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Old 2008-02-12, 04:43   #1
jasong
 
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Default NPLB on BOINC?

I know that some people prefer to run the LLR and sieving software standalone, but there are a lot of potential crunchers out there(the people, not the computers) that would try these projects if they were "set and forget."

Do people think we should consider BOINC?

[stuff that I wrote that I later determined to be off-topic follows. I don't have a life, :) so if people can think of ways for me to set something like this in motion, feel free to post]
I don't have any of the things needed for a project like this, so I offer my apology for only exercising my jaw(or maybe I should say fingers) about this. I would love to be another version of Rytis, if I had the skills, except with more time to be able to port standalone projects like there's no tomorrow. Maybe that'll change in the next year or so, since I intend to restructure my life to accomplish more.
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Old 2008-02-12, 05:01   #2
mdettweiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
I know that some people prefer to run the LLR and sieving software standalone, but there are a lot of potential crunchers out there(the people, not the computers) that would try these projects if they were "set and forget."

Do people think we should consider BOINC?

[stuff that I wrote that I later determined to be off-topic follows. I don't have a life, :) so if people can think of ways for me to set something like this in motion, feel free to post]
I don't have any of the things needed for a project like this, so I offer my apology for only exercising my jaw(or maybe I should say fingers) about this. I would love to be another version of Rytis, if I had the skills, except with more time to be able to port standalone projects like there's no tomorrow. Maybe that'll change in the next year or so, since I intend to restructure my life to accomplish more.
Well, we sort of already do have a set-it-and-forget-it option: LLRnet. However, yes, you're right, BOINC would be a huge asset to the project. One major advantage that it has over LLRnet is that it allows you to easily juggle resources between multiple projects. I used to run it on my main machine myself, though of late I have stopped running it in lieu of non-BOINC projects such as NPLB and CRUS. But yes, I agree, it's worth looking into.

We have a couple options, should we decide we wish to go BOINC: either run a server ourselves (not nearly as easy an undertaking as running an LLRnet server, from what I hear), or hope that PrimeGrid picks us up--they've helped a handful of mersenneforum.org prime search projects go BOINC already. (Rytis, if you're reading this...) PrimeGrid, however, is starting to get quite saturated with subprojects by now--so much so that, despite increasing resources, one can't help but wonder whether it won't be long before they're spreading their power a little thin.

Each approach has its benefits and drawbacks: running our own server would give us complete flexibility and control, but it would require a dedicated server (physical or virtual), and the maintenance would probably be somewhat demanding on whoever takes on the role of BOINC server administrator. Going with PrimeGrid, on the other hand, has the advantage of being already set up, and we wouldn't have to manage it, not to mention that it's already well-known and popular. The drawbacks are that PrimeGrid already seems to be spreading itself a little thin, and there would also be the hurdle of having to handle the server indirectly.

NPLB is, however, quite a new project, relatively speaking--and though it may be growing fast, it doesn't quite have the cachet (so to speak) of other projects such as PSP and 321 Search. We haven't even moved out of the Open Projects forum yet. Thus, existing BOINC projects such as PrimeGrid might be reluctant to take us on until we establish ourselves a little more. And even if we were to set up our own BOINC server, it's still not a light undertaking, and thus we might be better off waiting until we grow a bit before taking that path.

Long story short, I think it's a great idea, but I don't quite think we're ready for it yet. Though I can definitely see a BOINC setup succeeding for the project in the future.

P.S.: Jasong, you mentioned about skills required to setup/run such a project. I personally have some limited knowledge of Perl, and I can cobble together some rough scripts that do the trick for various tasks (I already have a small collection of them for handling LLRnet server stuff here and at CRUS). However, I am hardly an expert programmer--I doubt I could even be considered an amateur. Also, I don't have the time required to set up and administrate a BOINC server myself--so you can definitely rule me out as a potential BOINC administrator, at least in the near future (by "near future" I mean anytime within the next few years).
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Old 2008-02-12, 06:57   #3
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I'll be the first one to go away from NPLB...BOINC sucks...it is the monopoly of distributed computing and it's the easy way for lazy guys to run a DC without caring for its goal and knowledge.

Last fiddled with by em99010pepe on 2008-02-12 at 07:19
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Old 2008-02-12, 17:31   #4
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I'll be the first one to go away from NPLB...BOINC sucks...it is the monopoly of distributed computing and it's the easy way for lazy guys to run a DC without caring for its goal and knowledge.
Of course, it wouldn't replace either the manual system or LLRnet. Instead, it would run alongside them, like LLRnet runs alongside the manual system.
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Old 2008-02-12, 18:10   #5
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Of course, it wouldn't replace either the manual system or LLRnet. Instead, it would run alongside them, like LLRnet runs alongside the manual system.
That's exactly what I was thinking.

