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Issues With Work Generation
Hey Everyone,

Just noticed some issues with the work unit generator. Working on it.

Jake

[Edit]

Was a quick fix. I'll keep an eye on things for the rest of the night.

[/Edit]
1 Nov 2017, 19:39:57 UTC · Comment


Update on This Weeks Errors
Hey Everyone,

I just wanted to give you all a quick and more technical update on what we have been dealing with over the last week.

Our project has been running for upwards of 10 years now and we have been crunching literally billions of workunits over those years. As a result of all of your hard work and dedication, we have actually calculated enough results that we have run out of room to store the IDs of all of these results in a normal unsigned integer value (the default data type used for storing IDs in BOINC databases). As a result, on Tuesday night, I updated our database to be able to store IDs in a much larger data type to prevent this issue from happening again during the remaining life of the project. As a result, I also had to quickly patch the BOINC code we run on the server to allow it to use this newly available data type in the database.

During this process, I missed one of the foreign keys that refers to the results, specifically in the validation process. This led to an issue in validation of work units over the last couple days. I had trouble diagnosing this issue because before the workunit queue clear, everything was running fine however, after the workunit queue clear, when new work with large IDs was being returned, it silently failed to validate workunits.

I have implemented a fix for this last issue and my hope is that things will be smooth sailing from here on with regards to this issue. Of course, there is always the possibility I missed another bug in this pipeline, or I might realize I need to force validation on workunits received over the last couple days. In any case, I will be watching the server pretty closely over the next couple days to make sure its running correctly.

Sorry for all of the trouble over the last couple days and I hope you all continue to support the important research we are doing into the future.

Jake
21 Oct 2017, 18:11:25 UTC · Comment


Workunits Not Validating
Hey Everyone,

I see a lot of workunits aren't validating. I think I know why. I'm going to take the server down for an hour or two while I try to fix it.

Sorry, for all of the trouble recently.

Jake

[Edit]

I implemented a fix. I will monitor it for the rest of the weekend.

[/Edit]
21 Oct 2017, 15:42:26 UTC · Comment


Clearing the Queue
Hey All,

We will have to clear the workunit queue for both separation and nbody. This will cause many invalid workunits. We apologize for this, as this is the only way to clear the system for it to return to normal operation.


Thanks for your continued support,
Jake and Sidd
18 Oct 2017, 19:21:21 UTC · Comment


Transitioner Down
Hey Everyone,

Looks like we are having some trouble with the transitioner. I'm working on getting it back up and running.

Jake

[edit]

Everything looks like it's working now. Hopefully this shouldn't be an issue for another 100+ years given the changes I've made. I'll keep an eye on things for the rest of the day.

In other news, I've implemented an email notification system for the server daemons. If they go down in the future, we should know about it faster.

Thanks for sticking with us and sorry for the extended downtime.

Jake
[/edit]
17 Oct 2017, 18:42:56 UTC · Comment


nbody 1.66 release
Hey All,

I just released version 1.66 of Nbody. This version has a newer version of the likelihood comparison algorithm which is used when comparing our test histograms with the client-side simulations. With this update we are hoping to have much better convergence in our parameter searches.

As always, please let us know if there are any issues.
Thanks,
Sidd
2 Oct 2017, 20:17:20 UTC · Comment


Bad Runs Over the Weekend
Hey Everyone,

Sorry about the errors over the weekend. I put up a set of runs that, while tested locally, still seemed to error on the server. The runs are now taken down and should filter out of the queue over the next 24 hours, going to look into it now.

Sorry again,

Jake
18 Sep 2017, 14:07:25 UTC · Comment


Server Maintenance
Hey All,

For some reason I am not getting any return results from the Nbody app. The validator went down over the weekend and caused a huge backlog in the queue. I think this may be the issue as we have had something similar before. I am going to cancel the workunits in the queue and let it refill. If you see anything strange in the next 24 hrs with nbody workunits this is the reason.

Sidd
30 Jun 2017, 16:23:04 UTC · Comment


Bad Runs Put Up Over The Weekend
Hey Everyone,

You can expect to see invalid results and erros from any runs starting with ps_modfit* as they were a bad batch of runs. No more of these runs should be sent out as I have cancelled all workunits associated with these runs. I apologize for not catching this sooner.

Jake
26 Jun 2017, 15:36:04 UTC · Comment


Scheduled Server Maintenance Today
Hey Everyone,

Just doing a quick update to our optimization algorithms on the server. You should notice the site go down for a couple minutes and then come back up. This update is nothing that should effect the way you interact with MilkyWay@home.

Jake
23 May 2017, 21:04:48 UTC · Comment


nbody 1.64 release for Mac
Hey All,

I just released the newest version of nbody, version 1.64, for Mac single and multi-threaded. Please let me know if there are any issues.

PLEASE NOTE: We only have one mac machine for building and testing, meaning I had to test the binaries on the same machine that I built them on. So please let me know if anything strange crashing is seen.

Thank you all for your continued support,
Sidd
11 May 2017, 19:14:08 UTC · Comment


Bad Batch of Runs
Hey Everyone,

Looks like I put up a bad batch of runs yesterday. Sorry about that. I took them down so they should be clearing out of the queue soon.

Expect errors from runs named:
de_modfit_19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_1
de_modfit_19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_2
de_modfit_19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_3
de_modfit_19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_4

Sorry again,

Jake W
9 May 2017, 14:43:09 UTC · Comment


Mac OS X Support For Separation
Hey Everyone,

I just released a Mac OS X version of Separation that should run on CPUs and GPUs (with double precision support). Please let me know if you have any issues with the Mac Separation application here.

Jake W.
8 May 2017, 19:13:38 UTC · Comment


New Release 1.64
Hey All,

I am about to release a new version of nbody. This version has a number of updates that expands functionality. I will make a blog post describing these updates soon.

We do not have mac binaries this time around. We are working on getting those. We also do not have 32bit support on either linux or windows.

The system I built the linux binaries on was Ubuntu 14.04 so there is the distinct possibility that they may not run on systems older than this.

I will put up some runs after releasing. Please let me know if there are any problems.
3 May 2017, 19:35:11 UTC · Comment


Scheduled Server Maintenance Concluded
Hello Everyone,

I just finished up server maintenance. Expect errors from any runs not labelled:

de_modfit_fast_Sim19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_1
de_modfit_fast_Sim19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_2
de_modfit_fast_Sim19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_3
de_modfit_fast_Sim19_3s_146_bundle5_ModfitConstraintsWithDisk_4

If you experience errors from these runs specifically please post below so I can help troubleshoot them.

Thanks for your patience and support,
Jake W.
3 May 2017, 15:51:46 UTC · Comment


Scheduled Server Maintenance May 2nd
Hello Crunchers,

We have some scheduled maintenance for tomorrow, May 2nd. This maintenance will include the release of MilkyWay@home Separation version 1.46 as well as an update to our server code to support this new application version. If everything goes well we expect everything to be up and running within a half hour. If there are issues, I will be troubleshooting them until they are fixed.

I will make a new post tomorrow at the conclusion of the update and maintenance where you should post any issues you see.

Jake W.

[Edit]

Took down old runs to prepare for the new update. This should prevent seeing a bunch of errors when the new application comes out. Waiting on the work queue to clear out a bit before the new release.

[/Edit]
1 May 2017, 15:52:25 UTC · Comment


Server Update
Hey Everyone,

I pushed a quick server update overnight tonight. This will probably result in the remaining:

de_modfit_fast_19_3s_136_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_5
de_modfit_fast_19_3s_136_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_6
de_modfit_fast_19_3s_136_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_7
de_modfit_fast_19_3s_136_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_8

results being crunched to return invalid results.

The new runs I put up:

de_modfit_fast_19_3s_140_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_1
de_modfit_fast_19_3s_140_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_2
de_modfit_fast_19_3s_140_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_3
de_modfit_fast_19_3s_140_bundle5_ModfitConstraints3_4

should run and validate correctly.

As a status update for the Mac client and Linux client, I am still working on them, they are just slow going. I am working on finishing up some class work before the semester ends while also working on those applications so I will keep everyone posted on their progress.

Jake
30 Nov 2016, 5:47:04 UTC · Comment


Scheduled Maintenance Concluded
Hello Everyone,

Thank you all for your patience while the server was updated to allow for work unit bundling.

This update involved a new client and server code. Since our Mac we use for builds died, we do not have a Mac version of the client built. I plan to build one this weekend when I get access to a different Mac computer.

If you notice anything weird with validation, work unit generation, database stability, or client issues, etc. please report it here. I will work over the weekend to get them fixed if they show up.

Happy Crunching,

Jake
11 Nov 2016, 18:51:24 UTC · Comment


Scheduled Maintenance Friday November 11th
Hi Everyone,

The server will be down for scheduled maintenance on Friday while we update the server and client to allow for work unit bundling. The code for this update is written and currently undergoing testing. This should allow for longer work unit times while maintaining fast crunching for single likelihood values. The result should be lower traffic on the database providing for more stability on the server while providing more work units for everyone.

I apologize for the issues we have been having recently with work unit availability and server stability. Hopefully this will be a permanent solution. If you have any questions please let me know.

Jake
9 Nov 2016, 19:42:17 UTC · Comment


Updated Server Daemons and Libraries
Hey Everyone,

I just updated the BOINC and MilkyWay@home server daemons to reflect the current most up-to-date versions available. If you notice you are still not getting work units for your GPUs or are having trouble in general post it here.

Jake
26 Sep 2016, 15:22:00 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home Down
Hey everyone,

Looks like the database has been down for a little over 30 hours and the boinc daemons are still struggling. Not entirely sure what happened, but I'm working through trying to fix it. I apologize for the slow progress being made, all of the major MilkyWay@home scientists, including myself are visiting collaborators in Canada and have been quite busy. I will try to get things fixed over night.

Jake

[edit]

Everything seems to be working now. I'll check back in the morning to make sure everything is still working.

[/edit]
24 Sep 2016, 4:54:20 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home Version 1.38 Released
Hello Everyone,

I just released the newest version of the MilkyWay@home application (1.38). The only major change to this version is an inclusion of the newest BOINC libraries in an attempt to improve compatibility with the new graphics cards.

Mac users will still receive the 1.36 application version for the time being while we work on securing a new Mac computer to build and test on for the future.

If you notice any issues with this application please post them here.

Happy Crunching,

Jake
19 Sep 2016, 19:36:22 UTC · Comment


GPU Issues Mega Thread
Hey everyone,

I am going to spend some time specifically looking into the GPU issues for the next couple days. Can everyone please post the exact issues you are having here? This includes quotes of the error messages you are seeing and any other information you think is useful. I've been going through old forums posts trying to decide where I think the problem is and I am still unsure where the problem is.

Jake
18 Aug 2016, 15:21:40 UTC · Comment


Science Page Now Available in Russian
Hey Everyone,

One of our fellow crunchers "Shmya-2" was kind enough to take the time to translate our science page to Russian. For those of you interested in giving it a read please visit here.

Thank you Shmya-2.

Jake
9 Aug 2016, 15:15:03 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home Server Maintenance
Hey Everyone,

Sorry the server was down for so long. I upgraded the operating system on the server yesterday and some of the upgraded programs did not want to play nice. Everything seems to be working well now.

If you see any persisting errors on the website, or coming from BOINC please post them here.

Jake
5 Aug 2016, 11:11:25 UTC · Comment


Windows 32-bit Application Release
Hello Crunchers,

We now have an officially supported Windows 32-bit application for CPU and GPU crunching. If you have any issues with the application please post them here and I will do my best to address them.

Sorry this took so long,

Jake
2 Aug 2016, 13:10:23 UTC · Comment


Windows 32-bit Application Progress Update
Hello Cruncher,

I just wanted to let everyone know that we have just set up a test platform for Windows 32-bit which should allow us to begin work on building and testing a 32-bit Windows application for Separation with Modfit. I make no promises that this will be a quick process, but it is something we are working on.

Happy Crunching,

Jake

[edit]
Update: I currently have a CPU version of our Windows 32 bit application compiled and initial tests look good. I will be working on the Windows 32 bit OpenCL application for the rest of the night. Hopefully, that will be compiled by morning. If everything goes well in testing, I suspect maybe a release of a Windows 32 bit application for Separation on Monday.

Update2: I currently have both a CPU and GPU version of MilkyWay@home compiled for Windows 32-bit. I plan to do some extensive testing of the applications tonight and will hopefully release them tomorrow, assuming they are as intended. Sorry they are coming a day late, the GPU application proved to a bit tricky to get working.
[/edit]
26 Jul 2016, 19:17:11 UTC · Comment


Server Maintanence
Hello Everyone,

We will be doing some server maintenance on Monday, July 25th to update to the newest version of Ubuntu. I apologize for any lack of work units during this time.

Thank you for your continued support,

Jake
22 Jul 2016, 12:36:35 UTC · Comment


New Look for the Science Page
Hello Crunchers,

I would like to announce a new look for our science page. In an attempt to bring the style of the science page more in line with that of the rest of the webpage, we did a visual overhaul of the page.

In addition to the visual reformatting, I did a lot of back-end reformatting of the page which should allow us to more easily edit it in the future. This is just the first step in our attempt to make the science page more interesting, complete and reader friendly. Look for a content update on the page to come in the new few weeks.

If you guys have anything you would like to see included on the page, or any general questions about the science we are doing with the project, feel free to post them here.

Happy Crunching,

Jake
21 Jul 2016, 19:11:15 UTC · Comment


No More Work From Modfit Project
Hello Crunchers,

We will no longer be sending work units out through the Modfit project. You will still receive work units tagged as Modfit, but they will not be coming from the official MilkyWay@home application.

Thank you for your patience during the transition.

Jake
11 Jul 2016, 18:50:20 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home Linux 32-bit Version 1.37
Hey everyone,

I recompiled the CPU version of the Linux 32-bit application as a static binary to resolve some library issues some users were encountering. If you guys see any problems with this application please post them here.

Happy Crunching,

Jake
1 Jul 2016, 15:08:29 UTC · Comment


Nbody Release 1.62
Hey All,

I just released a new version of nbody, v1.62. In this release we did a few things:

We realized that different platforms were giving slightly different results. This was a problem as it would throw off the search algorithm and also may cause validation issues. Turns out there were an number of reasons for this. One was that the likelihood calculation was performed using single precision on a double precision application. So we changed it to be a double precision calculation.

Also, and most prominently, we realized that the windows command prompt and unix terminal read in inputs with different precision. One would cut the value of after about the 10th decimal place. This mean the actual input parameters were slightly different! Therefore, we forced the rounding of the input parameters after the 9th decimal place. That seemed to do the trick mostly.

Finally, we realized that our building mechanism was not building linux binaries statically. When we tried with our current mechanism we ran into a can of worms known as seg faults. It was a nightmare trying to find it so we decided to temporarily switch our building mechanism. I tested them on all our computers and it seems to work. But, as always, let me know if something goes awry.



Thanks everyone for your continued support!
Sidd
28 Jun 2016, 17:44:03 UTC · Comment


New Version of MW@home for Mac (1.37)
Hey Mac Users,

I just released a new version of MilkyWay@home Separation that will run much faster on Macs. (Expect about a factor of 7-8 speed up). If you guys see any issues with the new application post them here.

I only released this new application under the official project and not the Modfit project since we are slowly phasing out the Modfit project.

Enjoy the weekend,

Jake
24 Jun 2016, 19:07:49 UTC · Comment


Running Modfit on MilkyWay@home
Hello Crunchers,

Now that MilkyWay@home Separation Modfit has been running for a year as a stable application, we are going to be releasing it as the official MilkyWay@home application under our main project. This means we will slowly (over the next month) be phasing out the dedicated Modfit project as it will be redundant. Additionally, this means some extremely old systems may no longer be supported on the MilkyWay@home project. These include Windows 32-bit systems, and very old (CAL) GPUs. If you are noticing compatibility issues with your system after we begin the change next week please post them here.

Thank you all for your continued support.

Jake

[edit]
Modfit is now up and running on the main application. If you are seeing any issues please let me know here.

Thanks.

For instructions on compiling 32-bit MilkyWay@home, please visit http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=3957.
[/edit]
17 Jun 2016, 17:38:34 UTC · Comment


Server Maintenance Concluded
Hey Everyone,

Thank you all for your patience over the last week. I can say server maintenance is now concluded. The BOINC libraries on the server are up to date, and we have the newest available version of Ubuntu running on the server. We added HTTPS to the website so we recommend using that while you browse to best protect your personal information. Finally, maybe with the updated BOINC server libraries, the server will recognize some of the newer GPUs that support double precision (Not entirely sure about this point though).

Thank you everyone for your patience and happy crunching,

Jake W.
2 Jun 2016, 18:41:13 UTC · Comment


Server Maintanence
Hey Everyone,

We will be doing some server maintenance over the next day or two. This should not effect work unit generation, but the website may run slow or be down for short periods of time. Feel free to report any issues you notice by replying to this post.

We plan on rolling out HTTPS support for the site (I know we are a bit behind the times on this) and updating all of the BOINC libraries on the server (so maybe expanded GPU support) over the next couple days.

As usual with updates, we expect things to be a bit bumpy for the next couple days, please bear with us while we work through everything.

Thanks for your continued support.

Jake W.
24 May 2016, 15:14:01 UTC · Comment


Nbody Release 1.60
Hey All,

I just released a new version of Nbody, 1.60. In this version we completely changed the cost function. This is a function that is used in the histogram comparison algorithm. We discovered that the old cost function, which was supposed to allow us to retain the mass data in the normalized histograms, did not account properly for the amount of mass.

This was not a bug, but rather a change in the science behind the algorithm. We would not have rethought the algorithm without the results from MW@H.

As always, if there is any problem, let me know.

Thank you all,
Sidd
14 Apr 2016, 20:39:34 UTC · Comment


Nbody Release 1.58
Hey All,

I just released a new version of nbody. This one fixes a bug that was found only after instituting the CM correction in the previous release. Let me know if there are any issues.

-Sidd
21 Mar 2016, 17:34:36 UTC · Comment


Nbody Release 1.56
Hey All,

I just released a new version of Nbody. This updates fixes some library issues we were having. Also, it adds a center of mass and center of momentum correction to the initialization (the added computation time is very negligible). We did this because we found that different seeds would produce a small random initial center of mass position and velocity. While it was not a large difference, we wanted it to be nonexistent.

I will be putting up some runs shortly.

As always, thank you all!
Sidd
8 Mar 2016, 19:34:55 UTC · Comment


Nbody Release 1.54
Hey All,

I just released a new version of nbody, version 1.54. There are no major changes, just some minor bug fixes. There was a sampling bug in the velocity assignment which caused it to throw away more possible vels than it should. So the initialization is much faster than before. However, the results should be the same. But faster is always better!

Let me know if there is any issues with the new version/binaries.

Thank you!
Sidd
11 Nov 2015, 17:45:10 UTC · Comment


Reddit AMA
Hey everyone, our Reddit AMA is today. We will begin answering questions at noon eastern time. Check it out here.

Jake W.
6 Nov 2015, 13:05:27 UTC · Comment


Server Maintenance
Hey Everyone,

I'm going to be doing some quick server maintenance for the next hour or so. Should be finished up by 10pm est. Sorry for any inconvenience accessing the website or forums.

Jake W.
5 Nov 2015, 1:12:41 UTC · Comment


Deprecation of Linux 32bit
Hey All,

I have some important news. It seems that all of the linux 32bit binaries are failing. These account for 2k of the 70k returned results so far. I do not think it is the binaries that are at fault since I am getting error returns from them (which I wouldn't if it was the binaries failing on startup). It seems that most of the errors are due to outdated libraries from very old versions of linux.

When compiling our binaries, we use the oldest supported version of ubuntu. However, there is still a large user base for versions older than these. A lot of these seem to coincide with linux 32 bit users. Sending out failing workunits would be a waste of extremely valuable volunteer computer time that could be put to use serving other projects. Therefore, we will be deprecating the Linux 32bit version and will not be releasing them in the future.

I thank you all for continuing support,
Sidd
10 Sep 2015, 19:28:01 UTC · Comment


New Release- Nbody version 1.52
Hey all,

We will be rolling out a new version of Nbody, v1.52, within the next 24hrs. I have left such a large time window because, as these things sometimes go, there could be unforeseen setbacks. I will update everyone once we are about to hit the go button (if only we had an actual go button. That would be so cool.)

We are releasing for windows again. I tested the binaries on a windows machine and they appear to be working. But you never know. Therefore, I will be paying very close attention to the forums for weird behavior. Please let us know!

If you would like more details on what is included in this release, check out my development blog:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=3798

Thanks everyone for your support
Cheers,
Sidd
8 Sep 2015, 18:08:31 UTC · Comment


Fix for stderr.txt Truncation and Validation Errors
Hey Everyone,

BOINC has released a new version of the BOINC client (7.6.6) which fixes a known bug causing ~3% validation errors on MilkyWay@home and other projects. Please update your clients soon to fix this issue. For more info please see my thread in number crunching here.

Jake W.
23 Jul 2015, 12:49:42 UTC · Comment


Nbody Status Update
Hey All,

Just a quick update on the status of Nbody. I discovered that the hanging that people were experiencing were due to the Newton Raphson root finding algorithm which would get stuck in an infinite loop. After looking for why this occurred for sometime, I decided to switch to a bisection method which is insured not to get stuck.

The slow nature of the initialization of the plummer was found to be an error in the calculation of one of the limits of integration in a crucial integral that was being calculated. What a time it was finding that! With that limit fixed, it seems that the initialization takes a few seconds!

I am currently unit testing the code and hopefully should get a lovely new version in a couple of weeks.

Cheers,
Sidd
25 Jun 2015, 16:28:41 UTC · Comment


Updates
Hey all,

Jake Weiss and I will be making fairly regular updates on the status of the project under the Application Code Discussion part of the forum.


Cheers,
Sidd
25 Jun 2015, 15:59:12 UTC · Comment


server issues
Hey all,

We are currently having a few issues with the server. Everything seems to be up and running yet no work units are being sent out. If any of you see any erroneous behavior on your end please let us know.

Thanks,
Sidd
3 Jun 2015, 18:47:39 UTC · Comment


Server Outage Today
Hey Everyone,

I was just informed by the admins in the server room on campus that they will be shutting down all of the servers for some schedules power outages at some point today. The server will be down overnight while they do some maintenance on the campus power systems.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Jake W.

