it ?

Tips : Reading compressed file with fortran and named pipe

May 7, 2012 1 comment

As genomic data are accumulating at some point we have to find solutions to reduce data size as much as possible. Working with beagle (java software), made me noticing that most of “modern language” have standard library to read directly compressed file. Alas most of my tools are written in fortran and the few example I’ve seen of direct reading of compressed files used socket or bindings to C system calls….which are far from the ease of use of python or java library.

Fortunately, I discover recently the named pipe. The idea is to create a “file” that will behave like a pipe. One process will read whatever enter in the pipe and another will write in it.

The advantage here are :

  1. You don’t have to make  changes in  your fortran program
  2. You don’t need to decompress entirely a file to read it (and therefore you spare some disk space).

One example :

You have a compressed file containing genotypes. You need to read the genotype from your program, but you don’t have enough space available to decompress entirely your file. The idea is then to create a named pipe.

Named pipe creation

Named pipe can be created with the following command :

mkfifo MyNamedPipe

A simple ls -al should confirm the creation of the named pipe with the following line :

prw-rw-r– 1 francois francois     0 2012-01-07 19:53 MyNamedPipe

Redirections to named pipe

Suppose you want to compress directly a big file that you generate with any (let say fortran) program. We’ll proceed following these steps :

  1. In a first terminal, start the compression process on the pipe file (e.g. gzip MyNamedPipe)
  2. In a second terminal, write to the named pipe some data

Example with fortran

program testfifo

implicit none

integer :: i,j


do i=1,10000
 do j=i,10000
 end do
end do

end program testfifo


gfortran -o testfifo testfifo.f90



=> As the named pipe is empty the program is waiting for data

In another shell :

 cat MyNamedPipe | gzip >T.gz

And then voilà the decompression start and by turn fortran program continue its  normal execution.


Things are working, but it would be nice to use mkfifo more smoothly. This can be achieve with the EXECUTE_COMMAND_LINE subroutine, within a fortran program.

Two problems should be fixed then :

  1. We should not wait the call system to finish in order to start the reading process.
  2. The read loop should know when file is totally decompressed (in fact as any other stream could be redirected to the named pipe, no end of file signal will be received by the loop).

The first point is obtained by the “&” sign to put the process in background. The second point, is obtained by echoing the “end of file” sign to the named pipe before removing it. So basically, we end-up with something like the following code.

program testfifo
implicit none
integer:: i,j,k,io,unit,iostat
write(*,*)Name of the xz file ?"
!//Create a named pipe//
call EXECUTE_COMMAND_LINE("rm -f MyUnCompressedFile ;mkfifo MyUnCompressedFile")
!//Open a connection to it//
!//Write decompression instruction//
write(Instruction,'(a,a,a)')"(xz -dc  ",filename," >MyUnCompressedFile; echo \x4 >MyUnCompressedFile )"
call EXECUTE_COMMAND_LINE(Instruction)
!//Execute a normal reading loop//
end do
!//remove named pipe//
write(Instruction,'(a)')"( rm -f MyUnCompressedFile)"
end program testfifo


gfortran -o testfifo testfifo.f90


echo T1.xz | ./testfifo

Note : We compile the program with gfortran. In fact, ifort doesn’t recognize (for the moment), the EXECUTE_COMMAND_LINE subroutine, which is part of the new fortran 2008 standard. In order to have the following program working, you should use “call system” instead of “call EXECUTE_COMMAND_LINE” (the first beeing an extension to fortran recognized by both ifort and gfortran).

One Last step beyond

In order to get an even smoother way to read compressed data, we can write a module with function that will work as open and read….you can find here such a module….by the way the reading part work fine, I still haven’t found a good way to open a named pipe for output compression (any hints would be very appreciated !)

Categories: Fortran, Shell

Using Fortran preprocessor (2)

March 3, 2012 2 comments

Following last post on Fortran and preprocessing, we ‘ll try to see other use of preprocessing instructions.

Fortran accept several preprocessor instructions, we’ve illustrated the conditional preprocessor’s instructions, let’s look now at some case studies and how preprocessor’s instructions can help.


Suppose you are given a very buggy code, (I presume that you would not dare writing bugs by your own :-p) your compiler can’t help you to trace the origin of the error (which is obviously a naïve statement), so you decide to start a long and boring task consisting in adding through out the code some tags that will tell you were are you in the code…the normal way is to write several time a line like :

write(*,*)"program reach the point A"
write(*,*)"program reach the point B"

And then you ‘ll have to find where is A or B, to identify where the “first” bugs happens.
Thanks to the “__LINE__” instruction, you’ll be able to retrieve the line of code executed. So our instructions will be something like this

write(*,*)"program reach the line",__LINE__

Note, that the “_” is doubled before and after the LINE keyword.