Of course, if a person thinks of prime-finding as a gentleman's club, with the price of entry to the various projects being educating yourself about LLR, sieving, and then the more complex stuff...then I absolutely understand why one would dislike BOINC. :)

Just thought I'd mention it.
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Old 2008-02-12, 20:17   #6
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Efficiency aside, I'm in favor of having people who enjoy the math or prime #'s or have at least a cursory understanding of what we're doing being associated with the project so would not be in favor of using BOINC.

IMHO, from the cursory understanding that I have of BOINC, it should be utilized for high priority and very complex projects that benefit mankind in general...exploration of space, cures for diseases, etc. I think that BOINC is a great asset for such huge and important things such as these but that are extremely difficult for even above-average intelligence people to understand.

LLRnet 'pushes the envelope' on this, so to speak. That is, it comes close to allowing people who know little about what we do to crunch for us. But I feel that they have to have some general concept of what we're up to. Most people who are willing to go through setting up a directory(ies), downloading the server software, and making sure their internet connection is good and continuous are going to understand what we're up to.

I consider what we do to be mostly recreation with some long-term benefitional knowledge being passed on to future prime-searchers and perhaps a few conjectures proven and a few conjectures being made as a result of what we find. But it's a FUN recreation! More rallies in the future!


Gary
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Old 2008-02-12, 20:29   #7
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Originally Posted by gd_barnes View Post
Efficiency aside, I'm in favor of having people who enjoy the math or prime #'s or have at least a cursory understanding of what we're doing being associated with the project so would not be in favor of using BOINC.

IMHO, from the cursory understanding that I have of BOINC, it should be utilized for high priority and very complex projects that benefit mankind in general...exploration of space, cures for diseases, etc. I think that BOINC is a great asset for such huge and important things such as these but that are extremely difficult for even above-average intelligence people to understand.

LLRnet 'pushes the envelope' on this, so to speak. That is, it comes close to allowing people who know little about what we do to crunch for us. But I feel that they have to have some general concept of what we're up to. Most people who are willing to go through setting up a directory(ies), downloading the server software, and making sure their internet connection is good and continuous are going to understand what we're up to.

I consider what we do to be mostly recreation with some long-term benefitional knowledge being passed on to future prime-searchers and perhaps a few conjectures proven and a few conjectures being made as a result of what we find. But it's a FUN recreation! More rallies in the future!


Gary
Yes, I agree--for projects such as this, it is good for users to at least have a cursory understanding of what's going on. It's not that hard to understand, anyway. And even for those who want a set-it-and-forget-it thing--they've got LLRnet.

Okay, so it seems to be settled now--no BOINC for NPLB.
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Old 2008-02-13, 11:37   #8
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I understand the necessity to have BOINC to get more CPU power and I'll start studying it.

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/ServerIntro

Carlos
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Old 2008-02-15, 11:18   #9
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If you ever decide to go with the BOINC, please reserve at least small spot for us who likes to run simple LLR. This is just the way I like to look for primes.

And yes, this is pure fun and recreation.
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Old 2008-02-15, 11:24   #10
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Originally Posted by edorajh View Post
If you ever decide to go with the BOINC, please reserve at least small spot for us who likes to run simple LLR. This is just the way I like to look for primes.

And yes, this is pure fun and recreation.
For now my priority is my master degree and not BOINC, depends on my free time. My first reading of that page just put me .

Last fiddled with by em99010pepe on 2008-02-15 at 11:25
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Old 2008-02-15, 16:38   #11
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Originally Posted by edorajh View Post
If you ever decide to go with the BOINC, please reserve at least small spot for us who likes to run simple LLR. This is just the way I like to look for primes.

And yes, this is pure fun and recreation.
That will never go away as long as I'm one of the moderators anyway. I personally have limited machines that can be connected. But I have a much larger arsenal of machines that cannot be connected without great risk or expense.

My objective is to appeal to the most prime searchers possible in the long run but that those searchers understand things well enough to be able to talk about them.

Carlos and Anon and others if you're interested, there is ONE main thing that I could perhaps see BOINC being used for in the future and it would not be for NPLB (for the foreseeable future anyway). It would be for the extremely high n-ranges at CRUS. For instance, for n>2M for bases that are powers of 2 or for n>~500K for non-powers of 2 bases, I could see that being a possibility. For instance, I see base 6 as an extremely important base in the future to be proved; on par with base 5. But with 49 k's remaining at n=50K on the Sierpinski side, it's almost guaranteed that we'll be searching that well past n=1M (perhaps upwords of 10M or higher to knock out the very last one). And for a base that isn't a power of 2, we're looking at many hours per test at n=1M.

I feel that once testing gets into the many hours per test range, the more that we just need raw computing power. It becomes less fun and more work at that point. That's when I think BOINC becomes more useful.

My two cents anyway. Of course that's a long-time off yet. Any input is always welcome.


Gary

Last fiddled with by gd_barnes on 2008-02-15 at 16:39
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