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Old 2007-09-17, 01:40   #1
gd_barnes
 
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Default Reservation policy

There has been a lot of talk in the 'k=5 and policy on reservations' thread about a reservation policy. I think it now deserves its own thread.

It has come to my attention that there are currently 126 reserved k's > 300 that have had no activity in 6 months or longer. 84 of these k's have had no activity for 1 year or longer. See the attached list. Therefore, I think it is time that we came up with a formal reservation policy for Riesel Prime Search. I have to agree with a response by lsolue that I think the biggest reason to avoid 'dormant' k's such as this is to avoid duplication of effort. Many of the problems associated with dormant k's such as losing contact with people and not being able to find relavent ranges searched, etc. go directly towards causing a duplication of effort.

Regardless of what is decided here, I am not advocating that we attempt to 'take away' anyone's k's after a certain period of time if it is known that they are going to be worked on in the future. All that we would ask for would be a status that shows that the k's are in progress and perhaps what ranges have been tested, sieved, possible expected start date, etc.

I'm sure that many of the reservations in the list will be no longer applicable but by posting it here, it will pose the question of whether they are still being worked on or if there is a plan to work on them.

There were a number of responses in the other thread. I will post all of them in the next message, both for and against, as well as a private exchange that I was authorized to post about the topic.


Gary
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Old 2007-09-17, 02:29   #2
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Default Reservation policy responses

Below are the responses to the reservation policy that I proposed in the 'k=5 and policy on reservations' thread in the order in which they were received followed by a PM exchange with MooooMoo that he authorized that I post. Any additional input on the matter is certainly welcome.

My initial comments about the topic:
Quote:
I think we need to institute a site policy. If your k or k's are reserved for 6 months with no activity, then they will be unreserved after a reasonable attempt at contact, regardless of how active you are elsewhere in the prime-searching community. Otherwise we end up with 'orphan' k's like this where others end up finding primes on them before we do because we waited too long.

My reasoning for suggesting the policy is that many others like Benson search k's right out from under us without bothering to coordinate with us first. I think we are VERY lucky that someone hasn't started searching k=5 starting at n=470K. Tests go fast for such a low k and this one is ripe for getting 'picked off' by someone from another effort.

We have to find a happy medium between upsetting long-term prime-searchers in our effort by having their k's unreserved -and- risking allowing other efforts to 'pick off' primes on our reserved k's. I think 6 months is that happy medium. It is my thinking that few people will be upset if their k's are unreserved after 6 months of non-activity. Some (actually most) people probably won't even be aware that they are still reserved.
Response from Kar_bon:
Quote:
when i collected data from the old 15k-pages i saw many k's with very old status from 2004 or 2005. so this would be a good idea to push those k's higher.
i think 6 months without status is a good choice.
Response from Kosmaj:
Quote:
As I said elsewhere before, I'm against any dead-lines, and/or chasing people to tell us about status of their search, etc. Everybody is free to search for any prime form, including those we are already working on. We would only like to suggest to others to coordinate their efforts with us so that we don't waste resources.
Response from Flatlander:
Quote:
I think a 6 month 'rule' sounds about right. ie. Inquires should be made after about 6 months as to what the person is doing, with ks unreserved after trying repeatedly to get an answer for a few weeks after that.
Just my opinion, and I think we should be a bit flexible.

Perhaps all future k reservations (with RPS) should only be considered valid after Kosmaj (or someone else) has received a valid email address by pm or email for each reservation.
I posed some questions to Kosmaj and lsoule responded.

Questions:
Quote:
1. Would you agree that other efforts will find primes before we do, especially on k < 300, if we don't tend to our dormant reserved k's?
2. Would you agree that it is sometimes difficult to know what ranges are searched when others find primes before us causing us much double-checking?
3. Would you agree that documentation about searched ranges can be lost if we let k's sit dormant for too long?
4. Would you agree that it doesn't look very good to have dormant reserved k's sitting around for a very long time?
Response from lsoule:
Quote:
Yes to 1-3 and no to 4. Now on to opinions, FWIW. To me the important part of having a
reservation system is to reduce duplication of effort. (Others may rightly have other ideas). The system needs to be kept up to date enough that people are encouraged to use it. It also needs to be loose enough to handle the problems below.

The problems that crop up are:
- There is no ownership of Ks and people are free to search on their own.
- Keeping the list up to date takes a lot of effort and coordination with
volunteer work where the volunteers come and go a lot.
PM exchange with MooooMoo:

Me:
Quote:
Were you agreeing that a 6-month rule on reservations at RPS is a good idea?
MooooMoo:
Quote:
Maybe it's just me, but in most cases, 6 months makes me a bit nervous. Although a year is clearly too long, keep in mind that reporting status on k's is done manually. This means that unlike GIMPS, SB, Riesel Sieve, and most other prime searching projects, searchers who run the program daily may forget to report their status, and they would miss the reminder e-mail if they don't check their mail frequently. Thinking about primes plays only a small role in most searchers' daily lives, so forgetfullness and irregularity in reporting primes' status is to be expected.