The server is back up. Sorry it took longer than expected to get it back online.
1 Jun 2015, 14:52:00 UTC · Comment


Windows Users-please abort Nbody tasks
Per Project Scientist Sidd:

It seems that it is only occurring for people with windows. The other platforms seem to be running ok. We had some trouble getting the binaries for windows in order to release, I am thinking something went wrong there, as none of the windows runs are passing. I took down the Windows version for now until I figure it all out.


If you are a Windows user please abort all N-body tasks and go into Preferences and uncheck "MilkyWay@Home N-Body Simulation" for now.

Thank you. 15 May 2015, 22:56:45 UTC · Comment

New Nbody Version 1.50
Hey all,

We have released a new version of Nbody. There are a few changes in this version. First and foremost, we changed the way dark and light matter in our model dwarf galaxy is assigned. Previously, we would have all the particles have the same mass and assign a certain number as dark or light, depending on the parameters of the simulation. This required a large number of bodies in order to get a good likelihood calculation. Now, we will have the same number of dark and light matter particles, but change the mass per light and dark matter particle in accordance to the parameters. This will allow us to lower the number of bodies from 50k to 20k, allowing for a much faster initialization and simulation run time.

Secondly, we have moved the assignment of dark and light matter from lua to c, which should also provide significant speed up in the run time.

Also, we fixed a number of bugs we found in the velocity assignment. All in all, a simulation should run at a fraction of the time previously. This will also hopefully fix the stalling issue some people have been having.

Finally, if you have any runs from the previously version, you can go ahead and abort them.

Since this is a new way of doing things, there may be some unforeseen issues. So, if there are any bugs let us know!
12 May 2015, 23:31:44 UTC · Comment


New Nbody release tomorrow
Hey All,

I just wanted to let you know that we will be releasing a version of Nbody tomorrow. I will be more specific on the changes that have been made after releasing. However, this version should hopefully be much faster and fix some other bugs.
4 May 2015, 23:21:33 UTC · Comment


New Bitcoin Utopia Campaign
Hey All,

Bitcoin Utopia is holding another fundraising campaign for MilkyWay@home! Check it out:

http://www.bitcoinutopia.com/2014/07/milkywayhome/#.VTqEAic4l4u
24 Apr 2015, 18:00:22 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home Server Maintenance
Hey Everyone,

I will be running some simple updates and giving the server a quick reboot later today. Shouldn't cause any issues on you end, but if it does please let me know.

Jake W.
25 Mar 2015, 13:44:30 UTC · Comment


New Nbody version 1.48
Hey All,

I have released a new version of Nbody. This version corrects some bugs in the algorithm. Also, we performed some optimization on the initialization code which allows it to run much faster. We will be looking to change the time estimate to fully account for this initialization in the future. As always, thank you for your patience.

Cheers,
Sidd
13 Feb 2015, 22:03:59 UTC · Comment


New Nbody version 1.46
Hey Everyone,

There is now a new version of Nbody, 1.46. This version calculates the initial Dwarf galaxy using a different method than previously. It should solve many of the work unit stalling issues some users were having. If there are any errors let us know.

The runs currently up are:
ps_nbody_12_19_orphan_sim_1
de_nbody_12_19_orphan_sim_1
19 Dec 2014, 19:24:07 UTC · Comment


New Nbody
Hey Everyone,

We will be releasing a new Nbody application this week. This version of the application utilizes a different method of initializing the bodies, sampling a distribution function instead of a potential. This version will hopefully resolve issues many of you have been having.
16 Dec 2014, 20:51:55 UTC · Comment


New Modfit Runs
Hey Everyone,

Just a heads up, I will be starting new runs over the next couple days that will have a different step size in a computationally intensive section of our code. Through some work we did, we found that this step size could be optimized and reduced to improve the speed at which our code runs without sacrificing accuracy. We expect to see these runs complete in about 1/5th the time depending on the platform. Credits will hopefully still be calculated correctly, but if you think they are not for these runs please post here. If these runs cause you any trouble with these runs or you notice you stop receiving work units please post that here too. These runs will all include the tag _fast_ in the work unit name so it should be easy to track.

For now, these optimizations will only be used on the Modfit code, but in the near future we plan on also using them on original separation code, too.

If you have any questions about this optimization or problems, please let me know,

Jake
9 Dec 2014, 21:36:18 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
Here are the runs I started if these give you any errors please post here:


ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00001
ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00002
ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00001
ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00002

ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00002
ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00002
ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00002
ps_81_DR8_rev_8_4_00002


Thank you,


Jeff Thompson
7 Nov 2014, 19:07:05 UTC · Comment


You saved MilkyWay@home!!
Dear MilkyWay@home supporters,

In the past day, we received $4432.50 in donations, which puts us over our goal to be able to run MilkyWay@home through summer 2015!!! This is a tremendous relief to the development team, and gives us time to find ways to operate into the uncertain future. We are extremely thankful to our generous donors. We will be working harder than ever to produce new and cool science results, develop new algorithms for MilkyWay@home, and keep the operations running smoothly.

Thanks again,
Heidi Newberg and the MilkyWay@home team
7 Nov 2014, 18:57:36 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home Fundraiser- November 2014
Hi everyone,

Here is a letter from Professor Heidi Newberg:

"Dear Milkyway@home volunteer,

Last July I sent out a plea to MilkyWay@home volunteers to help save our project when our National Science Foundation grant was not renewed. I am happy to report that we have so far raised $37,991 towards a goal of $40,480. We are so close!! Many thanks to the wonderful MilkyWay@home volunteers, my family, and the parents of my former graduate students for keeping us afloat thus far. Donations have come in by credit card, check, PayPal, transfers from donor advised funds, and we received over $3000 from BitCoinUtopia (http://www.bitcoinutopia.net/bitcoinutopia/), which is collecting cryptocurrencies to support our research.

If you are able and willing to help but have not yet made a donation, then now is your chance. To raise the additional $2489 needed, we need thirty-six people to donate $15, twenty people to donate $40, nine people to donate $100, and one very generous person to donate $250. I hope that by next week, we will be able to announce on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Milkywayathome) that we have met or exceeded the goal! Gifts made directly to MilkyWay@home are tax deductible in the US and Canada. Volunteers will receive an on-line badge for donations of any size. For every $100 donated before December 1, 2014, we will send you a free T-shirt (S, M, L, XL, XXL, or XXXL), designed by our team members, that says “I support MilkyWay@home.” After December 1, we will send T-shirts if they are available in your size, but they will not be reprinted.

Already, donated funds have supported undergraduate student Jake Weiss, who is doing a semester of employment on MilkyWay@home. It also payed for travel for our collaborator Larry Widrow to travel to Rensselaer and help us implement new algorithms. Five poster presentations on MilkyWay@home research (three students, one former student, and myself) have been accepted for the January 2015 meeting of the American Astronomical Society; travel to that meeting will be paid by your donations. So far, we are right on track with our budgeting.

Some have asked me if this is a one-time request for funding, or whether this will become the primary source of funding for MilkyWay@home. I recently saw a presentation on funding trends given by the head of the US National Science Foundation Astronomy Division, and I can tell you that the funding projections for federal grants that fund projects like MilkyWay@home are not good. I am expecting that while we need federal funding to keep our project vibrant in the long term, we cannot count on it as the only source into the future. I am working on ways to broaden our support base beyond MilkyWay@home volunteers, to include foundation and corporate support as well as tapping into new funding models for reaching philanthropists with an interest in supporting science.

If you are a person who makes year-end donations, I would really appreciate your adding MilkyWay@home to the list of organizations that you support. We have great plans to discover where dark matter is in the Milky Way over the next ten years. That goal requires significant advances in our computer algorithms that run n-body simulations and that requires the efforts of many students to achieve. Any funds received in excess of our goal this year will be used on additional student salaries. Since most of the funds will be expended on student salaries in summer 2015, we will post a report of the funding used and results achieved in September, 2015.

I and the MilkyWay@home team thank you so much for keeping our research alive!

In appreciation,
Prof. Heidi Jo Newberg and the MilkyWay@home team
"
6 Nov 2014, 17:29:53 UTC · Comment


Server Reboot and Maintenance
Hey everyone,

We will be doing a quick server reboot and some updating today. If you notice any issues please post them here.

Jake W.
15 Oct 2014, 12:55:30 UTC · Comment


New Separation Modfit Version 1.36
Hey Everyone,

I released a new version of Separation Modfit today (v1.36). If you have any issues with it please post them here.


Thank you for your continued support,

Jake W.
6 Oct 2014, 20:22:15 UTC · Comment


Rotating Database Logs
Hey all,

We're rotating some logs tonight. If you notice anything strange going on with the forums or with lack of getting work units, please let us know here.

Thank you,

Jake W.
29 Sep 2014, 23:12:31 UTC · Comment


New Nbody version
Hey all,

I put out a new version of Nbody, version 1.44. This should fix some library issues people were having. If any issues arise, let me know.

-Sidd
24 Sep 2014, 18:00:27 UTC · Comment


back up and running
Looks like everything is back up and running. Let me know if there are any issues! 23 Sep 2014, 20:34:21 UTC · Comment


Updating BOINC server code
Some updates were made to the applications which broke our feeder. We need to update and recompile the BOINC server code, and I'm working on this right now. I hope to have things fixed by the end of the night. Sorry for everything being broken!

cheers,
-Travis
23 Sep 2014, 19:51:33 UTC · Comment


New Version of Separation Modfit 1.34
Hey all,

I just released a new version of separation today that is compiled against older glibc versions. The actual version number is 2.11 for glibc. This is the oldest that Ubuntu currently has on an active LTS. Users who experience errors due to the fact that their glibc versions are older than this should send me a message and I will give them instructions on how to compile the program for their own machines using their version of glibc. Otherwise, I changed the plan class we are using for our GPU versions to enforce a minimum OpenCL version. This will keep CAL cards from getting GPU work units from the server and reduce error rates and thus validation issues.

Sorry for the wall of text but essentially we have an older glibc and a new method for sending out GPU work units.

If there are any issues with this release please post them here and I will try to get back to you quickly.

Thank you all for your continued support,

Jake W.
22 Sep 2014, 20:04:58 UTC · Comment


New Version of Separation Modified Fit (1.32)
Hello All,

We are happy to announce a new version of the Separation Modified Fit application. Version 1.32 will introduce a few new features including:

New Optimization Parameters
Support for Windows 32-bit
A Few Bug Fixes

Along with this release I would like to mention that I also started a couple of new runs:

de_modfit_15_3s_132_wrap_1
de_modfit_15_3s_132_wrap_2
de_modfit_16TestStars_1s_132_wrap_1
ps_modfit_15_3s_132_wrap_1
ps_modfit_16TestStars_1s_132_wrap_1

As per usual, if you notice any issues relating to these runs or this release version, please post them here and I will be glad to help.

Thank you for your continued support,
Jake W.
8 Sep 2014, 20:58:14 UTC · Comment


T-shirt Update
Dear Volunteers,

Thank you all for your support of MilkyWay@home. Whether you have supported us through lending us your computational power, aided us financially, or both, we could not have done it without you!

Thanks to our generous donors, we have surpassed $23k, over half of our goal! If you have not donated and wish to do so, I have good news. We will now be sending out T-shirts until December 1st. As before, if you donate $100 or more you are eligible to receive a T-shirt sent to any address in the world. Sizes available are adult Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, XXLarge, or XXXLarge. See our Fundraising Page for more details about the T-shirts:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/fundraiser.php#tshirts

For details on how to donate:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/fundraiser.php#how_to_donate

Again, thank you all for your generous support,
-Sidd
21 Aug 2014, 16:26:37 UTC · Comment


N-Body Release 1.42
Dear users,

N-Body will be released at 4 pm EST today. Features of this release include an improved dwarf galaxy model and new data representation features. Post here with issues.

As this is likely my last release on this project (due to my move to England for graduate school), I would like to thank all of you for helping me do great science during my time affiliated with Dr. Newberg's group. I will still be active in the community, but I am proud to hand my role in the project off to Sidd. I look forward to a continued relationship with the BOINC community in the future.

Cheers,
Jake Bauer
5 Aug 2014, 17:02:45 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I am working my way through the data for the South Galactic Cap and am posting new runs.
If you see large error rates let me know I will be watching them as they start to catch anything major.

de_85_DR8_8_3_00001
de_85_DR8_8_3_00002
ps_85_DR8_8_3_00001
ps_85_DR8_8_3_00002



Thanks Jeff
29 Jul 2014, 16:21:05 UTC · Comment


Milkyway/Bitcoin Utopia Update
Friends....

Another Boinc project has come aboard to help us fundraise for Milkyway.

Bitcoin Utopia has agreed to team up with us on fundraising for Milkyway's future. To take part in this type of assistance for our project, please go to their site and follow their procedures.

Their program for Milkyway is Campaign #3.

We truly appreciate their support!

Disclaimer: The Milkyway project staff, students and moderators are not responsible for any issues your computer may have with their WU's. Please follow their recommendations for optimal results (credits are pretty nice too!). Any concerns or questions over how their project raises funds should be posted on their website for their admins to assist.

The Admins of Bitcoin Utopia are fantastic people and my experience shows they will do whatever they can to assist you.

Also remember Bitcoin Mining is not a quick process so the Bitcoin Utopia folks and us want to remind you to still donate in the more direct manner if you wish to.

Any support is appreciated tremendously!
19 Jul 2014, 21:33:31 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home passes 50% of fundraising goal!!
Hello Everyone,

I would like to let you all know we have surpassed the 50% mark for our fundraising goal! We could not have done it without you all, Thank you! here is a message from Professor Newberg:

"I would like to personally thank each and every MilkyWay@home supporter who has helped us to raise $21,843.97 towards our goal of $40,480 to keep up operations through summer 2015. So far, 324 people have sent money by credit card, Paypal, and check to support our work of tracing tidal streams in the Milky Way halo and using them to determine the location of dark matter. We have received donations from $0.23 to $5000 (Wow!), and sent out 36 fabulous T-shirts to donors. Some of you have included really wonderful notes along with your donations, that I have really appreciated.

Already, your donations have made it possible to offer Jake Weiss his co-op job for fall 2014, we know we will be able to continue to publish our papers in highly cited journals for the next year, and graduate student Sidd Shelton has his summer salary funded. This puts in a much, much better position than we were two weeks ago. Additional donations will fund conference travel (so we can tell other scientists about our findings, and get new ideas) and undergraduate student summer salary. Undergraduate research have in recent years been the driver behind MilkyWay@home software development, but to continue that they need summer support and opportunities for professional travel.

Thank you all, really, for your continued support of MilkyWay@home.

Sincerely,
Prof. Heidi Jo Newberg"


Cheers,
-Sidd
15 Jul 2014, 20:40:59 UTC · Comment


Revised policy for Shipping T-shirts Internationally
Hello everyone,

There has been a recent change in our policy regarding shipping T-shirts internationally. We previously required an extra $100 dollar donation for international addresses. However, due to our recent experience with sending T-shirts international, we have decided that this is no longer necessary.

It costs us about $12 more to mail internationally than in the United States, plus we have to fill out a customs form, but we have found a convenient way to mail without running to the post office. While we would appreciate an additional donation for international shipping addresses, we will no longer require it. Unfortunately, the web form for credit card donations still says the additional $100 donation is required. You can ignore that and just type in the size requested.

As before, the sizes available are adult Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, XXLarge, or XXXLarge

Thank you all for your continuing support,
-Sidd
3 Jul 2014, 15:13:39 UTC · Comment


Fundraiser Progress
Hey Everyone,

Our current progress for the fundraiser is $11,505.22, which is a little over a quarter of the way there! We have already sent out 18 T-shirts! A big thank you to everyone who contributed from myself and the MilkyWay@home team!

Due to the large influx of donations, it will take some time to update the profiles for users who wish to have a special contribution badge appear. Therefore, I ask for some patience in that regard.

Thank you all for your continuing support,
Sidd
2 Jul 2014, 19:24:36 UTC · Comment


New N-Body Runs (6/28)
These are the new runs:

de_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_0
de_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_1
de_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_2
de_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_3

ps_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_0
ps_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_1
ps_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_2
ps_nbody_06_28_orphan_sim_3


Most people's issues with the last set should be fixed. Post errors here please. Also, if you are having issues still with the ones from 6/10 and 6/11, expect to stop seeing those work units as the queue vacates in the next few weeks.

Thanks,

Jake
28 Jun 2014, 15:42:26 UTC · Comment


Dear MilkyWay@home Volunteers
Dear Milkyway@home volunteer,


During the past year we have made great strides in scientific research using MilkyWay@home and we have great plans for the future. Thank you for your help in making this happen! As a token of our appreciation we have introduced the volunteer badge system; our cyber-gift that tracks your years of service to the project and your contributed computer power. I encourage you to read our Newsletter to find out more. You can also track us on the Web. Check out our YouTube Channel, where we post our simulation videos, and like us on Facebook to get the latest updates.

Unfortunately, we now need your help more than ever. Last month I was informed that the U.S. National Science Foundation was not renewing our grant that operates MilkyWay@home. I would have been incensed, but unfortunately, due to the tight federal budgets, this is happening to strong and hard-working researchers all over the country.

To maintain operations for the next year, we need to raise $40K (for budget details), and we need your help. Your contribution, of any amount, will be recognized with a badge on your MilkyWay@home profile. In addition, for every $100 donated before August 15, 2014, we will send a free T-shirt, designed by our team members, that says “I support MilkyWay@home” to any address in the United States (additional donation required for international addresses or special shirt sizes, see here). You can even link a cool picture of you in your shirt to our Facebook page!

We really appreciate the use of your computer, which contributes to our 0.5 PetaFLOPS MilkyWay@home supercomputer. If you are also able and willing to help us financially you can make a donation by credit card here.

For other donation options and to track our campaign see our Fundraising page.
I and the MilkyWay@home team thank you so much for your assistance!

In appreciation,
Prof. Heidi Jo Newberg and the MilkyWay@home team
24 Jun 2014, 1:06:26 UTC · Comment


badge export for 3rd party sites.
Hi Everyone,

I've made a script which outputs everyones badges to an xml file for 3rd party export. The badge information can be downloaded here:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/badges.xml

And will be updated daily. This information can also be found in the show_user.php page, e.g.:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/show_user.php?userid=159&format=xml

Let me know how it's working!

--Travis
13 Jun 2014, 19:23:57 UTC · Comment


New N-Body Runs
I have posted:

de_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_0
de_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_1
de_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_2
de_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_3

ps_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_0
ps_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_1
ps_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_2
ps_nbody_06_03_orphan_sim_3

Please alert me to any problems.

Best wishes and good crunching,

Jake Bauer
3 Jun 2014, 14:52:35 UTC · Comment


Like Us on FaceBook
Hey All,

We now have an official facebook page! Here is the link, drop us a like:

https://www.facebook.com/Milkywayathome

Cheers,
Sidd
30 May 2014, 18:56:42 UTC · Comment


New Simulations
Hey All,

There are some new simulations up on our YouTube channel, check them out.

Here is the link:
https://www.youtube.com/user/MilkywayAtHomeRPI

Cheers,
Sidd S.
27 May 2014, 21:57:54 UTC · Comment


New Modified Fit Runs
Hey all,

I have put up 3 new runs:
de_modfit_15_3s_130_wrap_const_1
de_modfit_15_3s_130_wrap_const_2
ps_modfit_15_3s_130_wrap_const_1

If you have any issues with these runs please tell me about them here.

Thank you all for your continued support,

Jake W.
27 May 2014, 14:09:26 UTC · Comment


Memorial Day
To those who celebrate Memorial Day:

Please remember that Memorial Day is not just a 3-day Party weekend at summer’s start—it is a time for us to celebrate the gifts we’ve been blessed with through those who serve in our military. Those that are defending us now, in the past and in the future all deserve absolute respect and honor. Our freedoms have come at great cost to many in our history.

Please keep this in mind during your celebrations and enjoy the weekend!

On behalf of the staff of the Milkway project, please stay safe and don’t drink and drive.

Blurf
22 May 2014, 22:26:37 UTC · Comment


Introduction
Hey Everyone,

My name is Siddhartha Shelton. I am a first year graduate student working with Professor Newberg, Matthew Newby, Jeff Thompson and the milkyway@home crew. I will be working with MilkyWay@home and am excited to do research with such a wonderful community.

Cheers,
Siddhartha Shelton
21 May 2014, 17:56:28 UTC · Comment


New N-body Runs
You should be seeing new n-body work units generated and in the processing mix.


ps_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_0
ps_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_1
ps_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_2
ps_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_3

de_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_0
de_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_1
de_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_2
de_nbody_05_19_orphan_real_wide_3


If you have any issues with these please post to this thread.



Jeff Thompson
20 May 2014, 16:29:22 UTC · Comment


Release of MilkyWay Sepearation Modified Fit v1.30
Hi everyone,

I have just released a new version of MilkyWay Separation Modified Fit. There were small changes made that only effected the integration area used in our likelihood calculations to be more consistent with previous versions of MilkyWay@home. This is just a minor bookkeeping change so no issues are expected, but as always if any issues come up please post them here.

Thank you,

Jake W.
15 Apr 2014, 16:45:15 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I have started separation runs ps_separation_79_DR8_Rev_7_2_001 and 002
I will be adding some more runs to the list over the next couple of days.




Let me know if you see any errors.


Jeff Thompson
2 Apr 2014, 14:05:25 UTC · Comment


More New N-Body Runs
I have started:

de_nbody_02_28_orphan_real_0
ps_nbody_02_28_orphan_real_0


de_nbody_02_28_orphan_real_1
ps_nbody_02_28_orphan_real_1

de_nbody_02_28_orphan_real_2
ps_nbody_02_28_orphan_real_2
28 Feb 2014, 21:07:03 UTC · Comment


New N-Body Runs
I have started a bunch of identical narrow range n-body runs. They are:

de_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow
de_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow_2
de_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow_3
de_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow_4


ps_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow
ps_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow_2
ps_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow_3
ps_nbody_02_12_sim_orphan_narrow_4

We are getting really close to a major scientific result! Thank you, and keep crunching!

