CASA Parallelization Interface Framework

The CASA parallelization framework, mpi4casa was developed as a layer on top of MPI using a client-server model. The Client is the master process, driving user interaction, and dispatching user commands to the servers. Servers are all the other processes, running in the background, waiting for commands sent from the client side.

One use-case of mpi4casa is to run CASA in parallel on a Multi-MS, as explained in previous chapters. There are other ways to process the data in parallel using mpi4casa without the need to create a Multi-MS. For instance, advanced users can benefit from the mpi4casa implementation to run multiple task commands in different cores or nodes.



Start CASA in parallel as explained in previous chapters, using mpicasa.

Import MPICommandClient from mpi4casa module

from mpi4casa.MPICommandClient import MPICommandClient

Create an instance of MPICommandClient

client = MPICommandClient()

Set logging policy


Initialize command handling services



Syntax to send a command request

ret = client.push_command_request(command,block,target_server,parameters)

command: String containing the Python/CASA command to be executed. The command parameters can be included within the command in itself also as strings.

block: Boolean to control whether command request is executed in blocking mode (True) or in non-blocking mode (False). Default is False (non-blocking).

target_server: List of integers corresponding to the server IDs to handle the command

target_server=None: The command will be executed by the first available server

target_server=2: The command will be executed by the server n #2 as soon as it is available

target_server=[0,1]: The command will be executed by the servers n #2 and #3

parameters (Optional): Alternatively the command parameters can be specified in a separated dictionary using their native types instead of strings.

ret (Return Variable):

In non-blocking mode: It will not block and will return an Integer (command ID) to retrieve the command response at a later stage.

In blocking mode: It will block until the list of dictionaries, containing the command response is received.


Syntax to receive a command result

ret = client.get_command_response(command_request_id_list,block)

command_request_id_list: List of Ids (integers) corresponding to the commands whose result is to be retrieved.

block: Boolean to control whether command request is executed in blocking mode (True) or in non-blocking mode (False).

ret (Return Variable): List of dictionaries, containing the response parameters. The dictionary elements are as follows:

‘successful’ (Boolean): indicates whether command execution was successful or failed

‘traceback’ (String): In case of failure contains the traceback of the exception thrown

‘ret’: Contains the result of the command in case of successful execution

Example 1:

Run wvrgcal in 2 different MeasurementSets (for instance each one corresponding to an Execution Block):

# Example of full command including parameters
cmd1 = “wvrgcal(vis=‘',caltable=‘cal-wvr_X54’,spw=[1,3,5,7])”
cmdId1 = client.push_command_request(cmd1,block=False)

# Example of command with separated parameter list
cmd2 = “wvrgcal()”
cmdId2 = client.push_command_request(cmd2,block=False,parameters=params2)

# Retrieve results
resultList = client.get_command_response([cmdId1, cmdId2],block=True)

Note: target_server is not specified because these are monolithic state-less commands, therefore any server can process them.

Example 2:

Use the CASA ms tool to get the data from 2 EBs and apply a custom median filter:

# Open MSs

# Apply median filter
client.push_command_request(“from scipy import signal”,target_server=[1,2])

# Put filter data back in the MSs

# Close MSs

NOTE: target_server is specified as each command depends on the state generated by previous ones; block will block only on the last commands as all the others will be executed using a FIFO queue, meaning the commands will be received in the same order they were sent.


Link to first version of the CASA framework development document