Users Auto-Aborting Work Units
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Jake Weiss
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Message 60041 - Posted: 28 Sep 2013, 15:23:15 UTC
Last modified: 28 Sep 2013, 15:25:20 UTC

Mikey,

I am not at all saying we get work units from 3rd party suppliers. Jeff is another person in the Milkyway@home research group. There are currently 4 of us putting up work units for people to crunch. Jeff, and Matt generally work with the flagship application Milkyway@home. Their runs are usually named ps_separation_(insert run specific suffix here) or de_separation_(insert run specific suffix here). I on the other hand work with the Milkyway@home (Modified Fit) application. I have runs named either ps_modifit_(insert run specific suffix here) or de_modfit_(insert run specific suffix here). Finally, Jake B works on Milkyway@home Nbody. I think his runs are usually named de_nbody_(insert run specific suffix here) or ps_nbody_(insert run specific suffix here). If you look at your work units, it should include information about what run they are from. The one you specifically are talking about isn't running on my specific application, 1 of 3 applications we run, but from our flagship application. In general we run times vary slightly depending on the dataset and parameters you are crunching. I do not know much about the parameters or datasets Jeff currently has running so that's why I said I had to talk to him about the problem.


Also, we do not have a list of drivers we currently use, in general the most up to date stable driver should work, not beta, unless it is broken from AMD of course.

Sorry for the confusion and I hope this explanation helped,

Jake W

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Message 60045 - Posted: 28 Sep 2013, 19:28:01 UTC - in response to Message 60041.

Mikey,

I am not at all saying we get work units from 3rd party suppliers. Jeff is another person in the Milkyway@home research group. There are currently 4 of us putting up work units for people to crunch. Jeff, and Matt generally work with the flagship application Milkyway@home. Their runs are usually named ps_separation_(insert run specific suffix here) or de_separation_(insert run specific suffix here). I on the other hand work with the Milkyway@home (Modified Fit) application. I have runs named either ps_modifit_(insert run specific suffix here) or de_modfit_(insert run specific suffix here). Finally, Jake B works on Milkyway@home Nbody. I think his runs are usually named de_nbody_(insert run specific suffix here) or ps_nbody_(insert run specific suffix here). If you look at your work units, it should include information about what run they are from. The one you specifically are talking about isn't running on my specific application, 1 of 3 applications we run, but from our flagship application. In general we run times vary slightly depending on the dataset and parameters you are crunching. I do not know much about the parameters or datasets Jeff currently has running so that's why I said I had to talk to him about the problem.


Also, we do not have a list of drivers we currently use, in general the most up to date stable driver should work, not beta, unless it is broken from AMD of course.

Sorry for the confusion and I hope this explanation helped,

Jake W


It HAS and I DO appreciate the quick response!
THANK YOU!!!

Jacob Klein
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Message 60049 - Posted: 29 Sep 2013, 14:56:44 UTC - in response to Message 60004.

Hey Jake,

I'm a BOINC beta-tester, and was curious -- how is it even possible to "auto-abort" a work unit? Can you explain the procedure/settings necessary to pull that off? Does it require using a non-standard BOINC Manager/program?

Once I know more details, if it's something that can be controlled with the standard BOINC Manager/client, I might get in contact with the BOINC developers to try to prevent it.

Let me know,
Thanks,
Jacob

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Message 60050 - Posted: 29 Sep 2013, 16:38:32 UTC - in response to Message 60049.
Last modified: 29 Sep 2013, 16:39:42 UTC

Hey Jake,

I'm a BOINC beta-tester, and was curious -- how is it even possible to "auto-abort" a work unit? Can you explain the procedure/settings necessary to pull that off? Does it require using a non-standard BOINC Manager/program?

Once I know more details, if it's something that can be controlled with the standard BOINC Manager/client, I might get in contact with the BOINC developers to try to prevent it.

Let me know,
Thanks,
Jacob


I believe it is thru an app_info.xml file, but it has been a long time since I messed with that part.

Richard Haselgrove
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Message 60051 - Posted: 29 Sep 2013, 19:04:23 UTC - in response to Message 60050.

Hey Jake,

I'm a BOINC beta-tester, and was curious -- how is it even possible to "auto-abort" a work unit? Can you explain the procedure/settings necessary to pull that off? Does it require using a non-standard BOINC Manager/program?

Once I know more details, if it's something that can be controlled with the standard BOINC Manager/client, I might get in contact with the BOINC developers to try to prevent it.

Let me know,
Thanks,
Jacob

I believe it is thru an app_info.xml file, but it has been a long time since I messed with that part.

There is certainly no documented 'setting' for a BOINC client which would have this effect.

The app_info theory is plausible - most of us who design or test app_info files have at one time or another dumped a bunch of tasks through a typo or other silly mistake. The difference is that we go back, correct our own errors, and get it right next time. (or maybe the time after next...)

