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BOINC-EvoHo prototype successfull

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Development of a prototypic integration of Simulator005 into the fully automated BOINC global computing system has already lead to over 80 years of CPU-time contributed in less than 3 months.

BOINC-EvoHo prototype successfull

Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing

In November 2007 evolution@home was approached by Rechenkraft.net with the offer to port Simulator005 to the BOINC global computing platform using a wrapper application that was specially developed for this purpose.

After some initial consultation it was agreed to develop a prototype of such a fully automated global computing integration. This new system is completely independent of the currently existing semi-automated global computing system, so there is no immediate need to change existing participation patterns.

The new BOINC-EvoHo prototype has now been up and running for well over 2 months and is currently integrated into Rechenkraft's "yoyo" project as one of two projects that are supported by yoyo at the moment (official yoyo site).

The prototype successfully demonstrates how much computing power can be mobilized by switching to fully-automated global computing: more than 80 years of CPU-time on reasonably modern computers in less than 3 months! See the high scores here! Not that it is anything new that such CPU-power can quickly become available in a global computing project (review, pdf). However, it demonstrates again that it is worth investing in good software infrastructure and it demonstrates the feasibility of the global computing approach in the specific case of evolution@home.

After the successful launch of the first BOINC-EvoHo prototype a number of tasks remain. These include:

  • High scores improvements. Currently all BOINC results are only listed as one entry, without the possibility for more detailed rankings as provided by the current high scores. Also these high scores are still computed semi-automatically.
  • Checkpoints. Due to the absence of checkpoints in the current Simulator005 release 6, the length of BOINC simulations is seriously limited.
  • Data handling. The large number of new results demand a new and more scalable way of handling and storing the data.
  • Porting. The current prototype only works under Windows. Plans are underway to port the code to Linux and the Mac as well.

These tasks will be addressed by rebuilding Simulator005 on a more solid foundation that will also facilitate quicker development of future simulators.

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