The only time when the 6 month rule would be a good idea would be when it's clear that the person is either a newcomer (who may have given up without telling RPS), or if the person intends to be nothing more than a placeholder (in each progress report, very little completed work is reported).
Me:
Quote:
...(What I'm suggesting)...That is that we wait up to a month after sending 2 or 3 messages, one of them being a PM. And then perhaps one more message at the end of that time frame.

So you would be in favor of something longer...something < 1 year...perhaps 9 months? also with discretion used, maybe like what I am describing above.
MooooMoo:
Quote:
9 months with a reminder or two sounds good. I'll agree to that.

There were many good points brought up. I particularly liked the exchange with MooooMoo who expressed a concern about the 6-month time-frame. Based on the above, I'd like to incorporate several ideas into one formal proposal:

1. At the end of 6 months of inactivity (i.e. at the beginning of the 7th month), we send a PM and a post in this thread or a brand new 'dormant k's' (or something similar) thread.

2. If no immediate response, we give the person 2 months to respond that they are still working on the k('s). Optionally another message can be sent in some manner during this time.

3. If still no response at the end of the 8th month of inactivity, we post one final 'warning' note in this or another specific thread stating that the k will be unreserved in a month.

4. If still no response at the end of the 9th month of inactivity, we unreserve the k and anyone is free to search it.


One final thing...I am volunteering to do all of the follow-up on older reserved k's. While the initial effort will be somewhat time-consuming, I really don't think it'll take much time each month after that initial effort to find out where people are at on so many of them.


Gary
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Old 2007-09-17, 03:38   #3
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Gary

With only 3-4 months on the project, less than 5 found primes, not a single reserved k<300, but most of all, with poor understanding of how prime search projects work, you are not competent to ask these questions.

Just to illustrate you ignorance: RPS is not searching for k>300 Riesel primes. The "Prime search" project does. The sub-projects we are working on are clearly given in the "Welcome" thread on this forum and on our bio page on Top-5000.

If you want to start and run a project of your own your are free to do it. If you want I'll ask Mike to create a new forum for you. Needless to say I will not join.

Please leave us alone. This is all I have to say, and please don't ask me any more questions. Also, please stop bothering the others with your private mails.

Thank you.
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Old 2007-09-18, 05:15   #4
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Default Focus on situation; not differences...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosmaj View Post
Gary

With only 3-4 months on the project, less than 5 found primes, not a single reserved k<300, but most of all, with poor understanding of how prime search projects work, you are not competent to ask these questions.

Just to illustrate you ignorance: RPS is not searching for k>300 Riesel primes. The "Prime search" project does. The sub-projects we are working on are clearly given in the "Welcome" thread on this forum and on our bio page on Top-5000.

If you want to start and run a project of your own your are free to do it. If you want I'll ask Mike to create a new forum for you. Needless to say I will not join.

Please leave us alone. This is all I have to say, and please don't ask me any more questions. Also, please stop bothering the others with your private mails.

Thank you.

This is most unfortunate. What a low blow it was hitting on my lack of experience and ignorance of prime search projects. That's OK, I wasn't nice before. I had it coming. I'd like to think that what I lack in experience, I make up for in passion.

I'll add 2 things about RPS...
First, when Karsten came here, wouldn't many people think that the effort had expanded to include all k's by him including k's from everywhere? Are we really still constrained by the original focus of the project? Is RPS really only for k < 300, 15 k's, low weights, etc.? If so, then we're going to make Cruelty VERY sad! He is currently searching ALL k from k=100K to 200K for all n <= 10K and is planning on reporting the results to Karsten in pieces. (See the 'new data page' thread.) So is Karsten not supposed to report those primes and let Cruelty's effort go to waste? I think that would be a travesty.

Secondly, wouldn't many people think that the 'Prime Search' website is effectively dead with all of their errors, ranges that are far too low for current searches, and continual server problems. I think that WE are the happening place for ALL Riesel primes now.

I'm now asking everyone to please focus on the situation that we have and not the differences between Kosmaj and I. Please ignore my lack of experience and my ignorance. When you ignore my issues and the differences, then something can be done.

The situation that we have is many old reserved k's. The situation that we have like lsoule has alluded to is that we are losing past ranges that have been searched causing us double-work in some situations. k=5 brought it to a head about what is needed.

3 of you have agreed with me that we need a reservation policy and I have agreed to be the one to politely follow up with people.

So Kosmaj, it's now 4-1 in favor of a reservation policy. Come on now. Can we set aside our differences and do what several of us think are best for RPS? And by 'RPS', I mean the 'new and expanded' RPS that includes all Riesel primes, regardless of the size and nature of k.