Jacob, please don't ask the developers to remove a feature which when used responsibly can be very useful. Wait until we have a better idea of what exactly is going on.

Jake seemed to give the impression that he thought this was a deliberate action by a significant number of people. It seems to be an absurd amount of trouble to go to, if so, when the controls to opt out of particular application types via the website are so easy to use. But if it is widespread and deliberate, two ideas come to mind:

1) People who deliberately break the rules of courteous co-operation tend to do so anonymously. If Jake could link us to an anonymous host exhibiting this symptom (which he could do without breaking any privacy rules), we might be able to help him diagnose what is being done.

2) Suggesting that it is widespread implies there is a network of communication between users - presumably not via this message board. If anybody who has in the past received this sort of information now wishes to pass it on to help the project root out this problem, they can do so privately via a PM, or even in public without necessarily revealing their source.

But there are innocent explanations as well. On message boards like this, people often post examples of app_info files - either asking for help with one which isn't working, or to be helpful to other people. These example files can hang around for ages after the need in question has passed: users can install them, and forget to update them: some people might even install an app_info without realising that they have to download application and support files manually too. Most responsible users will notice if their attempts to manage BOINC result in failure, and ask for help - but some don't: maybe embarrassment, lack of language skills, or (like my own initial attempt to post information here) the fact that you can't post on the boards until you've already solved the problem yourself and earned some RAC.

Jacob Klein
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Message 60053 - Posted: 29 Sep 2013, 21:56:20 UTC - in response to Message 60051.

I'm not trying to cause trouble.
I'm looking for clarification of the phrase "setting their BOINC clients to auto abort work units from specific applications."

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Message 60054 - Posted: 29 Sep 2013, 22:48:37 UTC

I'm guessing this would have been done with a script they wrote themselves and placed in their project folders.

Jacob Klein
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Message 60055 - Posted: 29 Sep 2013, 23:42:30 UTC - in response to Message 60054.

I understand your guess.
I require details and steps, instead of guesswork.

Evantaur
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Message 60056 - Posted: 30 Sep 2013, 3:55:54 UTC - in response to Message 60055.

i might be the one who caused all this :(

i released a script (09-15-2013) that targets a specific group of tasks, and aborts them before they start running. it was for a completely different project that doesn't allow app_info.xml nor have settings to opt out from stuff

it has two kind of tasks, and one of them doesn't like some of my computers basically wasting energy

I've already put a message up on our board for people who might use it to stop using it for this project, and use settings page instead

also added a link to this thread, i hope they read it before it's too late

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Message 60058 - Posted: 30 Sep 2013, 11:19:35 UTC - in response to Message 60056.

i might be the one who caused all this :(

i released a script (09-15-2013) that targets a specific group of tasks, and aborts them before they start running. it was for a completely different project that doesn't allow app_info.xml nor have settings to opt out from stuff

it has two kind of tasks, and one of them doesn't like some of my computers basically wasting energy

I've already put a message up on our board for people who might use it to stop using it for this project, and use settings page instead

also added a link to this thread, i hope they read it before it's too late


Don't feel TOO BAD, lots of us used to do that back in the days when projects did not give us all the options they do now. I myself did it 'back in the day' when I had a similar situation. I have asked several questions at this project, and gotten answers, on why the units themselves say one thing but the options to turn off or accept them say something different. Unless you KNOW what the programers mean you have no clue what the heck is what and how to make intelligent choices!!

Boinc still has lots of options that could be implemented to make it better, but have not been yet..ie why do I have to sign up for a project, on a new or old pc, and ALWAYS use the default settings? WHY can't the initial setup include the default, home, work and school settings in it? IOW why do I have to sign up for a project, then immediately abort every unit I get as it is NOT the kind of unit I want? I DO have the kinds of units I want in my home, work or school settings, not ALL pc's are the same you know, but I CANNOT get to them until AFTER I have signed up and got some of the default units!!! And PLEASE do not tell me to change the default settings to this or that, as it could be wrong no matter what the settings are!! For instance I have 15 pc's crunching or Boinc right now, there is no way each and every one is the same or has the same needs, yesterday I ran out of cpu units at one of my favorite projects and wanted to get them from another project, so I signed up for the other project but of course the default settings for it are for GPU units. So what I did was get a stack of gpu units and immediately abort them, changing the settings on the website to the home group, then updating the pc and finally getting cpu units instead!! What a pain for me AND the project and TOTALLY unnecessary!!!

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Message 60060 - Posted: 30 Sep 2013, 15:09:02 UTC - in response to Message 60058.

The key is to not count "Abort by User" or "Error While Computing" zero second runs toward the error count.