Let’s assume your source code is split in several files, so to avoid any confusion, we’ll use another instruction

__FILE__“, which, as you’ve probably guess, contain the name of the file containing the code that is being executed.
We now have something like :

write(*,*)"program reach the line",__LINE__," in file ",__FILE__

And now the “hammer”, insert this line in your code with someting like :

for FIC in *.F90
mv $FIC ${FIC}.bck
gawk '{if((NR%10)==0){print $0 "\n write(*,*)\"program reach the line\",__LINE__,\" in file \",__FILE__"}else{print $0}}'   ${FIC}.bck >$FIC

Compile and test !

NB : The \” symbols are there because otherwise ” would be interpreted by awk as the end of a character string.

Once, you’ve corrected all the bugs, turn things back to normal with let’s say… grep :

for FIC in *F90
mv $FIC ${FIC}.dbg
grep -v  "program reach the line" ${FIC}.dbg >>${FIC}

Avoiding debugging

Most often, when people report a bug, they never mention where does the binary they used come from, this, of course, can very often explain why the binary doesn’t make the new feature describe in your manual (at least the user read the manual !), but even with some indications on the software version, it is not always easy to know when the code has been compiled (and if you’ve eventually change your makefile as instance).

So of course, here I’ll present both __DATE__ and __TIME__ instructions, the latter giving the date of compilation and the time (in conjunction with a makefile under version control, you should be able to know everything about how your binary was compiled).

A nice way to use these instructions is by mean of command arguments, with a flag “–version” as instance.

so the example given in the command line post would then be :

!loop across options
 do cptArg=1,narg
  call get_command_argument(cptArg,name)
   select case(adjustl(name))
     write(*,*)"This is program TestArg : Version 0.1"
     write(*,*)"Binary compiled the",__DATE__," at ",__TIME__
    case default
     write(*,*)"Option ",adjustl(name),"unknown"
   end select
 end do
 end if

Note for people using svn as instance, you can also add an $Id: $ flag in your code so that you ‘ll then know both the revision ID and the compilation date.

!loop across options
 do cptArg=1,narg
  call get_command_argument(cptArg,name)
   select case(adjustl(name))
     write(*,*)"This is program TestArg : Version $Id: $"
     write(*,*)"Binary compiled the",__DATE__," at ",__TIME__
    case default
     write(*,*)"Option ",adjustl(name),"unknown"
   end select
 end do
 end if

So now, you’ve seen two possible uses of preprocessor’s instructions, we’ll see in the next post of the serie some other use of preprocessor.

Categories: Awk, Fortran, Linux, Shell

Using Fortran preprocessor (1)

February 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Library like BLAS or LAPACK are both very efficient and pretty often installed on linux computer.  Anyway, when you have to share a source code, you can’t rely on the fact that those libraries are set up on the host computer. So the safe solution is to find a potentially less efficient alternative, which may sound annoying for people used to BLAS and LAPACK.

Fortunately, for this kind of dilemma there is the PreProcessor, that although not part of the standard, is understood by several fortran compiler (at least gfortran, ifort and xlf).

The basic idea of preprocessing is to allow conditional compilation : depending on certain conditions, one part or another of the code will be compiled.

A first exemple

To illustrate let’s make a  sample program, that should be named “TestPreProcessor.F90”, the extension should be written with capital letters (i.e .F90 and not .f90). That’s the way most compilers automatically know that they should preprocess the code.

program TestPreProcessor
implicit none
#if TEST
 write(*,*)"Compiled with Test Flag"
 write(*,*)"Not Compiled with Test Flag"
end program TestPreProcessor

Now we have two ways  to compile our program.

The classical way

#Compile with no flag
ifort  TestPreProcessor.F90 -o TestPreProcessor
#You should see something like this:
Not Compiled with Test Flag

Now the alternative way

#Compile with no flag
ifort  -DTEST TestPreProcessor.F90 -o TestPreProcessor
#You should see something like this:
Compiled with Test Flag

The important point is that the flag -D stand for “define”, then during preprocessing, the keyword written after -D will be considered as defined. The keys  #IF…#ELIF…#END will then be examined.”#if TEST” will stand for “is TEST defined ?” if it is true then code below the #if will compiled otherwise code above #elif will be compiled. That ‘s as simple as it seems !