Jake
12 Feb 2014, 17:50:40 UTC · Comment


Some new work units running
I started 4 runs
de_modfit_86_3s_modbpl_128wrap_rev_4_1_001
de_modfit_86_3s_modbpl_128wrap_rev_4_1_002
de_modfit_86_3s_128wrap_rev_4_1_001
de_modfit_86_3s_128wrap_rev_4_1_002


Let me know if they do anything crazy.


Cheers

Jeff Thompson
10 Feb 2014, 16:47:06 UTC · Comment


incoming badges
Hi Everyone,

After a very long wait, I've finally got some time to get badges up and going. Hopefully have them all working by the end of the day. Let me know if you're having any issues with them.

cheers,
--Travis
31 Jan 2014, 20:47:40 UTC · Comment


Happy New Year to All!!!
Friends,

As we usher in the New Year, please be safe. Please do not drive and drink.

On behalf of the Milkyway Staff...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Blurf
31 Dec 2013, 4:48:14 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.40
I am releasing a new version of N-Body with some MINOR changes. There should be nothing different from 1.38 in terms of the cruncher's side. However, if you notice any problems, please post them here.

Jake
15 Dec 2013, 2:45:31 UTC · Comment


Award Badges Going Live Soon!
Hello Crunchers! We've been throwing around the idea of creating profile badges here at MilkyWay@home for a while now, but we seem to always have a more mission-critical problem to solve (coding, science, etc.) - until now! In the image below, you will find all of the badges that we will be rolling out in the next few days!



As a user, you can expect to have between 0 and 4 badges on your MW profile:



Coincidentally, we've just updated our donation page to work with the existing system here at RPI :
https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1225/index.aspx?sid=1225&gid=1&pgid=3676

(You can also find the donation link on the MilkyWay@home homepage)

(Please note that once the badges go live, it will take us a bit to get the special contribution badges organized - please bear with us.)

I will be building a webpage that describes these badges. Originally, I wanted to do a "Cosmic distance milestones" badge system, but I didn't have enough space to work with - So I'll put those milestones on the description page instead!

We hope that you'll enjoy the badges!

Cheers,
Matthew N.

(P.S.: MilkyWay@home HD wallpapers coming soon!)

[Edit: Updated image so the green 5-star badge reads "50M" instead of "50k"]
[Edit: Updated image to include more intermediate rewards] 13 Dec 2013, 21:05:04 UTC · Comment


New N-Body Runs
I have started:

de_nbody_11_29_no_dark
ps_nbody_11_29_no_dark

and am starting right now:

ps_nbody_11_29_half_dark
de_nbody_11_29_half_dark

Jake
29 Nov 2013, 18:22:51 UTC · Comment


New MilkyWay Separation Modified Fit Runs
Hey all,

I have posted some new runs over the past couple days:

de_modfit_15_3s_128wrap_3
ps_modfit_15_3s_128wrap_3
de_modfit_15_3s_bplmodfit_128wrap_1
ps_modfit_15_3s_bplmodfit_128wrap_1

As usual, if there are any issues with any of these runs please post them here. A current known issue is that modfit seems to be running slower on some AMD GPUs than the flag ship application does. Also, the later two runs are expected to take between 50% and 100% longer to run than the first two runs. This should be accounted for automatically by the server in credit allocations after about a day.

Thank you for your support,

Jake W.
20 Nov 2013, 6:15:09 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I've started three new separation runs:

de_separation_10_2s_sSgrFreeScale_1
ps_separation_10_2s_sSgrFreeInertia_1
de_separation_11_2s_sSgrFree_1

The first two are old runs, but the search method parameters have been modified to try and reach a faster convergence. The 3rd run is a new search for secondary structures in the Galactic North.

As always, let us know if you see any problems with these!

-Matthew N
5 Nov 2013, 23:42:30 UTC · Comment


New Secondary Stream Searches
I've started some new secondary stream searches:

de_separation_09_2s_sSgrFree_1
de_separation_10_2s_sSgrFree_1

These are looking to characterize the secondary component of the Sagittarius tidal stream.

As always, let me know if anything seems off with them.
18 Oct 2013, 20:14:08 UTC · Comment


New MilkyWay Separation Modified Fit Runs
Hi all,

I would like to test the modified background fit again. This means I will be starting new runs:

de_modfit_15_3s_bpl_128wrap_1
ps_modfit_15_3s_bpl_128wrap_1

This should hopefully be seamless to users. Also, the run time of these compared to previous runs may be different, we will monitor this and treat it appropriately. If there are any issues with these runs, as usual post them here.

As a side note, I am taking down Windows 32 bit applications for the duration of these runs as the MilkyWay Separation Modified Fit application does not seem to be running smoothly on this platform for a large group of users.

Jake W.
15 Oct 2013, 21:33:51 UTC · Comment


Server Reboot
The server is going down for a reboot in one hour.
It should be up shortly after 3pm Eastern Time.


Jeff
2 Oct 2013, 17:56:50 UTC · Comment


Users Auto-Aborting Work Units
Hello all,

It has come to our attention that some users have been setting their BOINC clients to auto abort work units from specific applications. Doing this sends an error results back to our server which then causes some work units to be unable to validate. Essentially, it prevents some of our hard working crunchers from getting their due credits. The proper way to prevent yourself from getting work units from a specific applications such as our beta applications N-Body or Modified Fit, is to go to your account page on our website (http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/home.php). Under the Preferences section please select the link for your preferences for this project. There will then be a link to edit these preferences on this page. Halfway down your preferences, there will be some check boxes in the "Run only the selected applications" section. You will only receive work units for the applications you have check marks next to. For reference: Milkyway@home is our flagship application and is considered stable and in its final released state; Milkyway@home N-body Simulation is our beta version N-body simulation and orbit fit program; Milkyway@home Separation is an, as of now, unused application; Milkyway@home Separation (Modified Fit) is our beta version separation code testing new models for both streams and background in the Milky Way Halo. As usual if you have any issues with this method or questions about it please post them here. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this.

Thank you,

Jake W.

TL;DR: If you are auto-aborting work units please stop and use the method above to prevent users from losing credits and to prevent problems in our algorithms.
26 Sep 2013, 19:41:43 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.38
Expect N-Body 1.38 on Monday or Tuesday.

When the time comes, post comments here.

Jake
20 Sep 2013, 19:52:44 UTC · Comment


Separation Modified Fit v1.28 Release
Hey all,

Separation Modified Fit is releasing v1.28. This version will include:

Fixes for validation and Segfault errors

Hopefully, all will run smooth after this release. I am going to continue letting it crunch the current runs that seem to be working smoothly. If they continue to run smoothly, I will transition to a new run using background model.

As usual please post all errors with the new release here.

Thank You,

Jake W.
17 Sep 2013, 19:11:19 UTC · Comment


N-Body
Hi everyone!

You may have noticed the lack of n-body runs. This has been due to the fact at a recent conference, we thought of some really cool science we could try to implement in the next release. We have derived a new dwarf galaxy model to make our simulations more realistic. I have spent the last few weeks deriving, implementing, and testing this new model, and I think we are almost ready for a new N-Body release!

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming release!

Jake
17 Sep 2013, 1:54:43 UTC · Comment


Narrowed down the problem
So it looks like the problem with the various daemons not running is due to a problem with the mysql libraries, which have either gone missing or are broken. Hope to have a fix soon. 9 Sep 2013, 16:02:57 UTC · Comment


Server Updates
We are in the process of updating the server operating system.
This process should begin Monday and continue through the first part of next week.

I will keep posting details in here of the times scales as this task progresses.


Thank you,

Jeff Thompson
6 Sep 2013, 21:57:26 UTC · Comment


New Separation Modified Fit Runs Started
Hey Guys,

I took down the runs using the Broken Power Law option. I will look into fixing what looks like out of memory issues with it. Until then, I am going to be running Modified Fit runs again. This does not require an update luckily! If you are seeing any errors with the new runs named:

de_modfit_18_3s_126testwrap_2
ps_modfit_18_3s_126testwrap_2

Please post about them in this thread.

Thank you,

Jake W.
29 Aug 2013, 18:48:49 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay server backups
Hello everyone,

We are running some big backups of the MilkyWay@home server today and tomorrow, and while to don't expect any problems, there might be some slowdown with server processes.

-Matthew
27 Aug 2013, 21:42:42 UTC · Comment


Separation Modified Fit v1.26 Release
Hi all,

I am going to be releasing a new version of MilkyWay Separation Modified Fit today. The new version will include:
- The Modified Fit included last release which is giving very promising results.
- A new background model (Broken Power Law instead of Hernquist)
- Windows 32-bit Support
- Compatibility fix for Linux 32 and 64 bit.

We plan on continuing to put up runs with the Modified Fit alone, and comparing the results to the results from Matt Newby's last paper. Simultaneously, we will be putting up runs with the new background fit in an attempt to improve the accuracy of our model. If anyone has any questions about the new release feel free to post them here.

The runs to test this release are:
de_modift_15_3s_bplwithwraptest_2
ps_modift_15_3s_bplwithwraptest_2

If any errors come up with these runs please post them here.

Thank you,

Jake W.
27 Aug 2013, 17:24:47 UTC · Comment


Badges for crunchers.
I just recently implemented a badging scheme over at wildlife@home http://volunteer.cs.und.edu/wildlife and it would pretty easy to do the same here. So Id like to make a request for potential badges, and their credit limits (or other reason for getting those badge).

I'll be going any user responses and if we can come to a consensus of badges we like, i'll implement them, So please post some badges for us. Once we have a consensus about which ones we like I can get them up in a short time.

Also, if you like the more 'bootrsappy' layout of Wlidlife@home, I could make the milkyway@home pages look similar with a nav bar on top, etc. Let me know what you think.
25 Aug 2013, 10:46:11 UTC · Comment


New Separation Modified Fit Runs Started
Hi All,

I started the following new runs:
de_modfit_18_3s_testwrap_1
ps_modfit_18_3s_testwrap_1

As usual let me know if any issues show up dealing with the modified fit.

Thank you,

Jake W.
2 Aug 2013, 17:12:33 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.36
Just kidding!

I messed up the release for 1.34, so expect 1.36 with the same changes mentioned in the 1.34 thread in a couple hours.

Sorry about that,

Jake
23 Jul 2013, 19:05:16 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.34
I have released N-Body 1.34.

I have included a fix for the computation errors due to the reporting of NANs on Windows machines.

The likelihood calculation has also been modified to reflect the one in our theoretical models.

Post feedback here!

Jake
23 Jul 2013, 18:25:46 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I have added the following runs to the currently running separation runs:

de_separation_83_DR_8_rev_3_2
de_separation_85_DR_8_rev_3_2


If you notice any issues with these runs please post to this thread.


Jeff
15 Jul 2013, 22:07:58 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.32
N-body moved forward some version steps today.
We moved from 1.18 to 1.32.
Only binaries 1.30 and 1.32 were pushed to the servers.

1.30 and later versions address the segmentation fault reported by some users.
1.32 addressed an error in the mathematical return value of the likelihood calculation.

There may be some tweaks in this release as we watch the results come back.
To test the release the following runs were started:

de_nbody_07_11_no_dark
ps_nbody_07_11_no_dark

de_nbody_07_11_dark
ps_nbody_07_11_dark

Please post any errors or issues you may encounter to this thread.


Thank you,


Jeff
12 Jul 2013, 3:34:43 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.30
Hi all,

N-Body version 1.30 has been released. This includes a fix for stack overflow issues. Any problems should be reported here!

Thanks,

Jake
11 Jul 2013, 14:32:27 UTC · Comment


Video for Orphan Real 2 Current Best Fit
We have generated a new video from the current best fir for the Nbody Orphan Real2 which is currently running.

The video is here;
http://youtu.be/V23cLasQZUM

The visualizer is still a work in progress but we will be trying to release visualizations of the latest results from the nbody program.


Jeff
8 Jul 2013, 16:28:41 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
de_separation_86_DR_8_rev_3_1
ps_separation_86_DR_8_rev_3_1

de_separation_85_DR_8_rev_3_1
ps_separation_85_DR_8_rev_3_1

de_separation_84_DR_8_rev_3_1
ps_separation_84_DR_8_rev_3_1

de_separation_83_DR_8_rev_3_1
ps_separation_83_DR_8_rev_3_1


If there any issues with these specific runs please post here....
2 Jul 2013, 18:56:19 UTC · Comment


Separation Modified Fit v1.24
Hey all,

I just released a new version of Separation Modified Fit. Version 1.24 fixes some Mac compatability for users attempting to use GPUs and library issues for older versions of Linux.

In addition I put up some new runs:

de_modfit_09_3s_test_1
ps_modfit_09_3s_test_1
de_modfit_09_3s_testwrap_2
ps_modfit_09_3s_testwrap_1

If anyone runs into any problems please let me know.


Thank you,

Jake W
1 Jul 2013, 20:01:43 UTC · Comment


Video
We are releasing video to the YouTube channel. We have a sample up now and hope to have some of the best n-body runs displayed soon.

Latest Video
http://youtu.be/G2v9yKA9IuE

The You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/MilkywayAtHomeRPI


Jeff
1 Jul 2013, 17:38:37 UTC · Comment


nbody fpops calculation updated
It looks like our fpops calculation for the nbody simulation is way too high, and was causing problems. I've updated the work generator so newly generated workunits should have an estimated fpops of aproximately 100x less. Let us know how they're working.

--Travis
1 Jul 2013, 2:44:34 UTC · Comment


New Separation Modified Fit Runs Started
Hello all,

I have started new runs today under the Milkyway Separation Modified Fit application today. The runs are named:

de_modfit_15_3s_test_5
ps_modfit_15_3s_test_5

If you run into any problems feel free to post them here. Current known issues with the Modified Fit application that are being fixed are:

Mac Graphics Card issue.
Linux Library issue.

These should be fixed in the next release.

Thank you,

Jake W
27 Jun 2013, 18:43:24 UTC · Comment


User location visualization
Hi Everyone,

I generated some interesting images for a publication Heidi is working on yesterday, and thought they'd be worth sharing.

I took 10,000 external IP addresses of active hosts, did a GeoIP lookup for their lat/long and then plotted them using google maps. The first is a set of points, and the second is a heatmap (generated with heatmap.js).

Enjoy!


20 Jun 2013, 21:15:50 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
I have started the runs


ps_separation_85_DR8_rev_2_2
de_separation_85_DR8_rev_2_2

ps_separation_86_DR8_rev_2_2
de_separation_86_DR8_rev_2_2



Jeff Thompson
20 Jun 2013, 5:31:14 UTC · Comment


New Separation Model Released
Hi all,

The new separation model was released today. Work units should be coming out.

The search names are:

de_modfit_15_3s_test_1
ps_modfit_15_3s_test_1

I will be monitoring their progress over night and if any issues arise please let me know. For more information about current supported platforms, please see my previous post.

Thank you again for your continued support,

Jake W.
18 Jun 2013, 22:57:46 UTC · Comment


Separation Modified Fit Release
We are releasing a new version of separation! This version of separation will be run under a different application name because it runs a modified fit and we would like to be able to work using both the previous and new fits for the time being. If there are any issues with the work units from milkyway_separation__modified_fit please post them here.

The following platforms are supported with this update:
32-bit Linux: OpenCL devices with double precision and CPU
64-bit Linux: OpenCL devices with double precision and CPU
64-bit Windows: OpenCL devices with double precision and CPU
MacOSX: OpenCL devices with double precision and CPU

We hope to add 32-bit Windows support in the near future.

Thank you,

Jake W
17 Jun 2013, 15:44:24 UTC · Comment


update for users not getting CPU workunits
Looks like someone had deprecated the windows and freeBSD CPU applications. Just fixed this, so let me know if you're CPUs are getting fed. 13 Jun 2013, 0:51:48 UTC · Comment


another scheduler update 6/12/2013
Hi Everyone,

I've made yet another scheduler update. Please post your issues, or if things have gotten better, here:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=3271

--Travis
13 Jun 2013, 0:38:55 UTC · Comment


post scheduling issues here
I think I've made too many news threads. I've updated the scheduler one more time, I think I might have tracked down the issue. Let me know if you're still getting bad workunits or not getting workunits. 12 Jun 2013, 1:45:18 UTC · Comment


another scheduler update
Updated the scheduler yet again.

I just want to double check, which of the following are people having (since the update):

1. non-GPU hosts are getting GPU workunits.
2. hosts with ATI GPUs that don't have the compute capability are getting GPU workunits.
3. hosts with ATI GPUs aren't getting workunits.

Is anyone having problems with NVIDIA GPUs? Or is this just an ATI thing?

--Travis
11 Jun 2013, 22:45:59 UTC · Comment


yet another scheduler update
Made a few more tweaks, how's this going? Let me know if anything isn't working that was working before we did the server code upgrade. 11 Jun 2013, 19:52:30 UTC · Comment


scheduler update
I've made some updates to the scheduler which I think should fix the problem with people getting GPU workunits that shouldn't be.

Let me know if this change fixed things.

--Travis
11 Jun 2013, 17:18:34 UTC · Comment


added applications for ati only GPUs
I added the 0.82 applications as 1.02 with the ati14 plan class, so hopefully those who were not getting GPU workunits because they had ATI GPUs which didn't support opencl should be getting them now.

Let me know if this is working.

--Travis
10 Jun 2013, 21:33:40 UTC · Comment


What users aren't getting GPU workunits?
I'm trying to figure out what users aren't getting GPU workunits. Is it everyone? Or just some people with certain types of ATI cards?

As far as I can tell, there should be both opencl AMD/ATI and opencl NVIDIA applications available.

--Travis
10 Jun 2013, 20:35:33 UTC · Comment


potential fix for bad applications being sent out
It looks like some of the deprecated app versions were being stored in the servers shared memory, even though they were deprecated. I've removed these from the shared memory, so hopefully the project should not be sending out weird application versions anymore.

Let me know if this fixed the problems people have been seeing recently since the update.

--Travis
10 Jun 2013, 16:21:08 UTC · Comment


changes finished
I've finished with my updates and it looks like I didn't break anything. If you're having any problems let us know.

--Travis
7 Jun 2013, 3:56:55 UTC · Comment


BOINC updated to most recent git branch
I've updated all the boinc code used by the server to the most recent git branch. Everything looks like it's running fine on our end, but let me know if you come across any problems.

I have a few more updates to do with our assimilator, so things will still be going up and down a bit. Will keep everyone posted.

--Travis
7 Jun 2013, 2:28:11 UTC · Comment


updating BOINC daemons tonight
Hi Everyone,

I'll be updating the BOINC daemons tonight, as well as moving the BOINC code to the most recent version, so expect things to go out and down tonight while I sort things out and make the updates.

--Travis
6 Jun 2013, 22:56:43 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.18
I am releasing what will hopefully be the final update to the N-body code. It will be released as 1.18. You will see 1.14 and 1.16, and these will be outdated by tonight. I apologize for everything that has been happening with all of these updates, but things needed to be fixed. We will try to address multithreading issues with the following update.

Jake
6 Jun 2013, 18:05:10 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs 79_DR8_rev_3
I have started the runs

ps_separation_79_DR8_rev_3

and

de_separation_79_DR8_rev_3

if there any issues with these runs please post to this thread.
6 Jun 2013, 14:55:30 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.14
As many of you noticed, I released N-Body 1.12 two days ago. I plan on releasing 1.14 tomorrow (should be the last update for awhile). Post feedback here!

Thanks,

Jake
5 Jun 2013, 20:38:57 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.10
Hello users!

I am releasing N-Body 1.10 tonight. Please post comments here!

Thanks for your help,

Jake Bauer
31 May 2013, 19:18:55 UTC · Comment


Stream Fit Validator is Currently Down
We are working on resolving an issue with the Stream Fit Validator.
Currently the stream fit validator is down.
We will post updates here as we work on resolving this issue.
Separation work units will not validate while we are working on the system.
We apologize for the delay.


Thanks to Hans Siepenkothen for quickly bringing this to our attention.


Jeff Thompson
30 May 2013, 15:47:10 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
The following runs were started:

ps_separation_79_DR8_rev_1

and

de_separation_79_DR8_rev_1
24 May 2013, 18:38:39 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
I started 2 separation

de_separation_p-79-dr8-rev-4
and
de_separation_p-79-dr8-rev-5

If you notice anything out of sorts with these runs please post here.

Thank you,
21 May 2013, 17:30:40 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
I just started:

de_separation_p-79-dr8-rev-2-5-9-2013

and am preparing

de_separation_p-82-dr8-rev-2-5-9-2013

Which should be starting shortly.


Jeff Thompson
9 May 2013, 20:20:01 UTC · Comment


New Runs for Separation search
Hello - I've started some new separation runs:

de_separation_14_2s_sscon_1
de_separation_15_2s_sscon_1

I expect these to run smooth, but let me know if you have any problems!

-Matthew
8 May 2013, 0:24:01 UTC · Comment


New YouTube Channel
We have created a MilkWay@home YouTube channel for visualizations.
Details are here:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=3219

The thread in the Milky Way Science Section will be kept as a sticky .


Jeff


3 May 2013, 21:52:36 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
Started another set of runs:


de_separation_79_3s_dr8_4_4-29-2013


30 Apr 2013, 18:54:39 UTC · Comment


New Separation Run
I have started a new run:

de_separation_p_82_3s_dr8_4_4-29-2013



Jeff Thompson
30 Apr 2013, 3:55:54 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I've started a new run:

de_separation_13_2s_sscon_1

This one should be shorter than the previous ones. As always, please let us know if you run into any problems.
29 Apr 2013, 22:33:11 UTC · Comment


Separation Run Started ps_separation_81_3s_dr8_8
I have started a new separation run:

ps_separation_81_3s_dr8_8



Jeff Thompson
23 Apr 2013, 19:03:41 UTC · Comment


Separation Runs ps_p_82_1s_dr8_4 and de_p_82_1s_dr8_4 Started

I started two more separation runs listed:

ps_p_82_1s_dr8_4
de_p_82_1s_dr8_4

Let me know if you have problems with them specifically.



Jeff Thompson
22 Apr 2013, 19:07:39 UTC · Comment


Milkyway@home paper Accepted for Publication!
Hello Crunchers!

