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Not too happy with BOINC

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katelin

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
I notice that BOINC is sitting idle on my computer. So I looked at messages and see this:

[email protected] - 2004-07-13 16:08:59 - Requesting 86175 seconds of work
[email protected] - 2004-07-13 16:08:59 - Sending request to scheduler: http://setiboincdata.ssl.berkeley.edu/sah_cgi/cgi
[email protected] - 2004-07-13 16:09:20 - Scheduler RPC to http://setiboincdata.ssl.berkeley.edu/sah_cgi/cgi failed
[email protected] - 2004-07-13 16:09:20 - No schedulers responded
[email protected] - 2004-07-13 16:09:20 - Deferring communication with project for 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 13 seconds


How long has it been idle? When is it going to be up again? How do I know how many work units I have cached? Can I get more WU in cache like the old [email protected]?

I tried looking at BOINCSpy but I got a major headache trying understanding it. Seems I have to run my own SQL server and have knowledge of DBA to use it???? Maybe I'm not understanding it right.

And my stats, seems everyone else's stats gets updated but mine. Granted I only have one computer running, but over the weekend it seems my stats stayed the same. I reinstalled BOINC once and my profile shows I have 2 computers. When in fact I only have one. I probably get a computer added to my profile every time I installed. Hmmmm....

I think I'm going to go back to classic SETI.
 

TC

Senior Seti Addict
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Location
Denver, CO
I take it you haven't been running Boinc very long - those kinds of messages have been the norm over the past few weeks. They have an outage (planned or otherwise) almost every other day it seems like. At any rate your work unit cache is listed in the client under the work tab. All of the units which are labeled "ready to run" are cached. You adjust the cache in your profile preferences on their website. You have to login to your account and go under the prefs section, where it has min and max cache in days. There are also other options there such as run only when the computer is idle, or all the time, etc. As for your stats - could just be by pure luck that the work units you've completed haven't yet been completed by the other people that they were given to. You don't get any credit until the work unit has been completed by everyone that it was sent to. It does help a little if you use the "return results immediately" option - otherwise your client doesn't return completed results to Berkeley until it needs to connect for some other reason, like downloading more work. You can certainly go back to classic seti, but that's almost a waste of time. It doesn't look like they're going to count any of the work that was done after May 14th, and rumor is it's going to be shut off in the next 2 weeks.
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Just curious on the teams ranking when i check my stats under the O/C team 0- i am always in 90th even thought i have more work units done then others - are they not updating that right ow?
 
OP
K

katelin

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
Thanks for the explanations and the tips TC. Ok, this just sticks out at me as I read your reply.

TC said:
As for your stats - could just be by pure luck that the work units you've completed haven't yet been completed by the other people that they were given to. You don't get any credit until the work unit has been completed by everyone that it was sent to.

Say what?!

You mean with BOINC I'm sharing partial WUs with other users??????
And I don't get credit until the other user turn hers/his in????

Hellooo??? Is it just me or is this...well....stupid, to put it bluntly?

So If I'm doing all I can by running my overheated computer 24/7 dedicated to BOINC and say I have 15 WUs completed (I'm going to figure out how to up my cache size) and all 15 WUs happen to be shared with say Greg M. who's running his superfast P2-400 that's maybe on maybe 9 hours a week, I'm going to wait have to wait until he turns his in to get my credit? Assuming he'll turn them in at all! Am I interpreting that right?

Sorry Greg, had to pick on you since you are so thrilled about running BOINC, which I don't blame you by the way.

Well, it's obvious I haven't done much reading up on BOINC. I guess I'm going to have to. I was hoping to just download the client and run it.

Thanks.
 
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SkyHook

Senior Village Idiot
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Location
York, Pennsylvania
katelin said:
Thanks for the explanations and the tips TC. Ok, this just sticks out at me as I read your reply.



Say what?!

You mean with BOINC I'm sharing partial WUs with other users??????
And I don't get credit until the other user turn hers/his in????

Hellooo??? Is it just me or is this...well....stupid, to put it bluntly?

So If I'm doing all I can by running my overheated computer 24/7 dedicated to BOINC and say I have 15 WUs completed (I'm going to figure out how to up my cache size) and all 15 WUs happen to be shared with say Greg M. who's running his superfast P2-400 that's maybe on maybe 9 hours a week, I'm going to wait have to wait until he turns his in to get my credit? Assuming he'll turn them in at all! Am I interpreting that right?

Sorry Greg, had to pick on you since you are so thrilled about running BOINC, which I don't blame you by the way.

Well, it's obvious I haven't done much reading up on BOINC. I guess I'm going to have to. I was hoping to just download the client and run it.

Thanks.

