Why I've ceased participating in MilkyWay@Home via BOINC
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Dr. Ronald E. Wyllys
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Message 64236 - Posted: 12 Jan 2016, 18:11:39 UTC

I thought I should let you know the following: I have just removed MilkyWay@Home from my list of BOINC projects in which I participate by providing otherwise unused time on my desktop system.

The reason is that I have repeatedly observed that I can have a list of several MilkyWay@Home tasks with deadlines a week or more in the future, none of which are currently being processed. Yet when I try to update the list of tasks from other BOINC projects in which I participate, none of these projects submits any new tasks.

I came to believe that something about my having a list of to-be-done-in-the-future tasks for MilkyWay@Home seems to preclude my being able to load tasks from other projects and run them while waiting for the deadline(s) for the MilkyWay@Home tasks to become closer.

For example, when -- about an hour ago -- I removed MilkyWay@Home from my list of BOINC projects, and ran updates on my remaining projects, two of them immediately responded by sending my desktop system tasks to be executed. This occurred despite the fact that 5 or 10 minutes before I dropped MilkyWay@Home, none of the other projects sent me new tasks when I tried to update them.

I believe these experiences support my suspicion that something about your project tends to suppress my participation in other BOINC projects.

FWIW, my desktop system runs Linux Mint 17.3.
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mikey
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Message 64239 - Posted: 13 Jan 2016, 11:14:38 UTC - in response to Message 64236.

I thought I should let you know the following: I have just removed MilkyWay@Home from my list of BOINC projects in which I participate by providing otherwise unused time on my desktop system.

The reason is that I have repeatedly observed that I can have a list of several MilkyWay@Home tasks with deadlines a week or more in the future, none of which are currently being processed. Yet when I try to update the list of tasks from other BOINC projects in which I participate, none of these projects submits any new tasks.

I came to believe that something about my having a list of to-be-done-in-the-future tasks for MilkyWay@Home seems to preclude my being able to load tasks from other projects and run them while waiting for the deadline(s) for the MilkyWay@Home tasks to become closer.

For example, when -- about an hour ago -- I removed MilkyWay@Home from my list of BOINC projects, and ran updates on my remaining projects, two of them immediately responded by sending my desktop system tasks to be executed. This occurred despite the fact that 5 or 10 minutes before I dropped MilkyWay@Home, none of the other projects sent me new tasks when I tried to update them.

I believe these experiences support my suspicion that something about your project tends to suppress my participation in other BOINC projects.

FWIW, my desktop system runs Linux Mint 17.3.


Your problem is more likely to be that Boinc thinks that the MW work filled up your cache and any units gotten from the other projects would not be able to be returned prior to the deadlines.

Changing the projects percentage could have helped with that, but since you are gone no one can help you resolve the issue. I hope you find a new place that you like.

Dr. Ronald E. Wyllys
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Message 64242 - Posted: 14 Jan 2016, 20:07:11 UTC

@mikey,

Thanks for your response. Your analysis strikes me as plausible. But I find your suggested solution (changing the project's percentage) unattractive.

I've participated in BOINC for nearly 10 years on the basis of sharing my desktop's idle time equally among the projects in which I participate; and I should like to continue on what seems to me to be an equitable basis for sharing idle time.

If it is of interest, I've replaced MilkyWay@Home among my BOINC projects with "theSkyNet POGS", a project of Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. So far, the POGS tasks seem to be willing to share equitably in my desktop's idle time. I hope that willingness continues.
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swiftmallard
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Message 64243 - Posted: 14 Jan 2016, 20:20:34 UTC

An easy way around this problem is to simply run one project at a time. Let one run for a month, them do something else. Over time it all evens out.

noderaser
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Message 64244 - Posted: 15 Jan 2016, 3:22:13 UTC - in response to Message 64242.
Last modified: 15 Jan 2016, 3:23:26 UTC

I've participated in BOINC for nearly 10 years on the basis of sharing my desktop's idle time equally among the projects in which I participate; and I should like to continue on what seems to me to be an equitable basis for sharing idle time.

The BOINC Manager is designed to even out your recent credit (not time share) based on the project weights you specify. As pointed out, it will also try and avoid sending in tasks after their deadlines, so if you have a job that looks like it's going to be very computationally intensive and could possibly not finish before the deadline based on your computer's uptime it will shift priority to those tasks before requesting more work from any project.

There are some ways you can get around that; increasing your work cache, for example. However, when the "credit debt" shifts towards another project, you may end up with a large cache of tasks that you weren't expecting.

I must say that this is a common topic at various projects; users who see their host(s) linger on one project over another for a while and assume that the project is doing something to steal time from other projects. I've yet to see any conclusive evidence for that case; since all of the projects have different lengths of tasks and deadlines to maximize the return rate, conflicts can arise when BOINC Manager tries to juggle many projects. This problem is compounded when you add more projects.
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mikey
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Message 64245 - Posted: 15 Jan 2016, 12:45:28 UTC - in response to Message 64244.

I've participated in BOINC for nearly 10 years on the basis of sharing my desktop's idle time equally among the projects in which I participate; and I should like to continue on what seems to me to be an equitable basis for sharing idle time.

The BOINC Manager is designed to even out your recent credit (not time share) based on the project weights you specify. As pointed out, it will also try and avoid sending in tasks after their deadlines, so if you have a job that looks like it's going to be very computationally intensive and could possibly not finish before the deadline based on your computer's uptime it will shift priority to those tasks before requesting more work from any project.

There are some ways you can get around that; increasing your work cache, for example. However, when the "credit debt" shifts towards another project, you may end up with a large cache of tasks that you weren't expecting.

I must say that this is a common topic at various projects; users who see their host(s) linger on one project over another for a while and assume that the project is doing something to steal time from other projects. I've yet to see any conclusive evidence for that case; since all of the projects have different lengths of tasks and deadlines to maximize the return rate, conflicts can arise when BOINC Manager tries to juggle many projects. This problem is compounded when you add more projects.


Which is exactly why I now have a room full of pc's crunching and an electric bill twice the size of my neighbors! I wanted ME to control my contribution so I put up enough pc's to only have one project on each pc. That's not STRICTLY true...I do have 2 projects on each pc, one for the gpu and one for the cpu, that way the caches don't conflict and cause problems.
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swiftmallard
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Message 64246 - Posted: 15 Jan 2016, 16:16:04 UTC - in response to Message 64245.

...I do have 2 projects on each pc, one for the gpu and one for the cpu, that way the caches don't conflict and cause problems.

Precisely!

noderaser
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Message 64248 - Posted: 16 Jan 2016, 5:38:53 UTC

I would worry about running out of work that way, and I do have a personal hierarchy for the projects. My "top" project is heavily weighted; because it's one that does not have work very often, I want to artificially increase the credit debt on my hosts so that when there is work available it will keep asking for more until the project is dry.
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