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Message 60085 - Posted: 2 Oct 2013, 19:16:01 UTC

I think the root problem lies in the points awarded for data crunching. If the same credit is given for a chunk of data that takes 50 minutes to crunch as a chunk of data that takes 24 hours to crunch, people looking for max points will do whatever they need to do in order to maximize their point production.

Sure, they may employ inelegant solutions to stop certain types of data, but not everyone knows the ins and outs of configuration. I'm also willing to bet a lot of people don't even know how to access the message boards to find out that they're doing something wrong.

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Message 60086 - Posted: 2 Oct 2013, 21:05:32 UTC - in response to Message 60085.

I think the root problem lies in the points awarded for data crunching. If the same credit is given for a chunk of data that takes 50 minutes to crunch as a chunk of data that takes 24 hours to crunch, people looking for max points will do whatever they need to do in order to maximize their point production.

Sure, they may employ inelegant solutions to stop certain types of data, but not everyone knows the ins and outs of configuration. I'm also willing to bet a lot of people don't even know how to access the message boards to find out that they're doing something wrong.


They have done studies that show that less then 10% of users ever even visit the forums! And of the ones that do visit, NOT all post!

Richard Haselgrove
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Message 60087 - Posted: 2 Oct 2013, 21:09:56 UTC - in response to Message 60086.

I think the root problem lies in the points awarded for data crunching. If the same credit is given for a chunk of data that takes 50 minutes to crunch as a chunk of data that takes 24 hours to crunch, people looking for max points will do whatever they need to do in order to maximize their point production.

Sure, they may employ inelegant solutions to stop certain types of data, but not everyone knows the ins and outs of configuration. I'm also willing to bet a lot of people don't even know how to access the message boards to find out that they're doing something wrong.

They have done studies that show that less then 10% of users ever even visit the forums! And of the ones that do visit, NOT all post!

But I would have expected - OK, maybe just hoped - that people who are so involved and interested that they "will do whatever they need to do in order to maximize their point production" would, in the process, learn a little bit about this mysterious game they're playing, and how best to micro-manage it.

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Message 60111 - Posted: 5 Oct 2013, 12:44:06 UTC - in response to Message 60087.

I think the root problem lies in the points awarded for data crunching. If the same credit is given for a chunk of data that takes 50 minutes to crunch as a chunk of data that takes 24 hours to crunch, people looking for max points will do whatever they need to do in order to maximize their point production.

Sure, they may employ inelegant solutions to stop certain types of data, but not everyone knows the ins and outs of configuration. I'm also willing to bet a lot of people don't even know how to access the message boards to find out that they're doing something wrong.

They have done studies that show that less then 10% of users ever even visit the forums! And of the ones that do visit, NOT all post!

But I would have expected - OK, maybe just hoped - that people who are so involved and interested that they "will do whatever they need to do in order to maximize their point production" would, in the process, learn a little bit about this mysterious game they're playing, and how best to micro-manage it.


I think most people are not Scientists but DO want to at least THINK they are making a difference AND helping others in the process. That difference can be as simple as proving a math problem to as complicated as finding life outside the Earth to anything and everything in between. There have been Boinc projects for brewing a better beer, to finding a better strategy to play Sudoko, to finding better strains of grass to grow on the prairies of the old Wild West in the US and almost anything else one can imagine. Of course since Science is the most popular way to help others, there have been alot of Science projects over the years.

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Message 60113 - Posted: 5 Oct 2013, 16:12:01 UTC

Hey Mikey,

Boinc still has lots of options that could be implemented to make it better, but have not been yet..ie why do I have to sign up for a project, on a new or old pc, and ALWAYS use the default settings? WHY can't the initial setup include the default, home, work and school settings in it? IOW why do I have to sign up for a project, then immediately abort every unit I get as it is NOT the kind of unit I want? I DO have the kinds of units I want in my home, work or school settings, not ALL pc's are the same you know, but I CANNOT get to them until AFTER I have signed up and got some of the default units!!! And PLEASE do not tell me to change the default settings to this or that, as it could be wrong no matter what the settings are!! For instance I have 15 pc's crunching or Boinc right now, there is no way each and every one is the same or has the same needs, yesterday I ran out of cpu units at one of my favorite projects and wanted to get them from another project, so I signed up for the other project but of course the default settings for it are for GPU units. So what I did was get a stack of gpu units and immediately abort them, changing the settings on the website to the home group, then updating the pc and finally getting cpu units instead!! What a pain for me AND the project and TOTALLY unnecessary!!!


If I understand this correctly, you want to be able to connect a pc to a project and use something other than the default settings. Correct?

