Suggestion - allow for updating the deadlines

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Peter Hucker
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Message 79832 - Posted: 29 Jul 2017, 11:38:22 UTC

A couple of projects, eg. RNA World and Primegrid, will extend deadlines if you're working on a task but won't complete it in time. I can see the deadline change on their server, but they say there is no way to send this new deadline to my BOINC client.
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SekeRob2
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Message 79833 - Posted: 29 Jul 2017, 16:06:07 UTC - in response to Message 79832.  

Change the deadline on the server side is to prevent an additional copy going out, whilst in the know your client is working on the task in high priority. WCG does the same thing, which is of particular interest to the project that trickles intermediate results... they extend the deadline, whenever there is a planned/unplanned longer outage. At the same time, their scheduler sets a message ready for unstarted tasks to be aborted. When that message goes across to the client, the client ignores it when the task is already running. Now the question, what seems like a not very useful communication... changing the deadline on the client side. Not sure how the client responds... rotates away to another task under deadline duress?
Coelum Non Animum Mutant, Qui Trans Mare Currunt
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Peter Hucker
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Message 79834 - Posted: 29 Jul 2017, 16:13:29 UTC - in response to Message 79833.  

It seems clear to me. At the moment I've got a task showing it has 94 days to complete, and only a fortnight to do it in. Firstly it makes me think it's gone over the limit, secondly, why didn't the correct deadline get issued in the first place, and thirdly, BOINC is running that one non stop instead of cycling through other projects, because it's under the false impression it's exceedingly urgent. The simple answer is for the server to send my client a new deadline.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 79835 - Posted: 29 Jul 2017, 16:45:48 UTC

I've just replied to a query from a project administrator, who is seeing a spate of ERROR_UNSTARTED_LATE tasks. A previous volunteer running the same project had reported a spate of EXIT_TIME_LIMIT_EXCEEDED errors.

Both of these are client-generated errors, but I suspect arise from a common cause: poor runtime estimation by the project server. In the specific case of this particular project, I suspect (but haven't had confirmation yet) that a run of very quick-finishing tasks has driven the APR values stored in the host_app_version table to impossible heights: I've seen evidence of a CPU supposedly running at over 200 GFlops.

I've given the usual advice:

Ensure rsc_fpops_est is accurate
Set rsc_fpops_bound to a high multiplier
Mark infeasible runtimes as outliers

- all of which we've known about for years (runtime outliers were documented in 2014, although I remember the original discussion as being earlier than that).

As things stand at the moment, it's very hard for a volunteer to recover from EXIT_TIME_LIMIT_EXCEEDED and ERROR_UNSTARTED_LATE errors - it can be easiest to force-generate a new HOSTID (itself not easy), and thus start with a fresh HAV row.

The ERROR_UNSTARTED_LATE (client) errors could be addressed by the OP's suggestion, and it should be an issue on GitHub. I couldn't find an existing one this morning - I'll search again, more carefully, and start one if needed and nobody beats me to it.
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Message boards : BOINC client : Suggestion - allow for updating the deadlines

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