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.
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This thread will be used as a place for project admins to post updates.
If you have a comment or a question, you should post those in the appropriate threads.
There is also an Admin Updates Discussion thread for further discussion on the updates.
15 Dec 2023, 19:56:07 UTC · Discuss
Commenting on Recent Issues with the server
I wanted to apologize for the recent server issues. The migration brought unforeseen challenges, particularly with DNS changes. As a newcomer to server management and BOINC projects, I've been on a steep learning curve to transition this project to a new server.
As mentioned in a previous post, and reiterated here, we have set up a temporary DNS entry for milkyway-new that now points to the server. The changes will take some time to become effective (I don't have a specific timeline, but I'm closely monitoring the process). This update will allow for downloading older work units linked to milkyway-new and uploading completed ones.
I'm immensely grateful to all the volunteers who have suggested fixes and assisted others with client-side issues. Your contributions have significantly accelerated problem-solving during this server migration. I can't thank you enough for your support.
To those who have voiced frustrations, I apologize for any shortcomings in my expertise. I recognize the value of the computing time you generously volunteer and understand your desire for acknowledgment of your contributions. I encourage you to continue sharing your concerns, as long as they are respectful. Destructive or derogatory comments don't contribute constructively to our project. We aim to foster a positive environment at MilkyWay@home for everyone passionate about science and distributed computing, free from unnecessary negativity.
One common concern has been the need for better communication. Despite my efforts to preemptively share updates, it appears more is needed. I would like to improve in this area. I'm considering regular updates (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly) and would appreciate your thoughts on this. Please share your ideas in the comments on how I could improve communication.
On a related note, we are excited to announce that we're currently developing a new version of the n-body code. This upgrade will allow for the fitting of additional parameters, such as orbit parameters, along with other minor improvements. We anticipate implementing these changes in the coming weeks.
Additionally, we are making plans to reintroduce support for Mac users. More details will be provided as soon as we have further information.
Once again, I apologize for the recent issues with MilkyWay@home and am very thankful for your patience.
29 Nov 2023, 22:02:25 UTC · Discuss
Migrating MilkyWay@home to a New Server
We are preparing to migrate MilkyWay@home to a new server on 1 November 2023 at 2 pm UTC. This new server has better hardware (specifically more memory), which we expect will improve the performance of the website and the rate at which you can get new workunits. We are forced to perform this migration at a fast pace due to RPI requiring that we update the server OS to ensure proper security.
We expect that this migration will take one day to complete. If it looks like the downtime will be longer than that, we will update you on our Facebook page. It is possible that the server might experience some unexpected behavior after this migration, but I will be closely monitoring the situation to resolve any issues as they may come up. In particular, I will be watching the message boards closely, and I will make a thread for people to report issues with the new server.
That being said, there were some issues with getting BOINC to recognize the binary up on the new server, so we had to increment the binary version from 1.82 to 1.83. I am not sure what this means for workunits that are awaiting validation after the switch, but I will do what I can to make sure everyone gets as much credit as possible for their work. Unfortunately, it is plausible that you may lose some credit due to the migration, which we apologize for.
I apologize for the short notice and thank you in advance for your patience as I try and make this switch as smooth as possible.
31 Oct 2023, 1:25:46 UTC · Discuss
Server Maintenance 6/28/2023 12 PM EDT (4 PM UTC)
I'll be shutting the server down for about an hour or two tomorrow at noon EDT (4 PM UTC) to take care of the loads of WUs stuck waiting for validation. They are from leftover Separation WUs trickling in after the project was shut off. Unfortunately I do not think that credit will be given out for these stuck WUs, as they were turned in after the project was shut down, and the validator is not running to give people credit.
N-body WUs will not be affected by this, and all credit will be assigned as per usual for N-body WUs.
27 Jun 2023, 17:02:13 UTC · Discuss
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