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.
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
Separation Application Shutting Down on Tuesday, Jun 20th
Thanks for your discussion on the other thread (https://milkyway.cs.rpi.edu/milkyway/forum_thread.php?id=5007). Based on your input we have decided to turn off Separation this Tuesday. N-body will still be running, and we appreciate anyone who wants to help crunch work for that application! I am not able to give you an exact time estimate because it's not clear exactly how long it will take to properly shut things down; however, I expect it to be sometime around noon EDT (1600 UTD).
We would like to once again sincerely express our gratitude for all the help that you have given in crunching for this project. We have learned a lot from Separation, and it's all thanks to you. We hope to see you stick around and help us continue crunching Nbody work in the future!
16 Jun 2023, 14:02:53 UTC · Discuss
Separation Project Coming To An End
We are beginning to sunset the Separation project (note that this is different from the N-Body project, which still needs your help!!!). Thanks to your computational contributions, we have completed the goals that we set out to accomplish with this the project, so we are going to shut down the Separation project in the near future. We are planning on submitting a paper containing the final results of the Separation project to an academic journal in the near future. It is possible that the reviewer may request revisions that involve re-running Separation data, in which case we might bring it back for a short time, but until that happens we do not need your computer time for this. We would like to sincerely thank you for all the time and effort that you spent helping us complete this substantial task. We owe the success of the project to you all.
With this announcement comes a few updates to MilkyWay@home: MilkyWay@home will continue to exist, but only as the Nbody project. Because of the complexity of running Nbody tree codes on GPUs, there is little speed-up from running Nbody on a GPU compared to an equivalent CPU. Although we did beta-test a full GPU Nbody application, we have decided not to deploy it due to concerns over maintaining its support; among other issues, supporting GPU Nbody would require changing the GPU code every time the CPU code is updated, and making sure every change is tested and works identically on both platforms. Since we are actively working on extensions of the Nbody code that include such things as the effects of the Large Magellanic Cloud's gravity and the consequences of self-interacting dark matter on the formation of tidal streams, this parallel support would be difficult. So, when Separation shuts down, we will be ending GPU support for MilkyWay@home. This will have the greatest impact on people who crunch lots of Separation work units on high-end GPUs; these users can expect to earn a much lower amount of credit per time than they did before. If you contribute only CPU cycles, your ability to earn credit will be unaffected. We still want as many people to contribute CPU time to MilkyWay@home as possible! However, we understand that if your goal is to use GPUs to obtain a large amount of credit quickly, there are more efficient ways to do this and other projects that can better use your resources.
We would appreciate your input on this because we expect that it will probably take some time for GPU-oriented users to swap that hardware over to different projects. How long would you like us to wait before we shut down Separation?
Again, thank you so much for letting us use your processors! They have not only increased our knowledge of the Milky Way galaxy that we live in, but they have also contributed to five PhD theses and trained dozens of undergraduate students to build and maintain large and complex computing systems. These students and I thank you for your contributions. We will be posting the results of the final Separation project results probably later this year, after they have gone through the peer review process (which takes about six months on average, with wide variability).
Tom & Prof. Newberg
13 Jun 2023, 16:17:05 UTC · Discuss
Server Maintenance (June 1st, 2023)
We will be running server maintenance on June 1st, 2023 at 11:30 AM EDT.
Maintenance should be done by the end of the day.
An announcement will be made on this thread when maintenance is over.
29 May 2023, 18:36:37 UTC · Discuss
Server Shutdown (5/8 - 5/10)
RPI is conducting their annual CII power maintenance between May 8th and May 10th. As a precaution, we will need to shutdown the server during this time.
We will have the server back up and running as soon as possible.
8 May 2023, 13:31:43 UTC · Discuss
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