Joined: 30 Aug 07
That's actually a really good question :)
There's a couple answers to these. Mainly, our evolutionary algorithms are self healing -- if a incorrect result does make it into the population, so long as it fitness isn't extremely good (which would be noticeable to us), it will be replaced later by another correct individual with a better fitness.
Also, we have some other fail safes. When we think a search has ended, we have an entire population of similar individuals to look at. If one is off (parameters are significantly different for similar fitnesses), we can run it on one of our machines with the stock app to check and see if it really was a valid result.
Likewise, for astronomical publications the results are double-checked vs the our stock applications here. Sometimes we even run a local search method (like gradient descent, or the simplex method -- like your name :P ) from the point found by the evolutionary algorithms in order to further squeeze as much accuracy as we can out of it.
But anyways, you're right that the quorum system isn't a perfect method of guaranteeing the validity of a result. However, the self healing nature of the EAs we're using along with double checking of the final results makes it more than good enough. Most of the validation is to prevent scamming and because people are so sensitive about the credit system :P Like I've said before, on our end the only validation we really need is for individuals that get inserted into the populations.
Joined: 11 Nov 07
Thank you Travis for taking the time to give me an insight
in how the procedure works.
I wish that there where more guy's like you and CP so that
the ATI\AMD cards could be used to it's full potential in more
scientific project's than just one.
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