Before you attach the pc to the project,
> Open the project web site
> Open the "Your Account" page
> Under "Preferences", open "Preferences for this project". On the Milkyway page the clickable link says "MilkyWay@Home preferences".
> Under the "Primary (default) preferences" is an option for "Default computer location". Click on the link to update the default preferences.
> Change the "Default computer location" to home, school or work.
> Click on "Update Preferences".

Now when you attach a pc to a project the first time, the pc will automatically get the settings for home, school or work depending on what you chose in the preferences.

Does that help? Or am I completely off base here?

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Message 60114 - Posted: 5 Oct 2013, 17:25:13 UTC - in response to Message 60113.

Hey Mikey,

Boinc still has lots of options that could be implemented to make it better, but have not been yet..ie why do I have to sign up for a project, on a new or old pc, and ALWAYS use the default settings? WHY can't the initial setup include the default, home, work and school settings in it? IOW why do I have to sign up for a project, then immediately abort every unit I get as it is NOT the kind of unit I want? I DO have the kinds of units I want in my home, work or school settings, not ALL pc's are the same you know, but I CANNOT get to them until AFTER I have signed up and got some of the default units!!! And PLEASE do not tell me to change the default settings to this or that, as it could be wrong no matter what the settings are!! For instance I have 15 pc's crunching or Boinc right now, there is no way each and every one is the same or has the same needs, yesterday I ran out of cpu units at one of my favorite projects and wanted to get them from another project, so I signed up for the other project but of course the default settings for it are for GPU units. So what I did was get a stack of gpu units and immediately abort them, changing the settings on the website to the home group, then updating the pc and finally getting cpu units instead!! What a pain for me AND the project and TOTALLY unnecessary!!!


If I understand this correctly, you want to be able to connect a pc to a project and use something other than the default settings. Correct?

Before you attach the pc to the project,
> Open the project web site
> Open the "Your Account" page
> Under "Preferences", open "Preferences for this project". On the Milkyway page the clickable link says "MilkyWay@Home preferences".
> Under the "Primary (default) preferences" is an option for "Default computer location". Click on the link to update the default preferences.
> Change the "Default computer location" to home, school or work.
> Click on "Update Preferences".

Now when you attach a pc to a project the first time, the pc will automatically get the settings for home, school or work depending on what you chose in the preferences.

Does that help? Or am I completely off base here?


Yes BUT the problem is that only works as long as you do NOT have any other pc's attached to the project AND/OR are not using the default settings for one of them. I am running 15 pc's here, time and fixing other peoples pc's has given me access to tons of parts, most of the pc's have a gpu in them, but not all making it a pain in the neck when I sign on to a project wanting gpu units but with the default being cpu units. Rarely do I run BOTH cpu and gpu units from the SAME project on the same pc. This is mostly due to past Boinc versions having issues with that setup, although I know the newer versions supposedly have this worked out now.

For instance here at MW my default is to crunch with the gpu only, the home group is setup to crunch cpu only and the school is setup to do both. The problem comes in that there is no way to do any of that during the initial sign on to the project from a new to the project pc. By default it ALWAYS signs onto the default, to that project, settings. I guess I could setup the default as not to run EITHER the cpu OR the gpu units, but that is an unnecessary additional step and precludes me from using all the settings as designed. For instance it would prevent me from using the project settings to exclude the AMD or Nvidia gpu in a dual gpu setup.

What I really want is for Boinc to recognize that I have the home, work and/or school additional options in use at that project and give me a check box for which to use when I originally sign on to that project. Boinc KNOWS this as I must use my username and password during the sign on process and easily signs me in, and even attaches me by default the team I am signed into during the process.

Brian Turner
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Message 60117 - Posted: 6 Oct 2013, 17:59:50 UTC - in response to Message 60004.

I've followed these instructions and am still auto aborting work units. Have a Radeon HD 4850. haven't been active in a year, but, have used this GPU to accumulate over 5,000,000 points.

should I do something like reinstall the BOINC or detach from the program?

Richard Haselgrove
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Message 60120 - Posted: 6 Oct 2013, 19:00:12 UTC - in response to Message 60117.

I've followed these instructions and am still auto aborting work units. Have a Radeon HD 4850. haven't been active in a year, but, have used this GPU to accumulate over 5,000,000 points.

should I do something like reinstall the BOINC or detach from the program?

Your tasks are actually quitting with the message:

Exit status 201 (0xc9) EXIT_MISSING_COPROC

Whatever caused that, it shouldn't be classed as a user abort. I'll leave it to the ATI GPU specialists, but it sounds more likely to be a driver problem. And why is the server issuing tasks to a host with a missing co-processor?

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Message 60124 - Posted: 7 Oct 2013, 14:17:27 UTC - in response to Message 60114.

@mikey:

Just an idea, which I have not tested myself: have you tried to disable every application in the default settings? Than the server should not send anything on the first request and you could than assign the computer to the prefered venue before the 2nd request.
____________
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