I'll make you a deal here. Our differences seem to be for k < 300. So if you'll at least agree to let us do this, I won't attempt to contact anyone about k < 300 unless I ask you first (with the exception of k=243 already discussed in July...see that thread). And I'll agree to abide by what you think is best for k < 300. You have my word on that. If I do otherwise, you can ban me from the forum and rightfully so. I just really want to see the reservations for k > 300 cleaned up somewhat.


Gary


P.S. I actually have exactly 5 found top-5K primes but I've only been searching for them for < 1 month. But you're forgetting, I have 1,000's of found primes in 4 months all posted by Karsten.

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Old 2007-09-18, 08:07   #5
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Although I am not a fan of the style in which Kosmaj has presented his view, however I am also not a fan of following blindly the majority... simply because something is voted 4-1 or even 100-1 doesn't mean that we have to forget about those individuals that do not agree.
Now getting to the point: I think that it would be wiser not to call it "rules" or "policy" - guidelines is IMO a better word that does not force anyone to do anything. After all RPS appeared because several people did not like the idea of being forced to do something
Also I don't consider Gary's involvement as a threat to what we are doing here - IMO we need more and more people with such passion.
So, can we get back on track and discuss what can we all do for RPS, to make it even better? What I personally miss here is some incarnation of reservation system that would allow every individual to update his status on 15k pages. I am aware that this might be difficult and time-consuming to prepare something like this, and I probably shouldn't even mention it as I will be unable to support any "programming" effort due to my lack of knowledge, however this will probably lower the involvement of those few ones that right now carry these responsibilities on their own. I really appreciate what they are doing and the question is: how can I (or anyone who is willing) help you?
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Old 2007-09-21, 18:31   #6
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Default Guidelines vs. policy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruelty View Post
Although I am not a fan of the style in which Kosmaj has presented his view, however I am also not a fan of following blindly the majority... simply because something is voted 4-1 or even 100-1 doesn't mean that we have to forget about those individuals that do not agree.
Now getting to the point: I think that it would be wiser not to call it "rules" or "policy" - guidelines is IMO a better word that does not force anyone to do anything. After all RPS appeared because several people did not like the idea of being forced to do something
Also I don't consider Gary's involvement as a threat to what we are doing here - IMO we need more and more people with such passion.
So, can we get back on track and discuss what can we all do for RPS, to make it even better? What I personally miss here is some incarnation of reservation system that would allow every individual to update his status on 15k pages. I am aware that this might be difficult and time-consuming to prepare something like this, and I probably shouldn't even mention it as I will be unable to support any "programming" effort due to my lack of knowledge, however this will probably lower the involvement of those few ones that right now carry these responsibilities on their own. I really appreciate what they are doing and the question is: how can I (or anyone who is willing) help you?
Good points Cruelty. I agree that 'reservation guidelines' instead of 'reservation policy' is better for a voluntary effort like this.

And it makes sense to hear the concerns of people opposing the majority in any situation. In this case, I would like to hear WHY specifically that Kosmaj is against having reservation guidelines and a follow-up with people. Simply saying that there's other k's to search and that we shouldn't follow-up is the WHAT of the matter but doesn't explain WHY.

This issue will not go away regardless of how long it is put off. Whether people dislike my style or way of doing things is irrelavent to the issue. There are many reservations on the list attached in this thread that are from 2004-05.

Kosmaj, I like Cruelty's tact here. How can we help the new expanded RPS eliminate these old reservations? Or further, what is your solution about what to do about reservations from 2004-05 that have had no activity?

More than one person has expressed that it is important to allow people to search whatever they want and that we shouldn't be 'telling' people what to do. And further, all that we are asking for is that they coordinate with us so that we can 'reserve' the k's for them. I agree with this. But by maintaining the old and dormant reservations, we are effectively 'telling' people that they cannot search those k's unless they do NOT coordinate, hence defeating what we want them to do. In other words, the dormant reservations have the impact of 'telling' people not to search them. Not a good thing when someone see's a last activity of 2004 for a k that they really want to search!

Cruelty, it had been brought up to Karsten at a prior time to somehow come up with an automated reservation system like they have at Prime Search. But for the huge scale of k's that we work on here, it would be unwieldly to program at this point. More realistically, I think we need a thread that shows outstanding reservations that can be updated by a moderator at any time and that includes the k, who reserved it, when it was reserved, and the last activity.

Does anyone have any additional input about the guidelines that I suggested? I tried to make them fit with most of the responses I have gotten from people and definitely like Cruelty's idea of calling them guidelines.


Gary

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Old 2007-10-01, 18:52   #7
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Default dropped...

I have decided not to pursue a reservation guidelines or policy any further. Thanks to all who responded.


Gary
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