"A Spatial Characterization of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy Tidal Tails"

This is the title of a paper using results from Milkyway@home, and has been accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal! You can find the preprint (unofficial pre-published version) on ArXiv (http://arxiv.org/abs/1304.1476).

This paper analyzes the tidal debris of the Sagittarius dwarf Galaxy, and discusses the results in the context of other published papers. For background information, please see our Science Page

Thanks to all of our Milkyway@home crunchers who made this paper possible, especially David Glogau, The Marvin Clan, and the Dudley Observatory for their significant donations (you've been thanked in the paper, too!*).

This is just the first in what we hope will be a long string of Milkyway@home astronomy publications. We're working on the next publications right now!

Cheers,
Matthew N.

*We'll contact you personally with more information as the paper gets closer to its official publication date.
10 Apr 2013, 17:09:06 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I've started 2 new separation runs:

de_separation_09_3s_sscon_1
de_separation_11_3s_sscon_1

These runs are looking at the secondary streams in the North Galactic Cap ("above the plane" of the Galaxy). Let us know if you have any problems with these.

I'll have news concerning the primary stream search results later this week. ;)

-Matthew
9 Apr 2013, 19:52:13 UTC · Comment


New Separation Run Started - ps_p_80_3s_dr8_4
I have started a new separation run ps_p_80_3s_dr8_4.

If there are any issues please post to this thread.

Thank you

Jeff Thompson
6 Apr 2013, 18:01:07 UTC · Comment


Separation Run Started - ps_p_79_3s_dr8_4
I started a new separation run

ps_p_79_3s_dr8_4


If there any issues please post to this thread.

Thank you,


Jeff Thompson
6 Apr 2013, 14:10:41 UTC · Comment


Separation Runs Started
New Separation runs have been started.

de_p_82_3s_dr8_4
ps_p_82_3s_dr8_4

I have tested them locally and compared to the output of the previous attempts.

The set is generating WUs of a more reasonable size.

It appears extra whitespace in one of our files caused the step sizes to read incorrectly, this generated a large number of steps.

Please let me know if you see any issues with the WUs ending with _4


Jeff Thompson
29 Mar 2013, 20:44:37 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
New Separation Runs

ps_separation_82_3s_dr8_3
de_separation_82_3s_dr8_3


These have increased the number of steps from

ps_separation_82_3s_dr8_2
de_separation_82_3s_dr8_2

Which should fix the errors people were reporting.

Please report problems here.

Thank you,
Jeff Thompson
28 Mar 2013, 22:14:30 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
We started some new runs today.

The runs are:

de_separation_82_3s_dr8_2
se_separation_82_3s_dr8_2

These will involve new star files.
Please be patient as the new star files are distributed.

Thank you,

Jeff Thompson
28 Mar 2013, 18:08:10 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
We started some new runs today. These runs include:

de_separation_09_3s_sSgr_2
de_separation_10_3s_sSgr_2
de_separation_23_3s_sSgr_1
ps_separation_09_3s_sSgr_2
ps_separation_10_3s_sSgr_2
ps_separation_23_3s_sSgr_1

If anyone notices anything strange with them please let me know.

Thank you,

Jake W.
21 Mar 2013, 21:15:24 UTC · Comment


N-Body 1.08
Hello users,

I have just updated the N-Body binaries. Expect a new release tonight. Post errors here!

Thanks,

Jake
20 Mar 2013, 16:26:50 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs Started
Today we started some new runs. These runs include:
de_separation_21_sSgr_1
de_separation_22_sSgr_1
ps_separation_21_sSgr_1
ps_separation_22_sSgr_2

If you notice anything strange with these runs please let me know. Thank you for your continued support!

Jake W.
7 Mar 2013, 15:25:20 UTC · Comment


The Updated Science Page is Up!
I've finished the updated science page, which can be found where the old one used to be:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/science.php

Feel free to ask questions - either here or in a new forum thread (in the Science message board)!
13 Feb 2013, 23:20:46 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I've started some new separation runs:

de_separation_17_sSgr_1
de_separation_18_sSgr_1
de_separation_19_sSgr_1
de_separation_20_sSgr_1
ps_separation_17_sSgr_1
ps_separation_18_sSgr_1
ps_separation_19_sSgr_1
ps_separation_20_sSgr_1

These are continuing the search for the secondary streams in the Northern Galactic Cap. Let me know if you see anything strange with them!

[Aside: I should have the new science page up in a day or two!]

-Matthew N.
11 Feb 2013, 23:46:24 UTC · Comment


New N-Body Release
Shortly, there will be release of N-Body 1.07. Hopefully, many of the issues on the Windows clients will be resolved. I plan to upload a search with an improved likelihood calculation and a fixed simulation time. We are making a lot of progress with N-Body's development thanks to the excellent userbase. We really appreciate your feedback.

Jake
4 Feb 2013, 21:34:06 UTC · Comment


1.06 Errors with Windows Clients
Windows 64 bit users seeing errors in work unit for Nbody Version 1.06 will want to use the reset option to have the software. This will redownload the dlls and fix a bad file that was transferred in the initial download.

Alternatively you can manually update the file per these steps
1. Stop MilkyWay@home
2. download the pthreadGC2_64_nbody_1.06.dll from http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/pthreadGC2_64_nbody_1.06.dll
3. place pthreadGC2_64_nbody_1.06.dll into your mw directory


A more detailed discussion is in the following thread:

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=3128


Jeff
1 Feb 2013, 13:35:34 UTC · Comment


New N-Body
Hello everyone,

I have posted a new run for N-Body. Post feedback here.

Thanks,

Jake
30 Jan 2013, 17:27:43 UTC · Comment


Nbody 1.06
I have released a version of the nbody binaries to address the large work unit sizes and errors with checkpoint files. Jake will be starting some runs to test the the values generated. I am looking into addressing the issue with threads on windows 64 bit systems.


Jeff Thompson
29 Jan 2013, 22:22:11 UTC · Comment


Stopped N-Body Runs
Hello everyone,

Thanks for your continued support. We are pulling down N-Body for the time being. We appreciate your feedback and are currently working on the next release.

We plan to test some of the absurdly credited WUs as well as fix some of the bugs that have been recurrent.

Thank you for your patience,

Jake
22 Jan 2013, 20:32:18 UTC · Comment


New Stream Fit (Separation) Runs
I've started some new separation runs:

de_separation_15_sSgr_1
de_separation_16_sSgr_1
ps_separation_15_sSgr_1
ps_separation_16_sSgr_1

These should run fine, but let me know if you see anything weird. Milkyway@home is moving along nicely!

Cheers,
Matthew N
21 Jan 2013, 21:52:12 UTC · Comment


New N-Body Runs
Hello everyone,

We have a functional release of N-Body out, and we are going to do further testing to see if we can fix some of the issues you are still having.

Version 1.06 is on its way in response to the different problems that are happening.

For now, we are going to change the run that is currently up to do something slightly different. If you have not updated, you will error immediately. We have changed the minimum version requirements. This will help us see what is wrong specifically with the current release.

Also, please use Jeff Thompson's thread about errors.

Jake
4 Jan 2013, 19:12:33 UTC · Comment


Nbody 1.04
We have finished testing a new version of Nbody.
I will be packaging the release to push it in 24 hours.

Due to the holidays I am posting this ahead of time so everyone can be aware that a new version of the nbody software will be available. It will be version 1.04.

We will also be starting a run with the new nbody version.

I keep updates in this thread as we go live with the new version.

Thank you,
Jeff Thompson


2 Jan 2013, 18:06:49 UTC · Comment


updates to server daemons
Hi Everyone,

I'll be doing a few updates to the server daemons tonight so expect some outages while I update the database and the daemons.

--Travis
22 Dec 2012, 22:16:45 UTC · Comment


validator back up
Hi Everyone,

It looks like I fixed the bug with the validator. I'll be keeping an eye on it this weekend to make sure everything is running okay.
8 Dec 2012, 22:17:50 UTC · Comment


12/7-Validator is down
The Validator is down so Pendings are building. We apologize for the delay in resolving this matter but this week has been final exams for ALL Astrophysics students so our all-student staff has been obviously focussing on that priority. Hopefully as exams wind down today the Validator can be restarted.

*You should get your usual credit for any work you have done or continue to do during the outage*.


Thank you for your patience.
6 Dec 2012, 23:30:46 UTC · Comment


Nobdy Release 1.02
We have updated the binaries for Nbody. Currently the Windows 64 bit and Apple Macintosh 64 bit versions are testing successfully. We are releasing a test run to test the Windows and Apple variants on the boinc system. We are monitoring this as. Please post any error details. And we will monitor the data as it comes back. Thank you. 19 Nov 2012, 19:32:15 UTC · Comment


New Separation (Stream Fit) Runs
While we work on fixing the Nbody binaries (there appears to be an issue with linking with BOINC during compilation), I've started up some new separation runs:

de_separation_16_2s_sSgr_1
de_seperation_16_3s_sSgr_1
ps_separation_16_2s_sSgr_1
ps_seperation_16_3s_sSgr_1

The "sSgr" suffix indicates that they are now fitting structure beyond the Sagittarius Dwarf Tidal Stream. We've successfully fit the (Galactic) North part of Sagittarius, and submitted the paper to the Astrophysical Journal (see this thread for more info). The paper is currently in the process of peer review.

So what we are doing now is looking at the Galactic halo structure now that the "giant" Sagittarius has been accounted for. The current runs will make sure that the new searches work properly, and to see whether 2- or 3- stream runs are the better choice - indicated by the "2s" or "3s" tag. Let us know how they go!

Additionally, Jeff Thompson and myself are preparing the SDSS (Galactic) South data for use in the Separation runs - we hope to get these started in the next week or two.

In short, we are entering a VERY productive time for the Separation/Stream fitting methods on Milkyway@home! We can't thank you guys enough.

Cheers,
Matthew N.
13 Nov 2012, 21:38:19 UTC · Comment


Nbody Errors and Introduction
Sorry about the errors! We have taken everything down and hope to have the issue resolved shortly.

By the way, I'm Jake, and I have been working in the group on N-Body for the past semester now, and I will be doing more work in the future.

Thanks to all the users for their help!

Jake Bauer
13 Nov 2012, 18:43:31 UTC · Comment


Stopped the nbody search
Looks like the nbody search is just having all of its workunits crash, so I've stopped it. Some more debugging needs to be done on the binaries.

--Travis
12 Nov 2012, 21:20:54 UTC · Comment


N_body
After a summer and autumn of intense development, we are ready to restart the nbody runs. We have updated the code and have working binaries for Linux 64bit, Linux 32bit, Windows 64bit and Mac 64bit. At a later date I will be posting the binary for Windows 32.

Please let us know how the new code is running.

Previous n_body code was labeled 1.00 in mistake, this new release continues the versioning system previously in use and will be version 0.94

Thank you all!

Jeff Thompson
12 Nov 2012, 15:57:32 UTC · Comment


Updated max errors to 2
Hi Everyone,

I've updated the max errors to two because people were having issues with their WUs getting marked invalid if someone aborted or had an error in their workunit. Hopefully this will alleviate the problem a bit without causing too many bad workunits to spread in the system. Let me know how it's working.

--Travis
2 Nov 2012, 17:13:04 UTC · Comment


New(er) Searches
I've started some new searches:

ps_separation_15_3s_stndrd_1
ps_separation_22_3s_free0_1
ps_separation_22_3s_edge0_2
de_separation_15_3s_stndrd_1
de_separation_22_3s_free0_1
de_separation_22_3s_edge0_2

I found a few minor errors in the parameter files - I wouldn't have expected them to be significant, but with the weird errors that we are seeing, I figured it would be best to clean the files up and restart the runs. I also started a set of Stripe 15 runs, since these have been successful previously.

When the Nan/Inf errors occurred, we were seeing a strange exit status; I'm trying to track that down. More news soon.

Cheers,
Matthew N.
31 Oct 2012, 0:37:32 UTC · Comment


started some new searches and updated the error limits
So while we're trying to figure out the problem with some of these workunits causing NAN/infinity fitnesses (and thus causing the boinc client to mark them as an error), I've started some new ones -- which should mean there are less errors floating around.

I've also updated out workunit templates so that after 1 error it should just trash a workunit (I hope). This means the erroneous workunits won't keep getting sent out to users further complicating the problem.

It's not the best solution, but hopefully it will improve things while we figure out what's wrong with the code/input files that's causing the issue for these searches.

--Travis
30 Oct 2012, 3:19:32 UTC · Comment


Apology for recent bad batches of workunits
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to send out an apology for all the problematic workunits being sent out lately. This was mostly my fault -- we have quite a few new students using MilkyWay@Home for their research -- and the code to start up new searches wasn't doing a very good job of ensuring the quality of the input files they were submitting to it.

We didn't have much problem with this in the past as it was mostly just me and Matt Newby submitting jobs and we knew what we were doing, but the client applications are rather finicky about extra whitespace and things like that in the input files, and this was causing a lot of the crashing workunits.

I'm in the process of updating the search submission code to be a lot more robust and catch these errors before sending things out, so hopefully this won't be as much of an issue in the future (hopefully not an issue at all!).

So I again I want to apologize for the lack of robustness in some of my code that was causing the crashes in the last few days. We're looking into the issue that's causing the las bit of errors that seem to be happening out there (it looks like there's some error in the client code that is causing NANs with certain input parameters, which results in the client reporting an error for the workunit). So I hope we can get that cleared up soon as well.

Happy crunching!
--Travis
14 Oct 2012, 22:11:37 UTC · Comment


might have found the error
It looks like the star file was misspecified for the *22_3s_free_1/2 and *22_3s_edge_1/2 searches. I've made a new fixed star file for *22_3s_free_3 and *22_3s_edge_3 searches, and shut down the old ones. Let me know how these are working. 13 Oct 2012, 23:40:07 UTC · Comment


New searches _edge_2 and _free_2
I noticed a bug in the validator, so I've restarted the searches.

It does look like some of the clients are erroring out with these, so if you can send any information as to whether or not the errors are happening on the GPU or CPU applications, the operating system, architecture/etc so we narrow down which binaries are having the issues that would be great.

--Travis
13 Oct 2012, 20:54:40 UTC · Comment


another test run 'de_separation_22_3s_edge_1'
This is using the new parameter files (which I fixed up a bit -- seems there was an error in it). Let me know if these are running okay. 13 Oct 2012, 0:17:43 UTC · Comment


testing a run 'de_separation_09_2s_sample_3' let me know if there are any crashes
Starting up a search with parameter files that seem to have worked in the past -- let me know if you're having any issues with these. I want to get a baseline of what I know is working so I can see why the new searches the astronomers are not working. 12 Oct 2012, 23:34:02 UTC · Comment


Testing new runs and server code
I'm looking into the issues with clients crashing out because of parameter file issues. I'll be testing things tonight so work will probably be sent out in little bursts so I can find out what exactly is going wrong.

-Travis
12 Oct 2012, 22:14:28 UTC · Comment


New Run Beginning

There is a new set of particle swarm separation work on the server and I will have another set released shortly. If anyone experiences any issues please let us know.


Thank you,
Jeff Thompson
4 Oct 2012, 18:31:04 UTC · Comment


New Run Beginning
I am getting ready to start a new separation run this evening. If anyone has any issues please let me know.


Thank you,

Jeff Thompson
2 Oct 2012, 0:07:33 UTC · Comment


A Brief Introduction
Hello Everyone,

I am Jeff Thompson, a graduate student working with Professor Newberg and Matt Newby. I have spent the last 15 years working in IT in the Financial Industry, Internet Service Industry and at Astronomical Facilities. I have come to RPI to study Astrophysics. I am extremely excited to be working with the MilkyWay@home group and look forward to doing research with such a great community.

I am hoping to start some separation searches this week and will announce when the data goes live.

Thank you,
Jeff Thompson
29 Sep 2012, 1:27:03 UTC · Comment


NBody Update and New Runs
After a summer of intense development, we are ready to restart the nbody runs. We have updated the code and have(hopefully)working binaries for Linux 64bit, Linux 32bit and Mac 64bit. Over the upcoming weeks we will be posting binaries for the other platforms. Please let us know how the new code is running.

Thank you all!

-Steve
17 Aug 2012, 21:11:14 UTC · Comment


Plot Progression!
Some pretty plots:





These are plots that I recently finished cleaning up that show the positions of the centers of the Sagittarius stream (the bases of the arrows) and the directions of the stream (arrows). The numbers represent the Sloan Digital Sky Survey stripe number of that stream detection.

The top plot is looking at the Milky Way edge-on - the dotted line is roughly the size and position of the Galactic disk.

The bottom plot is looking at the Milky Way face-on - the dotted line roughly represents the edge of the Galactic disk.

Black arrows are below the disk of the galaxy, and white arrows are above the disk. Distances are in kiloparsecs (kpc), or thousands of parsecs; a parsec is about 3.26 light-years. "Sgr Core" is th elocation of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy.

As you can see, the results indicate a continuous stream that wraps all the way around the galaxy. (There are no arrows where we don't have data) Also, you can see that this stream is HUGE - its average orbital radius is as large or even larger than the radius of the Milky Way galaxy itself!

See this thread for the previous plot, which looks at the Sagittarius stream from the point of view of an observer on the Earth (which is the only point of view that we have data from, of course!)
13 Jul 2012, 21:32:36 UTC · Comment


New NBody test searches
Hello Everyone,

My name is Steve, I am a physics/math undergrad at RPI and have taken on the task of handling the nbody code for the summer. For the past few weeks I have been working on the comparison software that measures how well the simulations match the known data.

I just uploaded two searches, de_plum_slice_EMD_NEW_100K and ps_plum_slice_EMD_NEW_100K. Hopefully these will run smoothly but let me know if anyone has any problems.

Other than that if anyone has any questions about me, what I do, or about Milky Way at Home, please feel free to ask. I would be happy to answer them.
3 Jul 2012, 20:37:14 UTC · Comment


issues with workunits crashing might be fixed now and nbody work generation information
While debugging the nbody work generation I think I might have found out why the workunits were still crashing. I think the server might have been sending out the wrong parameter file (ie., a different one than I specified) so they were still using the old one and crashing. So with these updates this issue might really be fixed.

Also, the nbody work generation code dynamically estimates the fpops on a per-workunit basis, so I'm hoping this will result in more accurate runtime estimates and generated credit. Let me know how that goes.

--Travis
29 Jun 2012, 4:24:40 UTC · Comment


started a test nbody search 'ps_nbody_100K_Plum_EMD'
Should be generating workunits. This should be a continuation of a previously running search so hopefully things will go smoothly. Let me know if you have any problems. 29 Jun 2012, 3:56:11 UTC · Comment


started a new search called 'ps_separation_10_2s_sample_2'
This is using the exact same parameter files and star files as one of the previously running searches that no one supposedly was having problems with. Let me know if you have any issues with these workunits (a link to failed tasks would be great as well).

Thanks!
--Travis
26 Jun 2012, 1:07:56 UTC · Comment


testing some new searches today
Hi Everyone,

I think I might have found a fix for the problem some people are having with workunits erroring out. I'll be taking down the current searches and starting up some new ones shortly. I should also be putting out an n-body search this evening as well.

-Travis
25 Jun 2012, 18:31:52 UTC · Comment


Milkyway@home Maintanence Downtime
I'm taking Milkyway@home down for (hopefully) 1 hour today to resolve the previous issue. 22 Jun 2012, 22:01:02 UTC · Comment


Maintenance Outage Today
I took Milkyway down for a few minutes earlier today for maintenance, but it looks like I will have to do it one more time. I will restart all of the BOINC processes once this is finished. 19 Jun 2012, 21:24:52 UTC · Comment


Progress Report
EDIT: Updated plot to a cleaned up, higher resolution version.

TA-DA!



This is a preliminary image from a research paper that we are currently putting together. It uses data from Milkyway@home's separation application!

What you are looking at is a map of the Sagittarius Tidal Debris Stream, as seen by looking "up" out of the disk of our galaxy. The coordinates are in "Galactic Latitude (l) and Longitude (b)" - "l" runs along the disk of the galaxy, with 0 degrees as the line from the Sun to the galactic center, and "b" is the angle above the plane. (It's just like Latitude and Longitude on Earth, but with the Sun t the center and on a galactic scale). The colors represent the square root of the number of stars (it will be the actual number in the final plot). A summary of (l,b) can be found here.

What we've done ("we" including all of you here at Milkyway@home) is fit our statistical model to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey star data, and then using the Separation code, we removed the Sagittarius Tidal Stream from the background of Milky Way galaxy stars.

The Sagittarius Tidal Stream is part of the Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy, which is currently "falling into" the Milky Way galaxy. As it falls into the Milky Way, tidal forces stretch out the loose stars in a massive stream stretching all the way around the galaxy. Over time, these stars will eventually merge with the other Milky Way stars - We are "gobbling up" the Sagittarius Dwarf! In fact, many of the outer stars in our galaxy may have been "cannibalized" from other galaxies in this way!

This map will help us understand the distribution of mass (*ahem* Dark Matter) in our galaxy, as well as provide insight into the formation history of galaxies in general. I'll post up a link to the paper as soon as we submit it to the reviewers!

(Sorry that I've been away for awhile - I recently recovered from a head injury that kept me out for a month, and I'm finally feeling back up to full strength!)

--Matthew N.
8 Jun 2012, 21:30:38 UTC · Comment


started a new search 'ps_separation_14_2s_05_3_test_1'
I'm trying to address the errors people have been having with workunits failing. Let me know if any of the workunits for this new search are crashing. Matt A. told me that this old parameter file should be working fine, so I'm testing it out.

--Travis
6 Jun 2012, 4:10:38 UTC · Comment


work should be flowing now
I just started up the work generator (for some reason it didn't start up with everything else). Looks like work should be flowing now. 5 Jun 2012, 16:23:48 UTC · Comment


Power Outages this Week
RPI is expecting multiple power outages this week for "routine maintenance," so expect milkwayway@home to go down for a few hours to a day at a time.

I didn't think the building that housed the server was going to be hit by these outages, otherwise I would have given everyone a warning.

Luckily, the room that the server is kept in is managed by our support staff, who are making sure that the server shuts down cleanly, and will restart it when the outage periods finish.
5 Jun 2012, 15:22:27 UTC · Comment


server outage
Hi Everyone,

There was/is a power outage on campus today. So while the milkyway@home server is up and running, the machines I need to SSH into to get to the milkyway@home server are not, so I can't kick the work generator to start it back up again. Hopefully those machines will be back online again soon and I can make the server start generating new work.

