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There are several ways in which to submit Matlab jobs to a cluster.  This document will cover the various ways to run Matlab compute jobs on the Shared Research Compute clusters, which will include using the , Parallel Computing Toolbox (PCT) and the Matlab Distributed Compute Engine (MDCE) to submit many independent tasks and to submit a single task that has parallel components.


Task Parallel - Multiple independent iterations within your workflow.

Data Parallel - Single program working on a problem across multiple processors.

MDCE - Matlab Distributed Compute Engine.  This is a component of Matlab that allows our clusters to run Matlab jobs that exceed the size of a single compute node (multinode parallel jobs).  it also allows jobs to run even if there are not enough toolbox licenses available for a particular toolbox, so long as the university owns at least one license for the particular toolbox. 


take from old FAQ

Running with PBS qsub

Good for jobs that are single processor jobs and do not encounter any toolbox license issues.  Take from old FAQ.

Using MDCE for Task Parallel and Data Parallel Jobs

Using MDCE will allow you to submit multiple jobs with a single job submission (Task Parallel) or submit a single task that is a multiprocessor (and possibly multinode) job.  In order to run this type of job you must first configure Matlab for this type of job submission by following these steps;

One-time Setup

These steps need to be performed only once.  Subsequent runs of Matlab need not repeat these steps.

Configuring Matlab

1.   In your home directory create the MdcsDataLocation/sugar subdirectory.

2.  Load the Matlab 2011a environment:

3.  Run Matlab on the login node:

4.  In Matlab, add the ddd folder to your Matlab path so that Matlab will be able to find the scripts necessary to submit and schedule jobs.

  1. Click on File and then Set Path
  2. Click the Add Folder button
  3. Specify the following folder:

    Error saving pathdef.m

    If Matlab reports that it is unable to save pathdef.m in your current folder, then follow the prompts to select your home folder before saving the file.

5.  Import the cluster configuration for sugar

  1. Click on Parallel and then Manage Configurations
  2. Click on File and then Import
  3. Navigate to /opt/apps/matlab/2011a-scripts and select sugar.
  4. Select sugar configuration and click on Start Validation
    1. All four stages should pass:  Find Resources, Distributed Job, Parallel Job, Matlabpool

      Validation will fail on a busy cluster

      If the cluster is busy such that a job submission must wait before it will run then the validation steps will fail.

If all validation stages succeed, then you are ready to run jobs with MDCE.

Submitting Task Parallel Jobs

Submitting Data Parallel Jobs

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