Welcome to MilkyWay@home

What is MilkyWay@home?

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.

Read more on our Science Page, or check out our YouTube Channel!

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Social Media

People

Milkyway@Home is currently run by:
  • Travis Desell, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of North Dakota
  • Heidi Newberg, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Malik Magdon-Ismail, Professor of Computer Science
  • Carlos Varela, Associate Professor of Computer Science
  • Boleslaw Szymanski, Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
  • Jake Weiss, Postdoctoral Researcher in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Eric Mendelsohn, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Blurf, Volunteer Forum Moderator
With Ongoing Support from:
  • Siddhartha Shelton, PhD Physics
  • Matthew Newby, Adjunct Faculty in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Jeffery Thompson, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Apllied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Matt Arsenault, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics
With previous support from:
  • Benjamin Willet, Postdoctoral Researcher in Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy
  • Nathan Cole, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy
  • Maia Marchetti, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Adam Susser, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Jake Bauer, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Steve Ulins, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics
  • Colin Rice, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics
  • Shane Reilly, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Joe Doran, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Brian Chitester, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Dave Przybylo, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • John Vickers, Undergraduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy
  • Anthony Waters, Graduate Research Assistant in Computer Science
  • Clayton Rayment, Graduate Research Assistant in Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy

Funding

Funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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.

User of the Day

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Originally from Falmouth in Cornwall, I now live and work in Bristol (BOOM town!), for a multinational logistics plc. I've been BOINCing since 2003,...

News

New Poll Regarding GPU Application of N-Body
Hey everyone,

We are currently looking at making a GPU version of N-Body. This code has been under development for quite some time, and the base code is finally working, though we would still need to implement some other features to run it alongside the CPU version. However, due to the complexity of our code and our need for double precision, the GPU version has a similar runtime to that of the CPU version, though there may be some speed-up on professional grade GPU cards. For reference, the GPU version of the Separation code is roughly 50-60 times faster than its CPU counterpart depending on the machine. Keeping that in mind, do you guys still want a GPU version of N-Body? I have put up a basic straw poll on https://www.strawpoll.me/45510486. If you wish to elaborate on your choice, please feel free to comment below.

Thank you all for your input, time, and consideration,

-Eric
21 Jul 2021, 17:46:03 UTC · Discuss


Separation Validator Updates/Brief Server Outage(s)
Hello Everyone,

I will be updating the separation validator starting at 3PM ET. The server will go down for a short time and then come back up. In the case that the new validator causes problems, the server will go back down again to revert to the old validator. I will be monitoring the situation and would appreciate input on any workunits that fail validation after the new validator goes live.

The server may go down/back up a few times during this process. Thanks for your patience. I'll keep you all posted on the status of things as they happen.

Best,
Tom
15 Jul 2021, 18:41:01 UTC · Discuss


New NBody Runs!
Hey everyone,

The last set of N-body runs has converged beautifully. Thus, we have replaced the old runs with a set of new ones:
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__4
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__5
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__6

Since the last set ran without problems, we expect this one to run smoothly, too. Thank you all for your continued support.

-Eric
10 Jul 2021, 20:44:17 UTC · Discuss


IMPORTANT NBODY UPDATE!
Hey everyone,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we at MilkyWay@home are temporarily deprecating our newest version of Nbody (v1.80) and un-deprecating the previous version (v1.76) in its place. Since the lua files associated with each version are incompatible with each other, we have replaced the previous optimizations with a new set:
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__1
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__2
-de_nbody_06_16_2021_v176_40k__data__3

We have cancelled all jobs pertaining to the previous set of runs. However, there still may be a few which we were not able to cancel in time. These runs will most likely error out if you get them, but should do so rather quickly (about 2 seconds).

If any complications arise from this, please notify us immediately, and we will quickly find a solution.

Thank you all for your time and continued support,

-Eric Mendelsohn
16 Jun 2021, 23:02:15 UTC · Discuss


New Separation Runs 6/9/2021
Hello Everyone,

I've just put some new separation runs up on the server. Remember those stripe 84 and 85 runs that would start to throw validate errors as they became more optimized? I've been testing and comparing runs on different builds and *hopefully* that problem has been resolved.

The names of the new runs are:

de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix
de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset2
de_modfit_84_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset3
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset2
de_modfit_85_bundle4_4s_south4s_gapfix_bgset3

Please keep an eye on these runs and let me know if anything odd happens (validate errors or otherwise). With any luck, everything will work perfectly! These are the last runs that need to optimized before the latest results of separation can be submitted to a journal to be published.

Additionally, I have taken down the following runs:

de_modfit_80_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_81_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_82_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_83_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7
de_modfit_86_bundle4_4s_south4s_bgset_7

As always, the stopped runs will continue to show up in your workunit queue for a few days as they finish up. This is normal and expected. Thank you all for your support and help with this project.

Best,
Tom
9 Jun 2021, 23:14:57 UTC · Discuss


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