--Travis
5 Jun 2012, 4:19:35 UTC · Comment


testing work generation with 'ps_separation_14_2s_null_3'
I'm testing work generation right now, there should be workunits available to download now. Let me know how these workunits are crunching!

--Travis
1 Jun 2012, 18:00:30 UTC · Comment


nbody workunit credit
After updating the nbody validator it's now using boinc's default credit system. I'm wondering how this credit compares to what was being awarded before, and if we'll need to apply some kind of modifier to it or not. So let me know how it's doing. 1 Jun 2012, 0:19:49 UTC · Comment


updating server daemons
I'll be updating the server daemons today (it's been a long time coming), so expect some downtime in terms of work generation and validation. We're going back to a c/c++ implementation (as opposed to the current Java one) which will help keep things more in line with the BOINC trunk. This is also going to let us test a more generic version of the evolutionary algorithms code we have, which hopefully other BOINC projects should be able to use if they have a similar need.

As always, our code is open source, so if you'd like to take a look at it the server code is here:

https://github.com/Milkyway-at-home/milkyway_server

And it uses my evolutionary algorithms/optimization code:

https://github.com/travisdesell/tao

--Travis
31 May 2012, 17:47:04 UTC · Comment


N-body screensaver available for testing
I wrote a screensaver for the nbody application. You can manually install it and try it from here: http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/nbody_0.92/ (available for Linux, Windows and OS X 64 bit. OS X requires 10.7 Lion). It requires OpenGL 3.2 so it needs a DirectX 10 class GPU (Something newer than Radeon HD 2xxx or GeForce 8000 series)

The screensaver has various mouse and keyboard controls for viewing the simulations. A list of all controls can be accessed by pressing the h or ? keys. You can manipulate the camera by dragging with the mouse and zooming with the scroll wheel.

There are a couple of known problems which you may run into:

I added a bunch of preferences to the web project preferences, but they're not quite finished yet (e.g. the default values don't show up in the boxes when you don't have them set).

I made a small demo video a while ago demonstrating it: http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/random_stuff/nbody_graphics_sample.mp4

Try it out, and see if you like it! If you run into any problems or have any recommendations for future versions, please leave a comment below. 12 May 2012, 1:48:47 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I started 2 new separation runs today:

ps_separation_09_2s_sample_1
ps_separation_10_2s_sample_1

Post here or in the Number Crunching Message Board if you notice anything strange about them!

-Matthew N
1 May 2012, 22:47:09 UTC · Comment


UPDATE: Work Stoppage Remedied
It looks as though certain processes got stuck, so I manually killed them then restarted all of the BOINC systems. Things look like they are running smoothly now.

Let me know if you have any more problems.

-Matthew

25 Apr 2012, 22:39:09 UTC · Comment


Work Stoppage
We are currently experiencing no work going out. This has been escalated to the team and we hope to have it resolved shortly. We are sorry for the delay in the repair.

Blurf
25 Apr 2012, 17:54:12 UTC · Comment


New Nbody Run
A new NBody run has been posted. We are trying to determine the initial dark matter distribution of some test data. There have been some improvements to our model which should hopefully result in faster convergence times. The run is titled nbody_100K_Plum_EMD. All previous Nbody runs have been taken down. 11 Apr 2012, 17:46:25 UTC · Comment


New Separation Runs
I've just started up some new runs, with names like "ps_separation_14_2s_..." and "ps_separation_15_2s_...". These runs are designed to study some of the Computer Science that drives Milkyway@home.

As always, let me know if you have any trouble with these work units.

-Matthew N
1 Mar 2012, 21:21:05 UTC · Comment


Make Up Double Credits Has Now Ended
The 12 hours of double credits, meant to make up for credits lost due to a database error last year, have finished. We are now back to normal credits.

Happy Crunching!
15 Feb 2012, 3:39:30 UTC · Comment


Makeup Double Credits Now Running
The 12 remaining hours of make-up double-credit is running until 10pm Eastern Time today.

For more info, please see this thread:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=2761#52813

Happy Valentine's Day!
14 Feb 2012, 15:24:05 UTC · Comment


Separation updated to 1.00
I've updated all of the separation applications to 1.00. For changes people might care about,


As usual post problems you run into here.



* It should cut down on the CPU usage a bit while not sacrificing too much. I would recommend not using it unless you are very unhappy with the CPU usage on Nvidia. There are options to change the polling mode if you want to lower the CPU usage further while not slowing it down. (--gpu-wait-factor (default = 0.75) and --gpu-polling-mode (default = - 2) work similarly to how they did with the old CAL one, but slightly different). With the default of -2 it will use mode -1 unless it is an Nvidia driver newer than the one that introduced the high CPU issue, where it will use mode 0. Mode -1 uses the correct waiting method, mode 0 use the correct waiting method with an initial sleep based on time estimates, and modes > 0 are a polling period in milliseconds. The wait factor is a sort of correction of the time estimate used for the initial wait. The default is 0.75, to wait for 75% of the estimated time before trying to poll. 8 Feb 2012, 17:36:48 UTC · Comment


Remainder of the Double Credits: A Valentine's Day Present
A few weeks ago, we ran double credits in order to make up for a database error that occurred earlier in 2011. Unfortunately, the server crashed with just 12 hours left until the make-up credits were finished.

Now that the new server is up and running (and stable! very stable!), and everyone here is back from travels and winter break, we are ready to finish running those last 12 hours of double make-up credits.

If there are no significant objections, we'll run the double credits on St. Valentine's Day (February 14), from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm, US Eastern time (EST). This corresponds to 3pm (Feb14)-3am (Feb15) UTC.

Happy crunching!
5 Feb 2012, 3:25:39 UTC · Comment


Raised GPU work limits
I've raised the work limit to 20 tasks per GPU to see what happens. 7 Jan 2012, 20:03:17 UTC · Comment


New server test post
Everything should be running on the new server now. 5 Jan 2012, 8:10:11 UTC · Comment


Moving to a new server
Hi Everyone,

The new server is in, and we'll be migrating everything over to it this week. We expect to have everything done Tuesday or Wednesday next week. We are expecting to be able to move the entire database over, so we don't expect that you'll lose any work or credit during the transition. Sometime along the way we'll be shutting down the old server for a period of time while we migrate the database over, and redirect milkyway.cs.rpi.edu over to the new machine.

We'll be trying to make it as seamless and painless as possible for everyone. Hopefully this will solve a lot of our crashing issues as well.

--Travis
27 Dec 2011, 19:39:05 UTC · Comment


N-body updated to 0.80
I've updated all the N-body applications to 0.80.

These add a new kind of likelihood calculation (and soon validation method) we're probably going to switch to using that will allow adding GPU versions sometime in the near future (the GPU version is pretty much ready to go, but we need to fiddle with these kinds of issues first).

Since the n-body is statistical, for any simulation the result can be anywhere in a distribution. So far for validation we have relied on the results from any 2 system being identical, but this is more problematic when you try to include GPUs. The new results should be "fuzzier" and more resistant to some other types potential problems the old likelihood calculation could have.
9 Dec 2011, 3:27:35 UTC · Comment


New Server
A new server has been ordered. Because delivery times are slow now (due to flooding in Thailand producing slow delivery times for disks), the estimated ship date is December 29, which means we do not expect to get the new server running until the middle to end of January 2012. We will keep watching the current server for repeats of previous software glitches, and hopefully will keep that server running smoothly for the next two months.

Thanks,
Heidi
2 Dec 2011, 21:24:21 UTC · Comment


Milkyway@home back up
Matthew A was able to get the database stabilized, and it looks like we are running smoothly again.

It appears that the SQL query threads were not timing out properly, and were jamming the CPU with worthless tasks. This has been remedied.

While we expect to run smoothly for now, other database issues may pop up - the FreeBSD operating system that is currently running Milkyway@home is old, and notoriously incompatible with modern SQL. Of course, we hope to not have more problems.

We are ordering a new server, and should transition over to it in mid-December. We'll post the specs once we finalize them, and keep you posted.

Cheers,
Matthew Newby
30 Nov 2011, 21:57:32 UTC · Comment


Recent Problems with the Database
Excuse us for a while...

It appears that the server became unresponsive shortly after everyone left for Thanksgiving break. We've determined that the SQL database is melting down and monopolizing system resources, and we are currently pursuing a solution.

If everything goes well, Matthew A. will have us back up tonight. If not, it could be another day or 2 before things stabilize.

We are in the process of ordering a new server - we hope to transition over the winter break.

We'll keep you posted.

Cheers,
Matthew N
29 Nov 2011, 21:08:38 UTC · Comment


Separation Status and New Runs
The separation runs that analyse the northern galactic cap (Sloan Digital Sky Survey, or SDSS Stripes 9-27) have nearly finished - soon we'll be able to wrap all of that data together, and with data from Nathan Cole's PhD thesis, we'll have a nice scientific paper out in the next few months. We'll keep you notified.

That doesn't mean that the separation code will be retired - far from it. We're starting new separation runs (the ones with "mix" in the name) that are testing the robustness of the separation code. We'll be running simulated data sets along side real data to test several aspects of the stream-fitting process. The main questions are: What would Milkyway@home do if something different from our model exists in the data? And how different would that something have to be in order to modify our results?

Also, the release of SDSS Data Release 8 earlier this year gives us access to several stripes of data in the southern galactic cap. We are currently processing this data (It's not as continuous as the northern data, so we have to cut out areas with spotty data), and it will eventually run on Milkway@home.

We are also looking to improve the code on Milkyway@home. My brand new paper studies the distribution function of stars in the Milky Way halo, and provides a new convolution kernel that should make Milkyway@home more effective. There are a few other results from that paper, and inside work, that we would like to implement in the Milkyway@home searches. When we update these functions, we will run stripes over again and look for differences.

Long story short: We're almost done with one part of Milkyway@home's mission, but there's still plenty to do. Happy Crunching!

Cheers - Matthew N
17 Nov 2011, 0:49:48 UTC · Comment


server back up
Looks like there was a problem with one of the hard drives. We've replaced it and it looks like the database is back into RAM, so hopefully we'll have some smooth sailing from here on out. 3 Nov 2011, 19:24:33 UTC · Comment


server issues
We'll be taking the server down tomorrow to figure out what this new hardware problem is. It looks like some issue with the interconnect is causing the server to crash repeatedly. 2 Nov 2011, 15:46:27 UTC · Comment


milkyway back up
Looks like the server had a hard crash. Not quite sure from what. A couple tables in the database were corrupted, but I think I've gotten them fixed and things should be working again. I'll keep posting updates here. 31 Oct 2011, 20:18:48 UTC · Comment


fixed the problem with no new work
Hi Everyone,

The problem should be fixed -- I put in some changes yesterday which limits the maximum amount of workunits that can be in the database at any given time; since the server had around 300,000 WUs in the database when i made the change I put the cap at 400,000. Looks like you guys requested a ton more work and there are 400,000 WUs in the database at the moment. I'm going to increase the cap to 500,000 which hopefully should be more than enough.

The reason I'm putting the cap in is to prevent the problem we had earlier when I had to wipe clean the database. For whatever reason sometimes when the database is being backed up to disk or if there's a problem with the feeder, the code that calculates the number of workunits available fails and the work generator continues to generate new workunits without stopping -- flooding the database. This extra check should prevent that from happening.

Anyways, work should be flowing again shortly; and I'm working on a better solution to this problem then just a hard cap on the number of workunits in the database (although we probably need that to keep the database from getting unresponsive).

--Travis
25 Oct 2011, 19:41:28 UTC · Comment


Making Milkyway@home Better
Recently Milkway@home has seen some major crashes, and there have been stability issues popping up. There have been plenty of rumors running around the message boards as to what the issue is. There has been discussion, from both Milkyway crunchers and staff, of buying a new server. The Milkyway staff has been discussing this issue for awhile, and we've recently come to some conclusions.

There's a strong consensus that the Milkyway server hardware is not to blame. It appears that the OS is buggy, being fairly old and forced to run modern database software (among other things).

In order to update the OS (and other software), we would need a new server so that the old one could continue to run during the install and upgrade process. We have access to funding for a new server, but the issue is that we do not have the staff to oversee the installation of BOINC/MW and the eventual migration. Especially since our computing support staff has seen major cutbacks in the recent past.

The donations from Milkyway crunchers have already funded one student's work on Milkyway@home during the last summer. In addition to funding that student, donations have just recently funded a Milkyway development machine which will soon be capable of compiling all of the Milkyway client software across multiple architectures simultaneously. We take your donated money seriously, and will ONLY use it to fund students or Milkyway-related hardware purchases.

So while we appreciate the recent drive by our users to donate or raise money for new hardware, it is actually support staff that we need the most. Direct monetary donations to Milkyway will be the most useful to us, and can be made through our donation page.

We are looking to hire a part-time computer scientist to clean up the server, work on server stability, and create a better experience for our crunchers. This person might also assist in migrating us over to a new server, when the time comes. We only need to raise a few hundred more dollars to meet the salary goal. We also need to raise money for next summer's salaries.

ALSO, we will be creating a hardware donation page similar to SETI@home's. Matt A. needs a few GPU's to continue his dev work, and he is also looking to build a twin to the new Milkyway dev machine. I'll let him provide the details, and all of this will be posted on the new page. Look for it in the next few days.

Donations of old GPUs will always be useful and welcome to Milkyway@home. When the hardware donation page is up, we will provide an address to which these may be sent. I believe that all donations will be tax-deductible.

Thank you for providing your valuable cycles to us, as they provide us with the ability to crunch enormous amounts of data and make Milkyway@home one of the top BOINC projects. This is all we really need to keep Milkyway@home running and successful. But if you would like to help make Milkyway@home BETTER, please consider making a small donation to help support our staff.

Cheers,
Matthew N
12 Oct 2011, 21:45:36 UTC · Comment


sending out work again
Think I have things squared away on our end. Let me know if you're having any problems with the workunits being sent out. 11 Oct 2011, 4:15:28 UTC · Comment


feel free to cancel any in progress WUs
Looks like I'm going to have to drop the result and workunit tables to get the database working again. Feel free to cancel any workunits you have in progress. I apologize for this but it's looking like it's the only way to get the project back on it's feet in any reasonable amount of time. 9 Oct 2011, 19:03:00 UTC · Comment


We're back! (somewhat)
As seems par for the course, if I leave for the weekend and don't have internet access milkyway likes to crash and go into panic mode. It looks like we a crash while some process had the database tables locked. This caused everything to freeze and back up. I'm waiting for some queries to finish up in the database, then we should be able to turn everything back on. Things might be a bit slow until then.

Thanks for hanging in there while the site was down.

--Travis
9 Oct 2011, 17:13:34 UTC · Comment


upgrading assimilator/validator update
Just an update -- I've pretty much gotten the new assimilator, validator and work generator daemons working (they're going to be separate now). I'm probably going to be testing work generation first (with the old assimilator/validator) to make sure things are working correctly -- probably tomorrow night I'll be sending out test workunits. After I get those sent out and coming back correctly, I'll start testing the new assimilation and validation.

--Travis
3 Oct 2011, 19:27:24 UTC · Comment


upgrading assimilator and validator
So I've finally gotten settled and have been making progress with the bug where some workunits are terminating early because of maximum CPU time elapsed. I'll probably be bringing things up and down a bit over the next few days as I test and debug the newer assimilator and validator. 16 Sep 2011, 17:19:06 UTC · Comment


Server Components Restored
One of the files on the server had it's permissions corrupted, and brought most of the components to a halt. I have resolved the issue, and everything appears to be running fine now.

-Matthew N
15 Sep 2011, 18:18:37 UTC · Comment


Server Components Down
Several of the Milkyway@home server components have gone down. We're working to get them back up.

-Matthew N
15 Sep 2011, 17:28:15 UTC · Comment


Settling at UND
Hi Everybody,

I've finally somewhat gotten settled out here in UND, and have time to start working on MilkyWay a little bit more seriously again. ;) I've come up with a fix for the maximum time limit elapsed bug, and that's my main priority right now. It's going to take a bit of coding on my part but I'll keep you posted.

--Travis
22 Aug 2011, 22:07:58 UTC · Comment


Happy Wednesday!
Hello friends....

It's Wednesday and all is well. The assimilators appear to have been down briefly earlier but they are up now.

Have a great rest of the week!

Blurf
17 Aug 2011, 16:49:00 UTC · Comment


8/12/2011-Friday Update
Just updating the News Section.

Friday about Noon EST and all servers are running at this point.

Have a great weekend!

Blurf
8 Aug 2011, 23:54:52 UTC · Comment


maximum time limit exceeded bug
It seems like people are still (sigh) having this problem. Let me know if you're seeing it (and give me a host id) so I can try and debug it.

--Travis
25 Jul 2011, 18:04:26 UTC · Comment


back up (hopefully)
Got some news from labstaff:

back online assuming that the portable AC is enough to keep up with the added load until the real unit is repaired


Things have been really hot (close to 100 degrees F) here in Troy, and it looks like the air conditioning unit cooling the server room milkyway@home was in totally broke. They have a portable AC in as a replacement and things have cooled off slightly, so we should be up and running unless another heat wave comes through. No ETA on the real unit being repaired yet but we will keep you posted...

I'm also in the process of moving out to my new position at University of North Dakota these coming weeks, so if things are a little slow on my end getting things working or fixing problems, that's why. 25 Jul 2011, 16:23:00 UTC · Comment

Make-Up Credits to Run Wednesday and Thursday
Hello,

We'll be running two days of double-credits this week on Wednesday and Thursday to make up for outages earlier in the summer.

Cheers,
Matthew N
18 Jul 2011, 23:11:26 UTC · Comment


DOUBLE CREDIT FUNDRAISER CANCELLED
(Posting this to get it up as a news item it is also in the original thread below this one in the News section).

Dear MilkyWay@home volunteers,

It appears that I have made a mis-step in management of MilkyWay@Home, regarding double credits for fundraising. I believed that this had been done before. I have since discovered that not only I was incorrect, but it is also inconsistent with the BOINC credit system. As volunteers, you have donated enormous computational resources to my group, and on top of that have created a powerful community that not only helps us with software but also teaches us how to be responsible members of your community. We will be running double credit two days this week to make up for lost credit in the past, but we will not be running a double credit fundraiser in September. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. I will need a little time to understand what the right way is to do this, so stay tuned.

Best Wishes,
Prof. Newberg
18 Jul 2011, 15:00:37 UTC · Comment


DOUBLE CREDITS Fundraiser - Request for Funding for MilkyWay@home
The big news! We have been planning a double-credit fund-raising event here at Milkyway@home. To explain the details, here's a letter from Prof. Heidi Newberg:



Dear MilkyWay@home volunteers,

I want to first thank all of you for helping us study the Milky Way galaxy by donating your CPU and GPU cycles to our project. Some of you have also contributed your computational expertise, or contributed cash or GPU cards to our projects. We appreciate all of these gifts. MilkyWay@home CPU/GPU cycles have contributed to defining the distribution of stars in the Sagittarius dwarf tidal stream. Stars in this stream were pulled off of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, which is in orbit around the Milky Way, by the Milky Way's gravity. In addition, novel computational techniques have been developed for asynchronous parameter searches using a heterogeneous volunteer network.
Over the next year we plan to modify MilkyWay@home to measure the overall distribution of stars in the Milky Way halo. The magnitude of your generosity has made it possible for us to dream bigger dreams. We are starting to transform MilkyWay@home to do n-body simulations of several dwarf galaxy tidal disruptions at the same time. We can then change the model parameters for the Milky Way's gravity and for the properties of the dwarf galaxies so that they match the properties of actual tidal streams in the Milky Way. This is a big job and a new field, and we would not be able to contemplate doing this if you were not volunteering the equivalent of one of the largest supercomputers in the world to this task. Presently, we have taken only the first steps towards this, by simulating the disruption of a single dwarf galaxy and varying only the parameters of the dwarf itself. We have quite a lot to learn in developing the correct techniques for solving this problem, but if we are successful we will eventually find out how much mass (mostly dark matter) is in the Milky Way, and how it is distributed in space.

A year ago, I was successful in getting an NSF grant funded that supports my astronomy research on the Milky Way, and a significant part of that grant was justified by the use of your volunteer computing cycles. We are still seeking grant funding that will support the computer science research side of MilkyWay@home. A few years ago when we were stretched for funding between grants, we raised about $7000 in private donations, most of which were from MilkyWay@home volunteers. The remaining portion of this funding is currently being used on summer salary to support Matthew Arsenault, who is working on converting our n-body code so that it will run on GPUs. Matthew recently received his BS degree from RPI, and has been working on MilkyWay@home code for more than a year. He will be entering our PhD program this fall. He will be supported as a teaching assistant during the coming school year, but I am again turning to the volunteers to help me support him in summer 2012. Currently, I do not have funding to guarantee that I can support him. The cost of a graduate student summer salary plus institutional overhead is about $10,000. Of course, we can always do more with extra funding, but students are my top priority. Matthew has done a fabulous job implementing our current n-body simulations.

We are therefore launching the following "thank you" and fundraising campaign. On September 1, 2011, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit. Hopefully, this will at least make up for some of the credit lost when MilkyWay@home was not operational for software, hardware, or air conditioning emergencies. We understand that these have been frustrating to some users, but be assured that they were much more frustrating for us.

In addition, we will run MilkyWay@home with double credit for one additional day for every $500 raised between now and September 1, 2011. Donations can be made with paypal or credit card online at:
http://www.dudleyobservatory.org/MilkyWayAtHome/MilkyWayAtHome2.html
Payments by check can be made out to Dudley Observatory and mailed to: Dudley Observatory, 107 Nott Terrace, Suite 201, Schenectady, NY 12308, with MilkyWay@home in the comments line of the check, or with a letter that explains that the donation is to MilkyWay@home. For donations in other forms, you may contact me directly (heidi@rpi.edu). The donations are tax deductible, and you will receive a letter from Dudley Observatory that can be used for tax purposes. Donations will be used to fund graduate or undergraduate students, travel, publication, materials, or equipment costs related to Milky Way research and education. For gifts over $1000, donors may specify a person, family, or organization to be acknowledged in research publications which are partially supported by this donation, and to receive a signed, printed copy of the publication.