Wrap up and useful example

So we ‘ve explained the basic idea with preprocessing, let apply this to a real problem. Suppose, we want to make a dot product a two vectors, and would like to offer the possibility to use either the dot_product  intrinsic or the equivalent lapack subroutine.

program Dotprod
 implicit none

 V1=1.0; V2=1.0
 !//Use BLAS if asked//
#if BLAS
 !//only a test//
end program Dotprod

And the corresponding makefile could look like :

#Compilations options + Library path
BLAS= -DBLAS -lblas
FF= -O3 $(BLAS) # Comment or uncomment $(BLAS)
#Main rules
$(PROG): $(PROG).F90
$(COMP) $(FF) -o $(PROG) $(PROG).F90

These should  allow to use either a BLAS subroutine or a standard internal subroutine throughout your code, and ask for very few changes to the end-user who would like to compile your code.

There are several other very useful preprocessor reserved key…but we will see them in an other post 🙂

Categories: Fortran, Linux Tags: ,

Fortran command line arguments

February 9, 2012 2 comments

helloOne little detail that can make your program looks professional is
the ability to pass arguments on the command line.

Surprisingly a lot of Fortran programmers don’t know that this can be done easily, this post will give some tips to use commands arguments.

First, until recently Fortran standard didn’t include any instructions to handle command line argument. Nevertheless, several compilers (in fact all the compilers,  I’ve worked with) like ifort, gfortran, g95 were accepting the use of C function iargc  and the subroutine getarg. And I must confess that until recently this was the tools I used.

Anyways since more and more fortran compilers are compliant with the F03 standard, the official (and recommended) way to deal with command line arguments is the function :
which retrieve the number of argument passed to the command line

and the subroutine
which put character string present at the “i”th argument into variable “aname”.

First step

To illustrate use of command arguments let’s make a  sample program

program TestArg
 integer::narg,cptArg !#of arg & counter of arg
 character(len=20)::name !Arg name

!Check if any arguments are found
!Loop over the arguments
!loop across options
 do cptArg=1,narg
  call get_command_argument(cptArg,name)
   select case(adjustl(name))
     write(*,*)"This is program TestArg : Version 0.1"
    case default
     write(*,*)"Option ",adjustl(name),"unknown"
   end select
 end do
 end if
end program TestArg

Compile and test.

ifort TestArg.f90 -o TestArg ; ./TestArg --help

This is for the basic case.  A good hint is trying to use “classical” flags, in fact many software use somehow the same flag for classical purpose “verbosity”, “help” etc… I do believe that the arguments are really helpful because they allow you to offer a variety of options that won’t bother the user by default. In fact, without optional arguments, we tend to ask the user a lot of information that are for common users either obvious or useless.

A convenient use of the command arguments, is to  create a debug flag that will help to correct your program by enabling the printing of more information, or version flag that can tell you which version of the software are you using…these flags can reduce tremendously your debugging time !

Adding some difficulties….

I generally use arg to activate an option, and later in the program I execute some pieces of code to be executed. As instance, if I want to write down a certain file to be read, I add a flag and later in the program execution, I will ask for the name of this file. Anyway, you probably know some software (plink, beagle  as instance) which looks for all the information they need in the command arguments : With plink, you would as instance write :

plink --ped mydata.ped --map

A program such as the previous one, won’t handle such situation…but be can program something similar (although I believe this is not so nice).

program TestComplexArg

!Check if arguments are found

!loop across options
 do cptArg=1,narg
  call get_command_argument(cptArg,name)
   select case(adjustl(name))
!First known args
     lookForPed=.TRUE. !change logical value
    case default
!Treat the second arg of a serie
      pedFile=adjustl(name) !assign a value to pedfile
      inquire(file=pedFile,exist=fileExist)!check if it exist
       write(*,*)'file ',pedFile,' not found'
      LookForPed=.FALSE. !put the logical variable to its initial value
       write(*,*)'file ',mapFile,' not found'
      write(*,*)"Option ",adjustl(name),"unknown"
    end select
   end do
end program TestComplexArg

Compile and test.

ifort TestArg.f90 -o TestArg
#Create empty files
touch mydata.ped
./TestArg --ped mydata.ped --map

I hope these examples can be useful, and allow you to code “better” (either less verbose or more user-friendly) software.

Categories: Fortran, Linux, Shell Tags: ,

Ifort Quick tips

September 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Not the most convenient representation of a 12x12 matrice, isn'it ?

Ifort is a pretty nice fortran compiler, nevertheless one thing that I find a little bit annoying is its default record length format, when you are testing /debugging a program, it’s always convenient to add a write(*,*) here and there, unfortunately passed the 80th  column the line will be cut and printed on the following line. Fortunately by just adding these oneliner in the shell before running the program

export FORT_FMT_RECL=200

Will do the trick.

This trick is mainly useful while debugging, when you are writing a program, you should prefer to define your data format as precisely as possible, since you never know how your program will be run or compile.

Categories: Fortran, Linux, Misc, Shell