Katelin,
You pretty well hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the credit system as far as you took it, but there is more to it. On top of having to wait till all three people return a "VALID" result, once that is accomplished then the GRANTED CREDIT for the work done on that WU is based on a the PENDING CREDIT each machine asks for when it sends the WU back to Berkeley. For example you complete the WU in question and your client says you "should" get 40.22 credits, I complete the same WU with different equipment and my client says I should get 15.97 credits, then Greg comes along and does the work and his client says he should get 21.05 credits, all three of us will get 21.05 GRANTED CREDITS since they throw out the high and low request and award everyone the middle figure. Now if all three of us are on the ball this process might run it's course in a day or two, but if one of us for whatever reason does not return the WU completed, then Berkeley waits 2 weeks to see if it gets returned, if at the end of that 2 week period they don't get that 3rd return they recycle the WU and send it out to another person and we sit there waiting until that person gets it done and returned. I still have completed WUs setting in my PENDING CREDIT list that I completed on the first day the project went public.

I'm not saying it's a good or bad situation, just reporting the facts.
SkyHook

After rereading my post, maybe I need to clarify "VALID". Berkeley is also now checking each result against the other two results returned for that WU and if one is found to disagree with the other two by some small percentage it is deemed "INVALID" and not accepted. The WU is reissued to a different user and the process continues until they get 3 results which pass the validation test, before generating GRANTED CREDIT. If you return what is considered an INVALID result, you get ZIPPO!
 
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TC

Senior Seti Addict
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Location
Denver, CO
Yes Kate that's correct. Classic seti sort of did the same thing in that the same work unit was sent to multiple people for processing, but it takes a new twist with boinc. I'd go over it again, but it's already been covered in quite a bit of detail in a couple of other threads in here. SkyHook is probably best qualified to explain it again if he wants to jump in.
 

eaglescouter

Frustrating Senior SETI Nut!
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Location
CA- Not far from the Allen SETI array
What do you mean Classic Seti may not count any work done after May 14 :mad: ???

If that's the case then there should have been an announcement at that time, as well as a shut down of the classic servers, both sending and receiving. :mad:
 

SkyHook

Senior Village Idiot
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Location
York, Pennsylvania
eaglescouter said:
What do you mean Classic Seti may not count any work done after May 14 :mad: ???

If that's the case then there should have been an announcement at that time, as well as a shut down of the classic servers, both sending and receiving. :mad:

WHOA! What TC is saying is that there are conflicting reports as to exactly how Berkeley is going to handle the final accounting of SETI 1 standings when they discontinue sending out and receiving WUs for that project.

As far as why you would keep doing the work, the results are still being added to the huge amount of data that SETI 1 generated for scientific use. Your work after the May 14 snapshot still has the same importance that it did before to the project, there is just some question as to how it is eventually going to impact on your Stats. On that question, I will continue to maintain our Daily Stats and post them so long as I can get data from Berkeley, and in the end it looks like we will have some kind of Final Listing of each member's accomplishments for the Team during SETI 1.

SkyHook
 

TC

Senior Seti Addict
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Location
Denver, CO
eaglescouter said:
What do you mean Classic Seti may not count any work done after May 14 :mad: ???

If that's the case then there should have been an announcement at that time, as well as a shut down of the classic servers, both sending and receiving. :mad:
They did announce it, although rather discretely, when they publicly launched boinc. They said that a snapshot of classic seti member data was made on May 14th and that was used to carry your classic seti stats over to your new boinc account. They have never said for sure that another snapshot will or will not be done - only that they will continue to accept classic data for science purposes. Essentially it looks like they will continue accepting classic results for their database, but for stats purposes seti classic ended on May 14th. Remember that for Berkeley the stats and the science are two completely different priorities.

EDIT - here's the announcement they made. Note how they say that you can do what you like with seti classic, but changes won't carry over, and this presumably includes work unit credits after the 14th:

1. On 14 May 2004 we made a 'snapshot' of [email protected] Classic user information (accounts, teams, profiles) and used it to initialize the new [email protected] database.
2. On June 22 2004 we made [email protected]/BOINC available for general use. There will be a 'transition period' during which you can run either [email protected] Classic or [email protected]/BOINC. During this transition period, [email protected] Classic accounts and team changes can be made, but they will not be carried over.
3. Once [email protected]/BOINC is running smoothly and versions are available for most platforms, we will turn off the data server for [email protected] Classic. At this point you will need to switch to [email protected]/BOINC.
 