Again, we thank you for your support of our research project. We have been overwhelmed by the number of people who are willing to contribute.

Sincerely,
Prof. Heidi Newberg


Further questions and comments are welcome in this thread. 14 Jul 2011, 17:54:06 UTC · Comment

Recent Outage
Milkyway@home was down for a few hours yesterday. This was due to several networks at RPI being retuned, and Milkway@home lost it's proper pointing information when this happened. This was a minor outage and shouldn't happen again.

Thank you for your patience.

-Matthew N
14 Jul 2011, 16:30:49 UTC · Comment


ps_separation_17_test
A few people have been getting workunits error out with an error like:

Error loading Lua script 'astronomy_parameters.txt': [string "number_parameters: 4..."]:1: '<name>' expected near '4' Error reading astronomy parameters from file 'astronomy_parameters.txt' Trying old parameters file Error reading into stream_max Error reading into optimize_parameter Error reading stream_weight for stream 2


ps_separation_17_test uses a new parameter file which we hope will fix these problems. let us know if you're having any problem with it here.
28 Jun 2011, 6:07:55 UTC · Comment

started a ps nbody search
I started up a 'ps' nbody search. Let me know if you're having any problems with these workunits. 28 Jun 2011, 4:45:05 UTC · Comment


started some new searches
I've taken down the 'de' searches and started up some 'ps' searches. Let me know if you're having any problems with them. 27 Jun 2011, 23:51:05 UTC · Comment


Added FreeBSD applications
I added both Nbody and Separation applications for FreeBSD amd64. 24 Jun 2011, 6:07:29 UTC · Comment


fix for old clients being awarded 0 credit for nbody workunits
Looks like the problem has been fixed. Older clients should now be receiving a more realistic amount of credit for the nbody workunits. Let me know if you're still having any problems. 23 Jun 2011, 17:18:02 UTC · Comment


Any remaining major credit or application problems?
I should have the problem with a few of the nbody workunits awarding 0 credit fixed today. Are there any other significant problems in credit or with the applications?

If not, I think we'll have the double credit days next monday and tuesday, as things have finally been running smoothly. Or would it be better to have them on a weekend?
23 Jun 2011, 16:52:55 UTC · Comment


maximum time limit elapsed bug
Is anyone still having this? Please let me know so I can check out the entries for your hosts in the database. 22 Jun 2011, 18:08:26 UTC · Comment


Nbody updated to 0.60
A pretty minor update. Report problems here.

I added a 32 bit OS X one, although it doesn't get multithreaded.

Update: For Windows, I got the names of the DLLs backwards for BOINC the first time for 0.60. Then BOINC's copying of the DLLs wasn't working for no particular reason. Then it turns out one of the DLLs I uploaded somehow was corrupted, but in any case it seems to now be working. So the Windows ones now say version 0.66, but nothing actually changed from the earlier ones in case you noticed those.
17 Jun 2011, 18:59:35 UTC · Comment


Separation updated to 0.82
Minor update to fix (hopefully all of) the problems with 0.80

Edit:

Another minor update for the regular 32 bit Windows application to 0.84. This is basically the same thing rebuilt so it should work on Windows 2000
13 Jun 2011, 13:18:25 UTC · Comment


Separation updated to 0.80
I've updated 15 of the 16 different versions of the separation for all systems. Post here if you have any problems (particularly if you have a problem with the new 32 bit Linux GPU applications...)

New features:
- Faster CPU calculations because of SSE2 intrinsics from Crunch3r. This should get a bit faster later when I get to some other stuff.

- The binaries now include the different SSE levels for the critical function (e.g. x87/SSE2/SSE3) all in one, and will use the appropriate one for the detected CPU's capabilities, so you don't need any special __sse2 version or anything. The problems on systems without SSE2 which happened sometimes for the GPU applications should also be fixed.

- Checkpointing for GPUs for both OpenCL/Nvidia and ATI/AMD for CAL. It will checkpoint no more frequently than after at least 10% progress, so it might not checkpoint as frequently as your settings specify if you have a particularly slow GPU. GPU checkpointing is a bit slow when it does happen, so if you don't want it, you can disable it with the flag --gpu-disable-checkpointing.

- The Nvidia OpenCL platform should now always be used avoiding issues if you had both AMD's and Nvidia's installed

- More reliable chunking for different GPUs. I didn't play with the time estimates so much, but I think the actual run times should now be closer to the estimates. There should also be fewer cases where a GPU will end up using the slowest possible work size option. I'll probably have to fiddle with this some more if people still aren't happy with the lag.

- Work around for a Catalyst driver problem where sometimes the GPU was reported as 0 Mhz, resulting in much more lag which I think was some peoples' problem.

- New flag that some people requested: --process-priority (-b). On Windows this is 0 (lowest) - 4 (highest) for overriding the process priority. On Linux this is the nice value.

- CAL specific: Removed --responsiveness-factor flag. Use --gpu-target-frequency or --non-responsive instead depending on what you want to do.

- Actually updated the 32-bit OS X application

- In the event of a crash on Windows, you should no longer be bothered with useless crash dialogs
12 Jun 2011, 21:03:19 UTC · Comment


another outage this week
It seems like RPI is still working on the cooling issue, so milkyway may be going up and down this week. Labstaff contacted us and said everything should be back to normal by Thursday. If things are running smoothly after thursday and the weekend, we'll have the double credit days next week.


--Travis
7 Jun 2011, 17:44:53 UTC · Comment


Outage
Sorry about the outage. RPI had some cooling issues, and many systems (including milkyway) were down. 6 Jun 2011, 23:45:14 UTC · Comment


testing a new search 'ps_test_1'
I'm testing a new framework for running our searches, which should make them a bit more reliable and reduce server load. I've sent out a small batch of 1000 (and won't be generating new ones) to see if this works. Let me know if they crunch correctly for you, they should be named 'ps_test_1_X' where X is some number. 25 May 2011, 11:25:34 UTC · Comment


trying another fix for maximum time elapsed bug
Let me know if the error is still persisting. Sorry this is taking so long. 24 May 2011, 4:18:35 UTC · Comment


another attempt at the max time limit elapsed fix
So I've tried yet another fix. For newly generated workunits, let me know if anyone is still getting the problem with maximum time limit elapsed.

If no one is, then we'll probably have the double credit days sometime next week or the week after.
20 May 2011, 20:16:46 UTC · Comment


more maximum time limit elapsed bug stuff
Tried yet another fix on the server end of things. Let me know if you're still seeing maximum time limit elapsed errors. 18 May 2011, 21:07:56 UTC · Comment


another change for the maximum time limit elapsed bug
I've tried yet another fix (the rsc_fpops_bound is now 10000 times higher than our estimate). I'm really hoping this should cover most everyone that's still having workunit immediately error out. Let me know if it works. 9 May 2011, 10:24:30 UTC · Comment


maximum time limit elapsed bug
It looks like more than a few people are still having a problem where clients are aborting workunits early because of max time limit elapsed.

If you could post here with any information about your client (and if you're using an anonymous platform or anything like that), I'd appreciate it -- so it's all in one place for us to look over.

Is anyone having this happen for the CPU applications, or is it just limited to the GPU applications?
8 May 2011, 6:26:04 UTC · Comment


fix to the invalid workunit problem
I think I've fixed the problem with workunits all being marked invalid. Let me know if newly reported workunits are validating ok. 7 May 2011, 7:52:11 UTC · Comment


n-body workunits with maximum time elapsed
I've been pretty busy trying to track down this bug (I've seen the same thing happening to us over at DNA@Home), and tried a couple changes to the database today. Is anyone still seeing this issue, or did that happen to fix it? 7 May 2011, 5:12:52 UTC · Comment


animation of the n-body simulations
I got this from Ben Willet today. It's an animation which gives an example of what some of the n-body simulation workunits you guys are running are simulating.



And his caption from his thesis:

This animation shows N-body simulations of the Sagittarius (large),
Orphan (medium) and GD-1 (small) stellar streams. The Milky Way Galaxy is
shown edge-on, with the Sun located on the left side of the disk. The
legend shows the +Z direction, out of the Galactic disk. The stellar
streams are created by allowing spherical collections of particles to
evolve for four billion years within the Milky Way's gravity. The
Sagittarius and Orphan streams are formed from dwarf galaxies, whereas
the GD-1 stream is formed from a globular cluster. The Orphan Stream has
been used by Rensselaer researchers to imply a total Galactic mass less
than originally believed.
4 May 2011, 22:12:31 UTC · Comment

testing new credit policy on nbody workunits
I finally have BOINCs new credit policy implemented for the nbody workunits. It's to the point where I need to test it live. If you're having any problems with the nbody workunits being validated incorrectly, or being assigned weird amounts of credit (note -- the new credit policy is adaptive so the credit awarded can change over time, and it might take awhile to stabilize), this is the place to let me know.

Once I've gotten this debugged and working correctly, we'll have a days of double credit as promised for all our recent outages; and to make up for any weirdness in testing the new credit policy with the nbody workunits.

So I'd like to thank everyone for their patience in dealing with us getting everything updated and working correctly these last few weeks.

--Travis
29 Apr 2011, 19:55:28 UTC · Comment


Server back up
Looks like moving the server was successful. Let us know if you're having any problems with connecting the BOINC clients (it has a new IP address).

Hopefully the new home for MilkyWay will be a bit more stable. It has better air conditioning and a few other things.
25 Apr 2011, 20:31:44 UTC · Comment


server being moved
Our server is being moved, hopefully we will be back up in a couple hours. 25 Apr 2011, 14:52:45 UTC · Comment


ATI application updated to 0.60
This should fix the slowdown on Windows if you have a high CPU load.


You can now configure the polling mode sort of like what the old one had.

The --gpu-target-frequency is similar to the -f flag the old one had. The default is 30 hz. This can be used in place of the --responsiveness-factor one I added in the last minor release (or in addition to, although I don't know why you would want to. I would recommend using this one instead and I'll probably remove the other at some point).

The --gpu-polling-mode is similar to the -b flag the old one had. A negative integer will use busy waiting and have a high CPU load (like what always happened in 0.58). 0 will use the same method that was used in 0.59. A positive integer > 0 sets the polling frequency in milliseconds. The default now is to poll every 1 ms which seems to have solved the slowdowns with a high cpu load without increasing the cpu usage much.

Update: Now at 0.62 since I'm good at screwing up
12 Apr 2011, 19:12:13 UTC · Comment


increased WU limits
I've increased the workunit limits some more, seeing as things stabilized an the server still seems to be running nice and snappy. RIght now the total limit is up to 48, keeping the max of 3 per CPU, and with a new max of 12 per GPU. I think the server should be able to handle this, given the use of the new applications not hammering the hard disks nearly as much. If things still stay nice and smooth for the next few days I'll try increasing them again. 11 Apr 2011, 3:40:20 UTC · Comment


ATI application updated again
I've updated the new ATI application to 0.59. This fixes the 100% CPU problem, and adds a command line flag -r or --responsiveness-factor . This number just multiplies the estimate for how long things are expected to take to decide how to break things into smaller pieces to allow the screen a chance to redraw. Numbers greater than 1 should make things more responsive. 0 ignores any need for responsiveness for maximum speed.

I'm not exactly happy with how it decides to break the problem down to keep the screen responsive; I think how it's done now can still cause slowdowns on some GPUs (and is kind of fragile), and you shouldn't have to do anything to keep things responsive. I'm not really sure the best way to do it. If you feel you actually need to use this, complaints here with what GPU you have might be useful.

11 Apr 2011, 1:52:35 UTC · Comment


sending out some more workunits
I'm trying something new. I'm setting the a max total, max CPU, and max GPU workunits in the config_aux.xml file. Maybe this will put a cap on things.

Right now the total max will be 16, the cpu max (per processor) will be 3, and the gpu max (per processor) will also be 3. If this seems to work, and the server can handle it we'll start to increase these limits and see how things go.
10 Apr 2011, 1:04:51 UTC · Comment


another update
So it looks like the problem of hosts getting too many WUs is somewhere within the scheduler. I'm hoping I can get some sort of feedback about this so we can get it debugged. No ETA yet, but I'm still hoping for sometime this weekend.

In the meantime I'm going to try and get the nbody assimilator working, so when we can start sending out workunits again we'll be able to send out those as well.
9 Apr 2011, 22:59:33 UTC · Comment


ATI application (v0.57) should be available now
I'm sending work out again. Let me know how its working -- and if you're getting more than 3 wus per core and 3 wus per GPU. 9 Apr 2011, 21:59:24 UTC · Comment


sending out workunits
I'm starting to generate work again. Please let me know if you're getting more workunits than our max_wus_in_progress for either CPU or GPU should allow (3 and 3 respectively). 9 Apr 2011, 20:50:37 UTC · Comment


and a little payback
Since we had to wipe the database clean to get the server up and running, I know a lot of you lost a lot of credit on work you had done while the server has been down. So just as a thank you for everyone sticking with us while we've been dealing with these problems, and as a little payback for all the work lost; once we get the server up and running smoothly again we're going to have a temporary period of double credit (I'm thinking a day or two). Hopefully it will make up for a bit of the work that was lost. 9 Apr 2011, 20:07:17 UTC · Comment


an update
So labstaff installed a new root drive on milkyway today. This should hopefully improve the performance of the database in the future. I'll be sending out workunits this evening to see how things go, and to make sure that the workunit caps are working for both the CPU and GPU workunits. If the caps are in place (so our database doesn't get killed again), we should be back up and running, at least for the separation app.

When that's working I can get back to getting the nbody simulation assimilator running with the new credit scheme as the upgrade deprecated the old credit policy it was using.
9 Apr 2011, 19:53:51 UTC · Comment


Old ATI applications deprecated
So I figured while everything was breaking and people are already mad at us for having to wipe the workunit and result tables from the database, it would be time to deprecate the old ATI GPU applications. From here on out, we'll not be generating a parameter file for the applications (as all the new versions accept these from the command line which significantly cuts down on the servers file IO), and we'll not be accepting results coming in a file (all the new versions write the result to standard error which goes right into the database, also saving us a lot of file IO).

Matt A is updating the ATI application so they'll be available and automatically downloaded when new work is generated, but for people with customized app info and who are using old versions of the ATI application this is fair warning. We should probably be generating new work sometime this weekend, and the workunits being sent out will break with the older versions of the ATI applications.
9 Apr 2011, 6:02:52 UTC · Comment


some progress
Well 4 hours later the database is cleared out, and at least the website is functioning again (so let the flaming begin? But seriously don't kick me too hard while we're down). Next step is to clean up the upload/download directories. Hopefully have that done tonight. 9 Apr 2011, 5:06:03 UTC · Comment


bad news
So the big bug that happened after the server code was updated was that there wasn't a working limit for GPU work, which means a lot of clients downloaded thousands of workunits, crippling the database; and even worse crippling the disk of the server even harder reporting all of those workunits.

I'm pretty sure the only way we're going to be able to get the server back up and running in any reasonable amount of time is to clear out the entire workunit and result tables. They're so large I can't even query their size.

So basically to get things up and running again I'll be clearing out the result and workunit tables of the database -- we're hoping we can get that done sometime this weekend. As well as cleaning out our upload and download directories, which are slow almost to the point of unresponsiveness. After things are cleared out, we'll bring things back up (with working workunit limits for both CPUs and GPUs) and I'm hoping things will run fairly smoothly after that.

I know it sucks and I wish we had a better solution, but I think this is the best we can do. Feel free to cancel any workunits/results you have currently crunching; and try not to flame us too hard. :P
9 Apr 2011, 1:44:25 UTC · Comment


reducing max_wus_in_progress
I think with the new server updates people are alleowd to get quite a few more workunits than before -- which is part of why the site is running so slow (there are almost 700,000 tasks floating around).



I've dropped the max_wus_in_progress to 3 for both CPUs ans GPUs. Hopefully this will make the site somewhat responsive again.
8 Apr 2011, 5:47:02 UTC · Comment


work generation again
Work is being generated for the separation workunits. Still working on the nbody assimilator but it should hopefully be good to go by the end of the day. 7 Apr 2011, 18:12:58 UTC · Comment


taking the assimilator/validator down for a bit
So I'm going to be trying to fix some of all the things Matt broke last night. I think a lot of extra workunits got sent out, so I'm going to be turning off work generation for awhile for the server to get back up on its feet.



Not quite sure what else we're going to need to do, but it looks like a lot of things got messed up. Just stick with us while we try and get things fixed.



--Travis
6 Apr 2011, 22:12:33 UTC · Comment


Server updated
I've updated most of the server side stuff (and seems like I broke everything in the process). I think I've cleaned up most of the problems, but if you notice anything else weird post it here. 6 Apr 2011, 7:40:45 UTC · Comment


Milkyway@Home for iPhone / iOS released
Milkyway@Home (separation) 0.56 is now available for iOS 4 devices!



For some reason they didn't allow this on the app store, so if you want to install it you have to jailbreak.

How to install MilkyWay@Home on iOS:

1. Jailbreak your device. There are many guides - Google for your device model and version of your software (Settings -> General -> About)
2. Start Cydia after jailbreaking. Allow it to Upgrade Everything.
3. Go to Manage -> Sources -> Edit -> Add and type in:
http://phajas.xen.prgmr.com/repo
4. Search for "Milkyway" and install the "Milkyway" package. The description is "Model the galaxy!"
5. Now, on your homescreen, you will find a Milkyway icon for MilkyWay@Home on your device. Tap it to get started.
6. Tap the "Start" button to begin computing. The device checkpoints if you leave.
7. Once done, send your results (via email)

You're done!
1 Apr 2011, 6:22:39 UTC · Comment


N-body updated to 0.40
The N-body simulation has been updated to 0.40. All systems are now using OpenMP for threading. The old static JSON configuration we were using has been replaced with Lua (so we can have totally arbitrary initial distributions of particles). Now we'll be fitting dwarf models with multiple components (e.g. a dark matter shell around the dwarf galaxy).

The old applications won't work. Any old search workunits still left also won't work.

Since some people sometimes want download links, here's the source and binaries:
Source:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/src/milkyway_nbody_0.40.tar.xz

Linux:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/milkyway_nbody_0.40_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu__mt
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/milkyway_nbody_0.40_i686-pc-linux-gnu__mt

OS X:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/milkyway_nbody_0.40_x86_64-apple-darwin__mt

Windows: (also need the dlls)
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/milkyway_nbody_0.40_windows_intelx86__mt.exe
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/libgomp-1.dll
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/pthreadGC2.dll

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/milkyway_nbody_0.40_windows_x86_64__mt.exe
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/libgomp_64-1.dll
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/pthreadGC2_64.dll
28 Mar 2011, 22:45:23 UTC · Comment


Issues with the Milkyway@home Support Server
The Computer Science account server at RPI has crashed, making it hard for us to access the Milkyway@home server. The staff is working hard to restore it.

We have to wait this one out. In the meantime, the Milkyway@home server may start doing crazy things - please bear with us until we regain access. Thanks!

-Matthew
10 Feb 2011, 1:44:03 UTC · Comment


Nvidia OpenCL updated
I've updated the Nvidia/OpenCL application to 0.52 which should fix the failures on the 23* tasks. 8 Feb 2011, 1:00:11 UTC · Comment


a few drive errors
Looks like there were a few drive errors this morning (last night). Everything should be running again now. 7 Feb 2011, 14:12:01 UTC · Comment


bypassing server set cache limits
While we appreciate everyone wanting to crunch more MilkyWay@Home by increasing their cache limits; this is part of the reason why we've had so many server problems lately with an unresponsive validator. Mainly, our machine/database is not fast enough to keep up with the additional amount of workunits this is causing in the database. So if anyone is modifying their BOINC client to artificially increase their cache we're asking you to stop so the project will be more stable (until we can further improve our hardware). A few of the really offending clients (who have cached 1k+ workunits) are being banned as they haven't responded to us, and they're hurting everyones ability to crunch the project as a whole.



So in short, we need you guys to work with us as we're working with limited hardware that can't handle more than 500k+ workunits at a time -- our cache is low partially for this reason. Second, as we've said in a bunch of previous threads in the past, due to the nature of the science we're doing at the project we need a low cache because this really improves the quality of the work you guys report.



As you (hopefully) know by now, we search for structure and try to optimize parameters to fit that structure within the Milky Way galaxy. And lately we've been also doing N-Body simulation of the formation of those structures. What your workunits are doing is trying to find the optimal set of parameters for those N-Body simulations to end up best representing our sky survey data or to fit those different structures (like dwarf galaxy tidal streams) from that data.



To do this, we use strategies which mimic evolution. The server keeps track of a population of good potential solutions to these problems, and then generates workunits by mutating some solutions, and using others to create offspring. You guys crunch the data and return the result -- if it's a good one we insert it into the population which improves as a whole. Over time, we get very very good solutions which aren't really possible using other deterministic approaches.



If people have large caches, that means the work they're crunching can come from very old versions of those populations which have since evolved quite a bit away from where they were when the user filled up their cache. When they return the results there's a lower chance for the results to improve the population of results we're currently working with.



So that's why our cache is so low, and we'd really appreciate it if you worked with us on this. There are other great BOINC projects out there which can help fill in missing crunch time when we go down, and the BOINC client can definitely handle running more than one at a time. So it might not be too bad to explore some of the other great research going on out there. :)



Thanks again for your time and understanding,

--Travis
24 Jan 2011, 19:34:21 UTC · Comment


assimilator back up
Sorry about the delay. I'm hoping the assimilator will be able to catch up with all the WUs waiting for validation. I'll be keeping an eye on things tonight to make sure everything runs smoothly. 17 Dec 2010, 3:33:42 UTC · Comment


project back up
It looks like there was a problem with the operating system drive on the server. We should be ordering it as well as another back up hard drive to hopefully be able to more pre-emptively stop these kinds of problems.

And thanks to Blurf for letting us know it was down.

--Travis
14 Dec 2010, 22:52:25 UTC · Comment


Update Nvidia drivers
If you're having problems with the Nvidia OpenCL application, try updating your drivers: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
It seems that only fairly recent drivers work.
12 Dec 2010, 5:29:43 UTC · Comment


Updated separation to 0.50
I've updated the separation application to 0.50 for Windows, Linux x86/x86_64/PPC, and OS X x86_64/PPC. I've also added the Nvidia OpenCL application, but I'm not sure if the scheduler's been updated to automatically send it out. I also haven't yet removed the old CUDA one.

