Milkyway@Home uses the BOINC platform to harness volunteered computing resources, creating a highly accurate three dimensional model of the Milky Way galaxy using data gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This project enables research in both astroinformatics and computer science.
In computer science, the project is investigating different optimization methods which are resilient to the fault-prone, heterogeneous and asynchronous nature of Internet computing; such as evolutionary and genetic algorithms, as well as asynchronous newton methods. While in astroinformatics, Milkyway@Home is generating highly accurate three dimensional models of the Sagittarius stream, which provides knowledge about how the Milky Way galaxy was formed and how tidal tails are created when galaxies merge.
Milkyway@Home is a joint effort between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's departments of Computer Science and Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy. Feel free to contact us via our forums, or email astro[at]cs.lists.rpi[dot]edu.
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Milkway@home is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendtions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.
Individual grants are listed on the information page.
UPDATE: NO Scheduled Downtime Thursday 9/12/19 Evening
The Milkyway server will be down this Thursday, 9/12/2019 starting at 4PM. The server should be back up by midnight. You will not be able to download or return workunits during this time, and the website will also be down. Any issues/questions can be directed at our email firstname.lastname@example.org while the server is down.
9 Sep 2019, 16:22:51 UTC · Discuss
New Expanded Runs for Milkyway_nbody (08/06/2019)
I've just placed two new runs up onto MilkyWay@home:
These runs are going to search over a larger phase space, however, due to the technological limitations of simulating incredibly dense dwarf galaxies, a significant portion of this phase space will be skipped. This limitation has been placed in previous runs using the current version of Milkyway_nbody, however, the larger phase space will make this more apparent. We set up our lua file such that runs with abnormally long runtimes will only take a few seconds to complete and return the worst case likelihood score. As credits are calculated dynamically for Nbody, it may take a few runs for Milkyway@home to assign the proper amount of credits. We plan on adding another expanded data run once de_nbody_07_10_2019_v176_40k__data__7 converges.
Thank you for your support,
6 Aug 2019, 15:32:22 UTC · Discuss
New Separation Testing Runs
Looking at all of the previous runs (including those from previous projects), there are patterns of interesting and unexpected behavior from the optimization results. In order to better understand these results, I have planned a series of extensive testing runs. These tests will allow us to learn how the optimization routine's responds to specific circumstances and inputs. I will make a comment attached to this post describing the tests & reasons for the tests in greater detail if anyone is interested.
EVERYTHING IS WORKING AS INTENDED. These results are not entirely understood, not incorrect. I don't expect to invalidate any results from this project, but I do plan on actually producing more, better results as I learn why the optimizer outputs what it does.
I am rolling out the first 2 series of tests, and have released the runs on the server.
The names of these runs are:
Please let me know if you experience any problems with these runs. Thank you all for your help with this project!
29 Jul 2019, 19:21:48 UTC · Discuss
New Separation Runs [UPDATE]
I just put some new Separation runs up on the server and took down the old ones. You may still see new workunits from old runs in your queues for a few days as those runs finish validating.
The names of the new runs are:
An error processing a flag in the parameter files has been fixed and updated runs have been released. These runs are confirmed to be returning results as of 10 PM on 7/24. I apologize for the inconvenience.
The names of the new runs are:
As these runs optimize we may see increased invalidated returns with the stripe 84 and 85 runs. This is a known issue that I believe has something to do with a data cut made in those stripes. If/when this starts happening and the stripes are sufficiently optimized, I will take them down so you all don't have to worry about crunching invalidated WUs.
If you have any questions/comments/concerns, please feel free to post them here. Thanks for all your support!
24 Jul 2019, 20:00:02 UTC · Discuss
Nbody Data Run 4 Replaced
Something happened with de_nbody_07_10_2019_v176_40k__data__4 that caused it to end prematurely. As such a new run has been implemented to replace it, titled de_nbody_07_10_2019_v176_40k__data__7.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
23 Jul 2019, 15:46:35 UTC · Discuss
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