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OP
K

katelin

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
SkyHook said:
For example you complete the WU in question and your client says you "should" get 40.22 credits, I complete the same WU with different equipment and my client says I should get 15.97 credits, then Greg comes along and does the work and his client says he should get 21.05 credits, all three of us will get 21.05 GRANTED CREDITS
:bang head :mad:


SkyHook said:
Berkeley is also now checking each result against the other two results returned for that WU and if one is found to disagree with the other two by some small percentage it is deemed "INVALID" and not accepted. The WU is reissued to a different user and the process continues until they get 3 results which pass the validation test, before generating GRANTED CREDIT. If you return what is considered an INVALID result, you get ZIPPO!
:bang head :mad:

Thanks Skyhook. That was very informative. I'm not mad at you of course. I am a little confused and mad at the Berkeley folks. Sure BOINC is for science and all. I started the original [email protected] purely for its science. But overtime, the stats also means a lot to me. This new credit system is obviously flawed. :mad:
 

Greg M

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2002
Location
Highlands Ranch, CO
So, what did I screw up now?;)

For all of the time Berkeley had to think about BOINC, it sure doesn't sound like they really thought about it.

-Attempting to download software from Berkeley throws 404 errors
-Server stability...isn't
-WU crediting is wonky
-No HyperThreading support
-No 64-bit Windows support
 

SkyHook

Senior Village Idiot
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Location
York, Pennsylvania
Greg M said:
So, what did I screw up now?;)

For all of the time Berkeley had to think about BOINC, it sure doesn't sound like they really thought about it.

-Attempting to download software from Berkeley throws 404 errors
-Server stability...isn't
-WU crediting is wonky
-No HyperThreading support
-No 64-bit Windows support

LOL! Your name is just too easy for the "Village Idiot" to spell! One's like "me", "you", "Greg", and the like make my life easier when typing. Besides you know it's all your fault anyway!
:p

SkyHook
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
i dont think that is very fair or efficient sending a work unit out to 3 people.

i would think a WU could get completed faster by sending it to one person instead of me working on 33% of 1 work unit - and it wont get done until the slowest person gets it done so there fore berkeley does not get the completed WU to study until the slow person gets it done!

Sure this would be a fine system if we all ran 3ghz systems 24/7 as it would not be na issue but as some have said u got Greg M there with his P2 400!!

i say we start a Gre M foundation and donate for a new system :d
 

SunRedRX7

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Kenmore, NY
Each person is fully working on a work unit. Its not split up into 3 parts. The full WU is sent out 3 times to compare/verify the results for accuracy.
 

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
SunRed hit it exactly on the head. You (and the two others) are all crunching the exact same 100% complete WU. They distribute it like this so that they can be sure of the result's integrity. If for some reason your computer makes a miscalculation and screws up the result file, Berkeley's system will have two others to compare against to know what is to be considered correct data.

They also wait on (and deny for invalid results) granting credit for results as a way to prevent cheating or over-optimized binaries (since they now distribute the source code to [email protected]). If your computer dosen't agree with the two others that did the same WU, then they will not grant credit to you, since your bad result will not contribute to the science of the project.


Still, it'd be nice if Berkeley would provide a "Future Credit" stat or something, being a total of "Total Credit" and "Pending Credit" (which is credit not yet awarded, since it's currently tied up in verification).

JigPu
 
OP
K

katelin

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2002
JigPu said:
SunRed hit it exactly on the head. You (and the two others) are all crunching the exact same 100% complete WU.

That's kind of what I thought. I think TC also mentioned something to this extend also. Thanks for clarifying.

Ok so then I have 3 more questions:

1. Do they always send a WU to 3 different people? Or would they also send say the same WU to 5 or 2 different people and compare against the returned results?

2. What if the WU is sent to 3 people and I happen to complete mine in 1.9864 hours, person #2 finishes in 2 days, and slow poke person #3 takes 9 days to finish hers/his. I won't get credit until day 9? What if one of us don't turn it in at all? The other 2 won't get credit?

3. Let say all 3 turn in our WU, but only mine is accurate. Do I get the credit regardless of the other 2 people screwed theirs up?

Thanks.
 

TC

Senior Seti Addict
Joined
Jan 15, 2001
Location
Denver, CO
1) Yes as far as I know it's always 3 people.

2) It will be added to your pending credit count until the work unit is completed by the third person. I believe they wait 2 weeks for all the results to to come back, and if it doesn't they send it out again. Some of us still have results pending from the first day, so it looks as though it will never be fully credited unless all 3 results are returned.

3) Not sure what they do about that scenario. Lets say the other two people had corrupt results, but for some reason their bad results matched - they might assume that your result was in fact the bad one. Berkeley is not processing work units themselves, hence they have no idea what the actual result should be for each unit. That's why they're getting 3 people to process each one. Anyway I assume they would continue to send the unit out until they get 3 results that match. Again, until 3 results have been returned and validated nobody gets any credit. It would probably remain in your pending credit list in that situation.