This should fix the crashing of 17_3s workunits and a few other things.
10 Dec 2010, 7:57:06 UTC · Comment


OpenCL for Nvidia available for testing
The OpenCL application for Nvidia GPUs is ready for testing for Windows and Linux x86_64. I'm particularly interested in the performance / responsiveness tradeoff on mid-low range GPUs.

Many thanks to cncguru for donating his GTX 480. If I hadn't had it, it would be about 30% slower than it is.

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/test/milkyway_separation_0.48_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu__cuda_opencl.tar.gz
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/test/milkyway_separation_0.48_windows_intelx86__cuda_opencl.zip

Extract these to the project directory. On Windows this is something like C:\ProgramData\BOINC\projects\milkyway.cs.rpi.edu_milkyway
On Ubuntu for me, this is /var/lib/boinc-client/projects/milkyway.cs.rpi.edu_milkyway

Minor update:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/test/milkyway_separation_0.48.1_windows_intelx86__cuda_opencl.zip
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/test/milkyway_separation_0.48.1_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu__cuda_opencl.tar.gz

Another minor update:
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/test/milkyway_separation_0.48.2_windows_intelx86__cuda_opencl.zip
http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/test/milkyway_separation_0.48.2_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu__cuda_opencl.tar.gz
3 Dec 2010, 2:07:51 UTC · Comment


disk replacement and some slides
I've been interviewing at the University of North Dakota (which is why you didn't get a news post about the drive upgrade until now), and gave a public talk to the faculty and students. I've made the slides available for all of you if you'd like to take a look at them. The talk was 'From Analyzing the Tuberculosis Genome to Modeling the Milky Way Galaxy: Using Volunteer Computing for Computational Science', and you can find a link on the project information page.


On another note, labstaff replaced the corrupted hard drive with a faster hard drive (the one previously installed was just an interim drive while we got the new one shipped). So that explains the outage and why a bunch of workunits are awaiting validation. I'm going to keep try an eye on things and make sure they all get cleared out, but I don't get home until wednesday so if anything really bad happens it might need to wait until then.


--Travis
30 Nov 2010, 2:13:19 UTC · Comment


more disk problems
Not milkyway disks, but it looks like a lot of the servers at RPI are going down for maintenance. I'll have things back up and running once all those issues are fixed (hopefully later today). 24 Nov 2010, 10:49:03 UTC · Comment


work generation back on
looks like the assimilator got through everything. i'm turning work generation back on, but to make sure everything is getting cleared out of the database correctly, i'm going to turn back on immediate purge (just so I can make sure that all the workunits/results are getting cleaned out of the database correctly and not slowing things down). Should increase the purge time back up to normal after I get that sorted out. 24 Nov 2010, 10:44:31 UTC · Comment


stopping work generation temporarily
I'm stopping work generation temporarily to try and get the assimilator/validator to catch up. Not quite sure what the problem is but hopefully will figure it out tonight. 24 Nov 2010, 2:54:36 UTC · Comment


corrupted disk
One of our disks was corrupted. It was swapped out today. We think this might have been what was causing the invalid workunits. If you're still having problems please let us know here.
--Travis
22 Nov 2010, 23:53:09 UTC · Comment


an update on the credit issue
So I know what the problem is with the extra credit, I'm just not sure why it's happening. For whatever reason we're getting duplicate assimilators running. I'll be fiddling around with things tonight and hopefully will have a fix. 16 Nov 2010, 22:43:05 UTC · Comment


updated the server side daemons to deal with the credit issue
I've updated the assimilator/validator, and I think this will fix the issue of extra credit being awarded. We'll know in a day or two. :) 11 Nov 2010, 0:44:25 UTC · Comment


extra credits
I'm trying to figure out why people are getting way more credits than normal. Are the workunits awarding more credit than they used to? I'm trying to see if maybe there's some kind of server bug that's awarding credit for workunits more than once. 10 Nov 2010, 18:48:10 UTC · Comment


scheduler update
I updated the scheduler, so hopefully it should be correctly sending out SSE2 applications. Let me know if it's working here.
--Travis
4 Nov 2010, 21:07:36 UTC · Comment


back up
Everything should be up and running again. I think I've fixed the last of the bugs that was causing holdup in workunits being validated. 1 Nov 2010, 18:54:25 UTC · Comment


downtime
I'm updating the assimilation/validation software to fix some bugs, so they'll be offline for a bit. Should be back up soon. 1 Nov 2010, 17:17:39 UTC · Comment


Slow workunits solved
I've updated the Windows and 32 bit Linux applications to mostly fix the very slow workunit problem. The problem ended up being in the math libraries, which affected the Windows applications as well as 32bit Linux.

This should also fix the workunits failing on systems without SSE2 from the previous builds. I had built the BOINC libraries before with SSE2, since it was required for the N-body. However, since it is irrelevant if they use SSE2 or not, it only ended up polluting the non-SSE2 separation binaries.

Non-SSE2 versions will still be quite a bit slower. The SSE2 builds (which also covers 64bit) should be in the range of 25-30% faster than the old 0.19s. The 32bit Linux version is now using crlibm, and will be slightly slower than it should be now as a quick way to get math using SSE2. The 64bit Linux + clang build is still the fastest, but only by < 10% now over the Windows + SSE2 version.
1 Nov 2010, 15:57:21 UTC · Comment


number of unvalidated results climbing
I think I figured out the problem with the server not being able to catch up with the unvalidated results. Some of the canonical results files were lost and this was causing the server to revalidate a bunch of results over and over. Should be fixed now. 29 Oct 2010, 16:27:54 UTC · Comment


separation assimilator working again
Had a pretty interesting bug last night which caused the separation assimilator to crash. The new versions of the applications were writing the search application multiple times to standard error, and the server was parsing what was between the first and the last , which threw a lot of messy stuff into the population logs of our searches and crashed everything. At any rate, it should all be resolved and working now. 21 Oct 2010, 18:05:10 UTC · Comment


PPC mac version for separation workunits
We've added a PPC version for macs (for the separation workunits). Let us know how it works here. 20 Oct 2010, 0:38:02 UTC · Comment


Publication on N-Body Work
We recently submitted a paper to the 25th IEEE International Parallel & Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS), http://www.ipdps.org/, Evolving N-Body Simulations to Determine the Origin and Structure of the Milky Way Galaxys Halo using Volunteer Computing. You can take a look at it here: http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~deselt/ipdps_2011.pdf



This paper goes into a lot of detail about what we're doing with the N-Body simulations and what we hope to learn about the Milky Way and it's halo from doing them. It also has details about the different N-Body searches we have been and are running (what models of the Milky Way they are using, and things like taht). Please feel free to ask any questions, however simple or complex in this thread. We'd be more than happy to answer these, because you're the one's making this research possible after all.



Thanks again!
--Travis
19 Oct 2010, 22:53:52 UTC · Comment


N-body updated to 0.2
Report any problems here. These won't validate against the older versions since part of the likelihood calculation changed. 19 Oct 2010, 4:18:33 UTC · Comment


a fix for the output file issue
I added the tag to the result xml so the issue some people have been having with that file not being found should hopefully be fixed. I think the fix will only be for newly generated WUs, so if you've been having this problem I'd cancel whichever ones you're running, so you can get new ones with the right result xml. 18 Oct 2010, 3:09:45 UTC · Comment


Standalone screensaver test available for Linux
Testing applications are now available for Linux now that a major timing bug issue has been taken care of. Windows applications are also updated in the windows thread. Mac applications have been forwarded to the appropriate team members for compilation/testing and should be available soon.

Please feel free to leave suggestions/comments here and bug reports in this thread.

The demo is computationally expensive and will not run sufficiently fast on some machines (runs a bit choppy on a Pentium I5 2.4ghz CPU). The "cube_test" application has a much faster demo that uses the same graphics engine. If either works, the final screensaver should run smoothly on the same machine. The final screensaver will have precalculated paths and images, taking care of the speed issue.

mwdemo_linux.tar.gz (v2)

cube_test_linux.tar.gz (v2)

To use the application, download it and extract it to a folder on the desktop or in another folder if you prefer. Then run either of the two executable files that are extracted. As a precaution, it may be a good idea to save any data in other applications before running the full-screen version. For those that do not have Windows XP or later, a zip utility such as 7-zip or WinZip can be used to open the file. The controls listed below are similar to those of Celestia with a few more added in.

Source for all files can be found here.


CONTROLS

ESC - Exit application
Tab : Start over
Shift-Tab : save new start-point
Alt-tab : leave application temporarily when in full-screen mode
Prtsc or Print-screen: saves a screenshot

MOVEMENT

< / > : accelerate backwards /forwards
F1-F9 : change acceleration (each step is 10 times faster than the previous)

Arrow : look around
Ctrl-arrow : rotate view
Shift-arrow : revolve camera around galaxy center (inverted)
Alt-arrow : accelerate up/down/left/right
Spacebar : stop motion

Backspace : focus on center of galaxy
Shift-backspace : focus on Sol

Enter : travel to center of galaxy
Shift-enter : travel to Sol (gives an Earth view of the wedge)


APPEARANCE

1 / 2 / 3 : select object 1-3 (wedge, stream, galaxy)

+ / - : increase/decrease luminosity of object
Shift- + / - : increase/decrease star blur radius
Alt- + / - : increase, decrease number of stars visible

A : toggle axes view
C : toggle camera view


Notes:

If the application runs a little choppy, then it may help to hold keys a little longer if they do not activate every time, esp 1 / 2 / 3 when choosing an object.

(Alt-minus) and (Shift-minus) will quickly increase the frame-rate since they require fewer screen-writes.

As you move away from the stars, they will combine and brighten. The brightness can be reduced manually (see above).

Update: fixed broken links

Update: added replacement keys for foreign keyboards:
p and m keys replace + / -
b and f keys replace < / >
16 Oct 2010, 2:05:05 UTC · Comment


Failing workunits
We're experiencing some issues with the RPI computer science login servers since some time over the weekend, so we've been unable to fix the problem with the failing workunits for the separation 0.4 runs. We're waiting for them to be restored from a backup before we can fix the issue. 13 Oct 2010, 17:26:58 UTC · Comment


updated the CPU applications
Due to the validation issues, I've updated the CPU applications. Hopefully this should fix the problem. Let me know how they're working here.



--Travis
7 Oct 2010, 18:08:46 UTC · Comment


adaptive validation
I've turned on adaptive validation, so let me know if you're having any validation issues. What's going to happen now is that all results that would improve our searches are still always validated. However, those that won't improve our searches will be validated based on your error rate. The more bad results you return the more frequently your workunits will require validation. 6 Oct 2010, 17:48:36 UTC · Comment


Milkyway Screensaver Testing


I am back on the project after having been unexpectedly pulled away for some time. I will be releasing full screensaver demos in the next few weeks, hopefully for all platforms under this thread. Please feel free to leave suggestions/comments here and bug reports in this thread.

The following is the standalone application that can be used to determine whether the demo will work on anyone's machine (currently for Windows machines). The MilkyWay@Home screensaver does not use the conventional libraries used by most BOINC screensavers, so testing is necessary to make sure things run smoothly.

The demo is computationally expensive and will not run sufficiently fast on some machines (runs a bit choppy on a Pentium I5 2.4ghz CPU). The "cube_test" application has a much faster demo that uses the same graphics engine. If either works, the final screensaver should run smoothly on the same machine. The final screensaver will have precalculated paths and images, taking care of the speed issue.

mwdemo_win.zip (v2)

cube_test_win.zip (v2)

To use the application, download it and extract it to a folder on the desktop or in another folder if you prefer. Then run either of the two executable files that are extracted. As a precaution, it may be a good idea to save any data in other applications before running the full-screen version. For those that do not have Windows XP or later, a zip utility such as 7-zip or WinZip can be used to open the file. The controls listed below are similar to those of Celestia with a few more added in.

Source for all files can be found here.


CONTROLS

ESC - Exit application
Tab : Start over
Shift-Tab : save new start-point
Alt-tab : leave application temporarily when in full-screen mode
Prtsc or Print-screen: saves a screenshot

MOVEMENT

< / > : accelerate backwards /forwards (also b and f for foreign keyboards)
F1-F9 : change acceleration (each step is 10 times faster than the previous)

Arrow : look around
Ctrl-arrow : rotate view
Shift-arrow : revolve camera around galaxy center (inverted)
Alt-arrow : accelerate up/down/left/right
Spacebar : stop motion

Backspace : focus on center of galaxy
Shift-backspace : focus on Sol

Enter : travel to center of galaxy
Shift-enter : travel to Sol (gives an Earth view of the wedge)


APPEARANCE

1 / 2 / 3 : select object 1-3 (wedge, stream, galaxy)

+ / - : increase/decrease luminosity of object
Shift- + / - : increase/decrease star blur radius
Alt- + / - : increase, decrease number of stars visible

A : toggle axes view
C : toggle camera view


Notes:

If the application runs a little choppy, then it may help to hold keys a little longer if they do not activate every time, esp 1 / 2 / 3 when choosing an object.

(Alt-minus) and (Shift-minus) will quickly increase the frame-rate since they require fewer screen-writes.

As you move away from the stars, they will combine and brighten. The brightness can be reduced manually (see above).

Update: fixed broken links

Update: added replacement keys for foreign keyboards:
p and m keys replace + / -
b and f keys replace < / >
30 Sep 2010, 5:54:06 UTC · Comment


New Nbody Searches
I just started up new nbody searches:

de_nbody_model#_1

Where # = 2 through 6

Let me know how they run!

-Matthew
17 Sep 2010, 19:39:09 UTC · Comment


updated the nbody applications again
Now at v0.06. Let us know how they're running here. 14 Sep 2010, 8:09:24 UTC · Comment


started a new nbody search: de_nbody_model1_1
The workunits should take much longer to complete. Let me know how they are doing here (and I suppose you can complain if the credit is too much/too little). This should hopefully fix the problem with the workunits terminating prematurely as well. 11 Sep 2010, 2:21:42 UTC · Comment


looking for a linux pro :)
Long story short. I'm trying to get linux (ubuntu 10.4) triple booted on a mac pro with an ATI HD 4870 -- so we can compile some new ATI applications. After the initial screen with the keyboard and the little guy theres a blinking cursor then everything goes black. I get a little farther with the alternate install cd, however after hitting enter to install the screen goes black. Trying vga=771 and xforcevesa, haven't fixed it either. I was wondering if anyone had any idea what I need to do to get linux installed? 11 Sep 2010, 2:08:13 UTC · Comment


milkyway nbody applications updated
I've updated the nbody applications to v0.04. Let us know how they're doing here. I think they have quite a few updates the Matt A did that will make them more stable. I'll going to start up some longer WUs tonight for them. 7 Sep 2010, 22:06:08 UTC · Comment


starting/stoping new assimilators working
You can check the server status page now and see if they're running or not (they're nbody_assimilator and separation_assimilator). I just need to do a bit more debugging on the stop end of things; but starting works which is what was the most important as that should keep work flowing along nicely even if one of the daemons does crash.


On another note, we're going to be releasing another version of the nbody simulation application this week as a couple changes needed to be made to start it crunching on real data. We'll be starting some new searches which should bump the compute time for the nbody workunits up to the 2-10 hour range.


--Travis
7 Sep 2010, 15:54:55 UTC · Comment


nbody assimilator back up
Found a nasty bug in the nbody assimilator which took me awhile to debug. It should be up and running again.



On another note, I think I've figured out how to get the new assimilator/validators showing on the project status page (and also tied into the automatic start/stop scripts), so that should hopefully be running sometime tonight.



--Travis
1 Sep 2010, 18:05:24 UTC · Comment


had some corruption in the searches
I finally figured out why no work was being generated but both assimilators were up and running. Work should be flowing again now.

Next up is that I'm getting the new assimilators incorporated into the stop/start boinc scripts, which will mean they should be showing up on the server status page once that gets going, and automatically restarted after a server restart. So this should help a bit with the work outages.
23 Aug 2010, 2:07:55 UTC · Comment


windows intelx86 and x86_64 binaries added for the nbody simulations
Let us know how they're working here. 18 Aug 2010, 3:18:52 UTC · Comment


x86_64 linux nbody application added
Let us know how it's working here. 17 Aug 2010, 4:26:45 UTC · Comment


nbody simulation assimilator up and running
It looks like the nbody simulation assimilator is up and going. I know the workunits are really short, but right now we're just testing to see if the searches can get to the known best position and trying to debug the assimilator. It's a lot easier when we have a bit more of a work flow going.


Once we have things a bit more debugged, the nbody simulation workunit times should increase quite dramatically. Right now we're simulating around 4000 bodies, but we expect to increase that to around 100,000 to 1,000,000 bodies (or more).
16 Aug 2010, 9:28:09 UTC · Comment


added a i686 linux nbody application
Let me know if you're having any troubles with it here. 15 Aug 2010, 23:57:52 UTC · Comment


first nbody simulation workunits
I've sent out the first set of nbody simulation workunits, so let me know if you're having any problems with them here. Currently the only application is for 64 bit OS X, so if you're not getting them that's why. I should be putting up linux applications in the next day or so, and windows applications when Matt A. gets them to me. 15 Aug 2010, 5:11:14 UTC · Comment


Recent outages
Sorry about the recent outages. It looks like they've been doing some work on the power at RPI so they've had to bring restart the milkyway server a bit. Hopefully they're done and we won't be having so many problems!


On another note, the n-body simulation application and workunits should be going out sometime this week. More on that once I get the first workunits sent out.
11 Aug 2010, 2:54:25 UTC · Comment


Screensaver Demo


This thread will be continually updated with the screensaver progress in its final stages. Here is the latest screenshot of the wedge and galaxy backdrop with the current Sagittarius stream estimate provided by David R. Law et al. Adding color uses considerably more memory for pre-drawn frames along with a decrease in speed, so at this time, a trade-off would have to be made between having real-time motion and having color given that only a small portion of the CPU is dedicated to graphics. Color seems to be the popular choice so far, but additional votes are welcome.

Click here for a full size image.
2 Aug 2010, 21:24:54 UTC · Comment


N-Body Simulation of the Sagittarius Stream


N-Body simulation based on data compiled by David R. Law et al.



Here the simulation is shown intersecting wedge 82.

For those interested in learning more about the origin of the Sagittarius Stream, the above animation is based on data from an N-Body simulation created by David R. Law et al. which shows how the stream may have formed. The simulation was rendered using the same engine that will be used in the MilkyWay@Home screensaver.

A MilkWay@Home team member, Ben Willet has written a brief summary about the simulation and what our next MilkyWay@Home project will be!

This visualization shows the two different components of the Milkyway@home project. The circular wedge that you see is a 2.5 degree wide stripe of SDSS data. The bright overdensity in the stripe is composed of stars that have been torn off of the Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy (Sgr) as it orbits around the Milky Way. The main goal of the project is to analyze this data stripe to determine the most likely parameters of those stars (e.g. how wide the overdensity is, where it is going, and how many stars are in it). To accomplish this goal, each user's computer analyzes a stripe with a certain parameter set, and determines how well those parameters match the data. These results are fed into the BOINC platform, which takes actions to decide the next parameter values, and chooses the best answer.

The rest of the visualization is a prelude to an upcoming BOINC project. The stars in motion are taken from an N-body simulation of the Sgr Dwarf Galaxy. We take the currently known position and velocity of the Sgr Dwarf Galaxy and run it back in time for anywhere between 3 and 6 billion years within a gravitational field that approximates the Milky Way. We then place a spherical group of stars at that predicted location, and run it forward to the current day. The Milky Way's gravity tears apart the dwarf, causing it to flow out into long streams of stars. It is these stars that are contained within the data wedges. The ultimate goal of this project is to utilize N-body simulations over BOINC to find the best fit model for the Milky Way's gravitational field. The ability to do N-body simulations over BOINC is currently being developed by our team of astronomers and computer scientists, and will soon be available to users.

References:

Law, Johnston & Majewski ApJ 619 807L 2005. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0407566 Cole, et al.
ApJ 683 750C 2008. http://arxiv.org/abs/0805.2121
9 Jul 2010, 18:26:02 UTC · Comment


Work should be flowing
As usual, I go out of town and the server crashes. Work should be flowing, just give the server some time to catch up.
--Travis
5 Jul 2010, 21:06:22 UTC · Comment


Fetching project list error
We're looking into the error users are getting fetching the project list, and I think I put in a fix. Please let us know if you're still having problems. 25 Jun 2010, 9:07:25 UTC · Comment


New Website Coming Soon
We are currently in the process of testing our new site layout. If you'd like to get a sneak preview go to http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/index_new.php 20 Jun 2010, 1:40:45 UTC · Comment


OSX applications updated again to v0.31
I updated the OSX applications again. This should fix the checkpointing and progress issue. Let me know how they work. 19 Jun 2010, 0:24:42 UTC · Comment


updating the stock osx/linux/windows applications
I'm going to be updating the stock applications in the next few days because I've discovered a bug in them when running the latest searches.


I just updated the OSX applications (to version 0.30). I had to modify the checkpointing a bit, so let me know if they are checkpointing correctly.


I'll be updating linux and windows tonight.
15 Jun 2010, 18:50:13 UTC · Comment


new searches
I've started up a bunch of new searches, let me know if you're having any problems with these. 15 Jun 2010, 8:01:11 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@home screensaver coming soon
Hi everyone. I am new to the MilkyWay@home project and will be working with the RPI group this summer. I am currently busy with the visualization of the data. Below is a screenshot of one of the wedges being worked on as it appears in the screensaver (no alterations). I am currently optimizing the screensaver draw-routines to get a decent frame-rate while displaying realistic blur circles for the stars. Suggestions are welcome.


9 Jun 2010, 20:06:29 UTC · Comment


server is generating work again
Of course it had to crash. The server should be generating work again, just give it some time to catch up with all the requests. 6 Jun 2010, 20:55:30 UTC · Comment


away for the weekend
I'm going camping until Sunday, so please try not to break things while I'm gone! 3 Jun 2010, 17:20:08 UTC · Comment


more new stripes (15 and 16)
We've started up some new searches with more new areas of the sky. Let me know how these WUs are crunching. They'll start with:


de_test_s15_*

de_test_s16_*
2 Jun 2010, 21:17:52 UTC · Comment


new searches (de_test_s11 - s14)
I've started up some new searches (in a new area of the sky we need results for). Let me know if you're having any issues with these workunits. 1 Jun 2010, 17:50:23 UTC · Comment


paging cluster physik
Has anyone heard from Cluster Physik? I need to talk to him a bit about the new application and can't seem to get in contact via email or PMs. Is he still alive? 1 Jun 2010, 16:43:14 UTC · Comment


OSX validation fixed
I really think I have OSX validation working correctly now :) Let me know if you're WUs are getting flagged as valid. 1 Jun 2010, 16:12:12 UTC · Comment


server back up (again)
Of course the server had to crash on the long holiday weekend. Things should be up and running again. 1 Jun 2010, 15:36:58 UTC · Comment


server back up
Sorry about the downtime. Yesterday was unseasonably hot, it got close to 100 degrees here in Troy, and I think this was the cause of most of the computer science machines at RPI becoming unavailable (we couldn't even check email). Now that the computers are back, I've started up the daemons and work should be flowing again. 27 May 2010, 17:18:19 UTC · Comment


milkyway client code now on GitHub
In order to get our code out there and more easy to use, I've put it on github, here. I think this should make the testing process a bit easier (this way I don't have to keep putting zipped up versions of our code), and can also add people as contributors. 15 May 2010, 1:51:32 UTC · Comment


Update on the OS X situation
I've updated some of the server code and the OSX applications should now be correctly granted credit. Let me know if you're still having issues. 11 May 2010, 6:13:03 UTC · Comment


Updated OS X applications (again!)
They really should work this time, I promise. If you're running the OSX application with version < 0.29 i'd just abort the workunits. 9 May 2010, 2:08:43 UTC · Comment


IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation Paper and Conference
We've had a paper accepted to the 2010 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (IEEE CEC 2010), which is part of the 2010 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence. The paper is available here and on the publications section of the main page for anyone interested in reading it.




I'll be presenting this work on Thursday, July 22nd if you happen to be at the conference. It goes into some detail about the different methods we use for finding good fits to the data and analyzes how they perform on simulations of different large scale computing systems.




Thanks again everyone for your support!




--Travis
7 May 2010, 4:58:01 UTC · Comment


Updated the OS X applications (again)
What was causing the crashes at the end of the workunit has been fixed. They should really work now. Sorry about all the trouble. 7 May 2010, 4:07:19 UTC · Comment


Updated the OS X applications
I've updated the OS X applications. This should fix the issue with checkpointing and the progress bar, let me know how they're working. 5 May 2010, 20:44:14 UTC · Comment


Milkyway3 v0.05 source released
I've released the v0.05 source code here (take your pick):

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/mw3_v0.05.zip

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/mw3_v0.05.tar



The previous release had some errors in the sample input files (for the aux_bg_profile), that's been fixed in this recent update.




I'll be posting the correct expected values for the tests in this forum thread.
5 May 2010, 20:35:51 UTC · Comment


Summer Research Opportunity at MilkyWay@Home
We have money available to hire an undergraduate researcher to work with the MilkyWay@Home project this summer. Candidates must be a US citizen or permanent resident and enrolled as an undergraduate in the Fall of 2010 at an accredited university. The position will last for 10 weeks and pay 6000$. Applicants should be willing to come to RPI for the summer to work with the project.




To apply, we'll need an unofficial transcript, CV or resume including the names and contact information of two references. Please send the information to astro [at] cs.rpi.edu.




Potential areas of research involve n-body simulation, GPU programming and web interfaces. We'll be considering applicants until Wednesday, May 12th.
5 May 2010, 17:52:13 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@Home and the BOINC Pentathalon
Just letting everyone know that we're the second project in the BOINC Pentathalon. There's more information to be had about this here:
http://www.setigermany.de/boinc_pentathlon/22_en_Welcome.html
3 May 2010, 2:13:18 UTC · Comment


The Science of Milkyway@home
I gave a talk a while ago on the astronomy side of Milkyway@home, and put it up here. I also made a forum thread that explains things in more detail, so please ask questions there.

The .ppt has also been posted on the Milkyway@home home page under "Publications and Talks."

--Matthew

28 Apr 2010, 22:22:56 UTC · Comment


RPI Center for Open Source Software (RCOSS) Presentation Tomorrow
I'm going to be giving a brief presentation about MilkyWay@Home tomorrow for RPI's Center for Open Source Software (RCOSS) at 4pm in JEC 3117, if you happen to be nearby and want to attend.


But for those of you who cant, which is probably most of you :) I've made the slides available online. Feel free to ask me any questions about them. Here they are:

[keynote] [powerpoint]


--Travis
23 Apr 2010, 4:07:14 UTC · Comment


milkyway3 v0.04 source released
I've released the v0.04 source code here (take your pick):

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/mw3_v0.04.zip

http://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/download/mw3_v0.04.tar


The new code contains a new method for modeling the background of the milky way's halo, which we hope will more accurately represent the background. Right now, there is no good model for this -- and finding a good model is one of the goals of this project, so if we determine a good one this will be a major result. We're very interested to see how this new model performs.



There have also been a couple changes to one of the input parameter files, and the output of the application. It will now output individual likelihoods for the background and each stream being modeled, as well as the total likelihood. This will allow us to optimize over them individually and hopefully get better fits for our models.



This source code also includes Kahan summation, which should make the results for the GPUs and CPUs closer.



There are new test parameter files included with the source, and if you want more information about the parameter files and expected results visit the forum thread in the news section.
22 Apr 2010, 21:37:50 UTC · Comment


issue with not getting work resolved
I think I found part of the issue some users were having not being able to get work. The feeder wasn't set to interleave workunits from multiple applications, so it got filled with WUs for the new application, which doesn't have all OS/architectures supported yet. That meant that the unsupported OS/architectures couldn't get workunits. It should be fixed now. 21 Apr 2010, 7:53:10 UTC · Comment


testing validator for new application
I'm testing the validator for the new application (milkyway3). It's currently going to be using the same validation strategy as the regular validator. Let me know if you have any issues. 21 Apr 2010, 6:34:31 UTC · Comment


testing new application (milkyway3)
I've sent out some workunits for the milkyway3 application. Let me know if you're having any problems with them. 20 Apr 2010, 7:38:28 UTC · Comment


bad workunits
I think i've fixed the problem with the recent batches of workunits not working. Let me know if they're still having problems. 19 Apr 2010, 5:20:38 UTC · Comment


How the new validator works
It seems lately there's been a bit of confusion as to how the new validator works, so I'm making this post to help explain everything to everyone.


All workunits are initially generated with a quorum of 1, so they all go through a first pass of the validator. During this first time through, the validator checks to see if the result is going to be inserted into one of the populations of our evolutionary algorithms. If it is going to, that means we'll be using it to generate new workunits. Because of this we need to validate it to make sure the result is a good one. The validator will then set the quorum to 2 and wait for another result. When this happens, your result will be set to "Completed, validation inconclusive." This doesn't mean your result was invalid or anything was wrong, just that the server is waiting for another result to validate it.


If your result won't improve one of our populations, there's still a chance that we're going to validate it. This is to make sure that people aren't using bad applications or scripts to scam the server for credit. In this case, the server will again increase the quorum of that workunit to 2, and your result will be set to "Completed, validation inconclusive." Again, nothing here is wrong with your result, its just that the server is waiting for another result to validate against.


Some results are simply validated without being checked, because we won't be using them to improve our search populations, and we didn't pick them for extra validation, they are simply marked valid and awarded credit. Previously, this happened to all results that didn't improve our searches, which is why you didn't see too many results being verified.


So this is how the new validation is working. Again, if you're seeing "Completed, validation inconclusive," that doesn't mean you won't be getting credit, it just means it went through the validator once and we're waiting for another result to compare it against. After that (if it's a valid result) it will be awarded credit.


If anyone has any other questions about the new validation system, please post inside this thread and I'll be happy to answer any questions.


--Travis
19 Apr 2010, 3:15:46 UTC · Comment


server down briefly
I'll be taking the server down for an hour or two tonight to update some validator and work generation code. It should be back up shortly. 19 Apr 2010, 2:41:30 UTC · Comment


testing new work generation
I'm testing some new server side work generation. Let me know if any of the new workunits are having problems. I should also be generating work for the new application tonight, so if you have any problems with the milkyway3 application let me know as well.


--Travis
18 Apr 2010, 2:41:36 UTC · Comment


DAIS 2010 paper
I've put up a link to our recently accepted paper in the 10th International Conference on Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems (DAIS 2010) here: Validating Evolutionary Algorithms on Volunteer Computing Grids. It describes our previous validation work (the newer validator is a bit different and more strict). We still do the same validation (usually optimistic) but now we're also validating other workunits selected at random to prevent awarding credit to bad hosts. 13 Apr 2010, 8:06:54 UTC · Comment


workunits being generated
The database is all repaired and the file deleter/purge daemons have caught up so I'm generating work again. Let me know if there are any problems.


Thanks for bearing with us as I dealt with this database issue.
12 Apr 2010, 2:30:09 UTC · Comment


validation starting back up
I'm starting the validator back up, so you can get credit for your reported workunits. The database should be able to handle it.


I won't be sending out more workunits until the database is fully repaired however.
11 Apr 2010, 20:45:04 UTC · Comment


database still repairing
I just woke up and the database is still repairing. It should be good to go in another hour or two. 11 Apr 2010, 20:41:23 UTC · Comment


database problem fixed
I found the problem, things should be back up and running in a couple hours. 11 Apr 2010, 0:42:01 UTC · Comment


server issues
We're having some database issues which is why the server isn't sending out any work. I've contacted labstaff and elevated the ticket to emergency so hopefully we'll have things fixed shortly. I think we might have to move to yesterday's backup. 10 Apr 2010, 22:07:46 UTC · Comment


upgrading the ATI 58x0 application
It seems like BOINC has been having some issues upgrading the ATI client (which is why we're still seeing some weird invalidation). If you're running MW on a 58x0 ATI GPU, please detach and reattach -- this will force your BOINC client to download the new brook32.dll or brook64.dll files, which contain part of the fix to make these applications return the right value.


If you're using an anonymous platform, please make sure you're using the correct brook32.dll and brook64.dll files from here.


Thanks again for your time and patience as we upgrade the validator and these applications.
8 Apr 2010, 18:55:27 UTC · Comment


stock ATI 58x0 apps updated
I've updated the stock 58x0 ATI GPU applications. Let me know if they download and work correctly. 7 Apr 2010, 2:24:03 UTC · Comment


ATI 58x0 GPU fix released
A big round of thanks go to Cluster Physik for quickly updating the 58x0 ATI GPU application, which was causing the validation problems we've been experiencing lately.


If you're running MilkyWay@Home on a 58x0 ATI GPU, please upgrade your application. A link is to the application is here: here


Please take the time to update to this, as not only are the bad ATI 58x0 GPU applications causing their own workunits to be often flagged invalid, they report results quick enough that they have been quoruming up against valid results and causing the valid ones to be flagged invalid.


Thanks, Travis
7 Apr 2010, 1:39:17 UTC · Comment


milkyway3 v0.02 source released
As I said before, we're moving over to a new application. Here's a preliminary version that we'll be using to test it's validator and assimilator. It's going to have to be updated with a new fitness function which uses a different model of the Milky Way galaxy, but I'm still waiting for John Vickers to give me go ahead to start using that code -- should be later this week.


In the meantime, we can still start testing this code as it uses the same output format that John's new code will use. This new application should really improve server performance as it doesn't use search parameter files to send out new workunits, it will take the parameters from the command line instead. Additionally, it will report the fitness in stderr, which gets moved into the result's xml.


What this means is the server will be creating 1 less file for every workunit made (it currently creates 1 file), and receiving 1 less file for every result sent (it currently receives 1 file). This means sending workunits out and getting results in won't be hammering the filesystem nearly as hard. Right now the recent server crashes have been happening because the file deletion daemon just can't handle the sheer mass of WU files that are being generated, and it brings the server to a screeching halt which then crashes the other daemons. This new application should fix that problem so we really want to get everyone swapped over to it ASAP.


Contained in this news post (if you go to the forums) is the download location for the new source, and directions on how to compile and test it.


--Travis
7 Apr 2010, 1:28:25 UTC · Comment


quorum down to 2
The database is having a bit of trouble keeping up with all the new results due to a quorum of 3, so for the time being I'm dropping it to a quorum of 2.


On another note, we should have source code for the new application available tomorrow.
6 Apr 2010, 2:11:10 UTC · Comment


validator strictness
I've lowered the strictness of the validator from 10e-11 to 10e-10. I'm hoping this should significantly reduce the number of WUs flagged invalid. If the issue persists I might have to lower it farther to 10e-9. The new application will have the strictness back at 10e-11, so keep that in mind if you're compiling your own versions.


The issue we're having seems to be that the ATI 48xx GPUs and the ATI 58xx GPUs are returning different results, and if too many of either make it into the quorum they will invalidate the other results (including stock results). I'm still trying to determine if the 58xx GPU or the 48xx GPU is the one correctly validating against the stock application.


I've also updated the validator so if you check your tasks they will show what fitness they reported, so you can compare vs other tasks for the same workunit.


I'm hoping we should have this issue straightened out shortly, and thanks for your patience.
5 Apr 2010, 16:35:39 UTC · Comment


testing new validator
I've started up the new validator, so please be patient as I get all the kinks worked out over the next few days. Validation will now work as follows: Every result that could improve one of our searches will be validated (with a min quorum of 3 -- and the accuracy of the fitness reported must be within 10e-11 of the quorum results, this means that single precision GPU results will be flagged invalid). Results that won't improve a search will be validated 50% of the time until the error rates of hosts stabilizes in the database (this will probably take a couple weeks). Afterwards, for the results that don't improve our searches, we'll be using BOINC's adaptive validation based on hosts error rates (which will be between 10% and 100% depending on how many errors the host typically has).




On a side note, we'll also be updating the applications this week. We've made new background models for the milky way that we want to test. Additionally, there are some server related performance improvements that should help the server response time. I'm hoping to have the source code available by tuesday so people can compile their own applications, then make the full swap over to the new application sometime early next week.
4 Apr 2010, 23:53:12 UTC · Comment


new test workunits
I've generated a few test workunits with the new validator, I think everything should work correctly with them, but if not that's why.

If these come back OK, I'll be starting up the new validator later today.
4 Apr 2010, 21:53:07 UTC · Comment


new osx applications
I've updated the OSX applications (i686 and x86_64). Let me know if they're working. I think this will solve a problem we've been having with some types of workunits not crunching correctly. 2 Apr 2010, 19:31:41 UTC · Comment


Server outage
I'm taking the server down tonight (and probably most of the tomorrow).

I've made some big changes in the assimilator and validator which should help me implement new features and debug them in the future (mainly I rewrote them in Java so I don't have to worry about memory leaks or segmentation faults).

I'll be debugging them over the next couple days so expect some outages. Most notably, validation will be much stricter now; considering even though I've asked nicely we still see a lot of people trying to scam the system (scripts and single precision GPU clients for example). It's kind of sad that a few bad users have to ruin things for everyone (and make our work that much more difficult), but I guess thats the way things have to be.

On another note, we've had two papers accepted recently, one to the Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems (DAIS 2010) conference (http://discotec.project.cwi.nl/index.php/DAIS:Main), and another to the World Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC 2010) http://www.wcci2010.org/topics/ieee-cec-2010. I'll be making these available after the validator/assimilator upgrades.
2 Apr 2010, 2:36:58 UTC · Comment


Scripting to remove WUs from certain searches
I'd also like to put a note out there to people running scripts to cancel WUs from certain searches, asking you to stop. These can lead to some bad server problems where some WUs accumulate on the server because they're not being processed fast enough. We'll be taking some steps on the server end to stop this kind of activity, but until that gets finished I'd like to ask people to stop. If it continues I'll start banning or zeroing out offending users credit. --Travis 11 Mar 2010, 2:53:25 UTC · Comment


Bad New Searches
Matt tried to start up some new searches (and looked like everything went wrong yet again). I've removed those and will start up some others (that shouldn't have any problems). I'll be meeting with Matt to go over the process of starting searches again so we stop having these problems. --Travis 11 Mar 2010, 2:36:42 UTC · Comment


Server Slowness
Matt has started up some new searches on a different area of the Milky Way and it looks like the server is having trouble keeping up with requests for the new data file of stars. Hopefully things will go back to normal after the new data file has been sent out to most of our users.

We're also in the process of purchasing more RAM for the server (which seems to be the current bottleneck), so hopefully this will help the problem in the future.
18 Feb 2010, 23:50:42 UTC · Comment


Visualization/Screensaver Work
Hey everyone,

I've joined the MilkyWay@Home project for the semester and have heard some rumblings of people wanting some sort of visualization, or screen saver, dare I say :-). We've come up with a few ideas and would like input on which sounds the most appealing to you.

The ideas are ordered from showing the most scientific data to the least. In other words, Idea 1 will give a very clear visualization of what the work units are doing, whereas Idea 3 is more eye candy with fewer details on the science. I want to know which end of the nitty-gritty/eye candy spectrum you prefer.

Idea 1: A zoomed in view of a wedge, displaying the streams being computed for the wedge with indications of progress so far, color-coding to indicate what stars are in what stream, etc. A very good view of what really is being computed, but not much of an overall picture.

Idea 2: An alternating view of the galaxy that starts zoomed out (showing the current best model of the galaxy), followed by a zoom or similar transfer to showing the currently computing wedge. These views would alternate at some specified time interval.

Idea 3: A constant zoomed out view of the galaxy with maybe some small pictures on the sides showing a currently computing wedge and some sort of progress indicator for current work units.

Obviously it would be ideal to incorporate aspects of all different views, but given time constraints, I'd like to focus my efforts on the most popular idea. I encourage you to throw out your own modifications on the ideas and we'll hash through this.

Let 'em rip
-Eric
13 Feb 2010, 18:56:26 UTC · Comment


MilkyWay@Home press release
It looks like physorg picked up our press release, so I've shared the story on reddit.com.

If you get the chance, please go and upvote the reddit post so we can spread the news! :)
11 Feb 2010, 19:21:29 UTC · Comment


RPI Press Release
RPI has put out a press release about our project. Thanks everyone for all your help! http://news.rpi.edu:80/update.do?artcenterkey=2685 10 Feb 2010, 22:18:38 UTC · Comment


Server Outage
Sorry about the outage. We had some hardware issues but everything should be back running smoothly now. 10 Feb 2010, 19:18:10 UTC · Comment


Questions and Answers forum
I actually thought we had removed those forums, but I guess the recent update of the web code made them available (as they were still in the database). If you have any questions or problems please just use the number crunching forum. I've removed the link to those other older forums. 10 Feb 2010, 3:21:38 UTC · Comment


Outage
Sorry about the earlier outage. Everything should be up and running smoothly now. 3 Feb 2010, 4:11:49 UTC · Comment


Finally fixed user of the day scripts :P
I really think I fixed them now. Finally! 29 Jan 2010, 18:32:18 UTC · Comment


lowering purge time
I'm lowering the purge time (sorry) to help speed up the database. This should hopefully improve response time for the webpage and downloading new workunits. 22 Jan 2010, 7:45:04 UTC · Comment


new searches testing different validation types
I've implemented optimistic and pessimistic validation for the particle swarm searches now as well (as opposed to just the differential evolution searches that were running before). I've tested them quite a bit so I think it's working correctly, but just warning you the server might crash a few times in the next few days while I get all the bugs sorted out.

Let me know if you're having any problems with the ps_s222_opt_1, ps_s222_pes_1 workunits.
22 Jan 2010, 4:08:11 UTC · Comment


Fix for the anonymous app_plan.xml
I updated the server with the fix for people whose app_plan.xml with count set < 1. Let me know if it worked. 19 Jan 2010, 5:22:48 UTC · Comment


Need a sample app_info.xml
Some of our users have said that they're having problems using the ATI application on an anonymous platform; when they have settings that specify no cpu, and no nvidia gpu work, and only ATI gpu work. If anyone is having this problem please post your app_info.xml so I can send it to the boinc_dev mailing list to get it debugged. thanks!

--Travis
18 Jan 2010, 4:46:59 UTC · Comment


Patch for GPU application's CPU utilization
I applied a patch which should hopefully fix the CPU utilization of the GPU applications, which was causing some users problems with running the CPU app alongside the GPU app. Let me know how it works. 17 Jan 2010, 3:58:14 UTC · Comment


Database Problem
We had a problem with the database, which caused the outage. I'm trying to get more information about what happened. 14 Jan 2010, 19:13:16 UTC · Comment


User of the Day and other scripts
I think I finally fixed the problem with the user of the day not updating, as well as a few other scripts. 13 Jan 2010, 23:04:34 UTC · Comment


ATI Application
After a few weeks of testing the deployment of the ATI application through BOINC it appears as most of the kinks have been worked out. Milkyway@Home would like to thank Cluster Physik for the development of the application and the many volunteers that assisted in reporting issues. Currently the application is available for Windows 32/64 bit and requires an ATI GPU with double precision capabilities. Milkyway@Home would also like to thank Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) for their generous donation of hardware. 13 Jan 2010, 22:30:18 UTC · Comment


Increased WU Deadline
I've increased the WU deadline to 8 days (up from 5). Let me know if this worked.

We've been letting our searches run a bit longer now because we're trying to get more accurate results, and we've also increased the WU size so some CPUs are having problems keeping up. Because of this I think it was a good time to increase the deadline. This might also help our project play a little nicer with other ones. Let me know how it works.
13 Jan 2010, 22:17:56 UTC · Comment


Old News Lost
Well, it looks like our old news couldn't make the transition to the new software. Hopefully it won't be missed too much. I think we've gotten most of the server problems ironed out, so let me know how things are working. 11 Jan 2010, 5:07:58 UTC · Comment


News Updates
Well, I tried to run the script to update the news forum, and it ended up crashing halfway through so we have a lot of REALLY old news :) I'm going to try and fix this.

--Travis
11 Jan 2010, 5:04:40 UTC · Comment




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