AQUA grants insane amount of credits

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Rasputin42

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Message 25979 - Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 20:40:19 UTC

Why is boinc allowing AQUA@home to grant such an insane amount of credits?
They are destroying the whole credit system!
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Rasputin42

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Message 25981 - Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 21:15:07 UTC - in response to Message 25979.  

i believe they are commercial, but they are ruining the credit system for everybody!
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 25982 - Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 21:22:48 UTC

They were the recipients of a couple of anomalous results. Debate is fierce over whether they were computer errors, deliberate demonstrations of systemic weaknesses, or cheating. All three points of view have been expressed, sometimes more than one by the same person.

As a result, they changed their credit system from modified benchmark*time to fixed credit at extremely short notice, without thinking it through properly. At the same time, they had just launched new applications, which turned out to be massively better optimised than they expected - big CPUs (i7 running x64) are returning results in 4 hours that it takes a big CUDA card 5 days to complete (Personally, I suspect a bug). So CPU credit rates have gone massive, but CUDA are reasonable.

Personally, I suspect cock-up rather than conspiracy: a combination of inexperienced management (in BOINC system terms), external ?attack?, and unexpected application behaviour. I hope they can be offered support and guidance on recovery procedures, at least for the first part of next week: only bring out the big stick if they don't respond responsibly when the office opens tomorrow (they're another California project, so 'tomorrow' is still a lot of time-zones away).
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Rasputin42

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Message 25983 - Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 21:44:15 UTC - in response to Message 25982.  

Thanks for the info.
I hope you are correct.
I just think that boinc has some responsibility for the projects it hosts and should make sure, that all are treated fairly.
The damage to the credit system is quite extensive already and is very unfair to users that have been crunching numbers for years, just to see their hard work being invalidated by a "bug" that grants insane amounts of points for comparatively little work.
Is AQUA commercial?
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Aurora Borealis
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Message 25984 - Posted: 12 Jul 2009, 23:27:07 UTC

Boinc is open source so the developers have no control over what projects do. All they can do is wag their finger at them, refuse to provide support or to implement changes needed by a project.

It isn't the first time that projects have had problems with their credits. It is up to the Boinc volunteers to apply pressure on the project to be good Boinc citizen. Third party stat sites could refuse to list the project if they are too far out of line and don't bring their credits within reasonable limits of the established standards.
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Profile Jord
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Message 25986 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 0:39:49 UTC - in response to Message 25983.  

There's a simple rule of mine: If you don't like or trust the project itself, or don't like or trust the credits on a project, then do not crunch for that project.

There are worse things to worry about in the world than BOINC credits. At the end of the day, whether you just got granted 1,000 or 12,000,000 for the day, they still won't buy you a pint in the pub. They're still as worthless as all the grains of sand in the Sahara desert.
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Zydor

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Message 25987 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 2:37:10 UTC
Last modified: 13 Jul 2009, 2:40:10 UTC

Its a simple Project error - its an Alpha Project, it happens with most as they build up. Took MW a long time to resolve its credits issues, some are still there re credits, and thats fine, life moves on, action is being taken.

They are not the first to have credit issues at Alpha stage, and will not be the last. I have no doubt it will be discussed at Project level Monday. A complicating factor in applying a resolution will be the work in progress on the next GPU application.

Nonetheless they should have taken temporary "quick fix" action by the end of the week. If they have not done so by the end of next week ...... then they will rightly come in for some vitriol. Meanwhile they need space to resolve it - and continued "conspiracy" theories or knee jerk "cheating" accusations will not help.

I doubt they would take notice of such out of place remarks anyway - they'll be too busy sorting out a fix for the problem ......

Regards
Zy
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 25990 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 11:22:56 UTC - in response to Message 25986.  

There's a simple rule of mine: If you don't like or trust the project itself, or don't like or trust the credits on a project, then do not crunch for that project.

AQUA was actually doing quite well, and credits - while high for CUDA work - were not completely outrageous for an Alpha project.

This particular problem has blown up suddenly and quickly. The first sign of trouble was posted 8 Jul 2009 21:41:02 UTC: I don't think it invalidates any decision people might have made to crunch for the project before that time - and as I said, the 'trigger' event came from outside the project. The subsequent mistakes made by project management were during their 'rapid response' phase to those external triggers.

Reports suggest that many people have aborted work or simply gone elsewhere over the weekend. Perhaps that is a useful lesson that should be written into the BOINC (server) FAQs: no matter what it says on the front page, the BOINC server software is complex and needs fine-tuning of many configuration parameters, by a skilled and well-trained administrator, before it is safe to expose it to the public at large. BOINC may be cheap to install and run, but it's not that cheap.
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Profile Jord
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Message 25991 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 13:13:25 UTC - in response to Message 25990.  

The first sign of trouble was posted 8 Jul 2009 21:41:02 UTC: I don't think it invalidates any decision people might have made to crunch for the project before that time - and as I said, the 'trigger' event came from outside the project. The subsequent mistakes made by project management were during their 'rapid response' phase to those external triggers.

Hmmm... someone over there with a couple of computers that consistently request 3 to 12 times the amount of credit anyone else does?

But even then, what happened next? Did the project set up static credits and did they put a decimal comma wrong? Did they mean 267.79 credits, instead of the 26779.00 that everyone now gets? And do people expect them to change that in 2 to 3 hours from now? Or reset everyone's abnormal credits?

On that same note, did Milkyway ever reset any of the credit that was 'immorally' gotten by a few over there?
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 25992 - Posted: 13 Jul 2009, 13:51:21 UTC - in response to Message 25991.  

Hmmm... someone over there with a couple of computers that consistently request 3 to 12 times the amount of credit anyone else does?

No, two separate computers, operated by separate people (but teammates), each of which returned one single rogue result after previously (I believe) working normally.

One of the rogue results got awarded 11 million credits, the other 569,600,074.02 credits. That's on the Zimbabwe scale of hyper-inflation, and around double the usual daily credit of all BOINC users on all BOINC projects, combined! No wonder other users, and other teams, smelled a rat.
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Nicolas

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Message 26104 - Posted: 19 Jul 2009, 2:02:00 UTC - in response to Message 25979.  

Why is boinc allowing AQUA@home to grant such an insane amount of credits?

Who is "boinc" and how would it allow or disallow what projects can do?
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picantecomputing

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Message 26119 - Posted: 19 Jul 2009, 20:18:01 UTC - in response to Message 26104.  

Why is boinc allowing AQUA@home to grant such an insane amount of credits?

Who is "boinc" and how would it allow or disallow what projects can do?

There may be no "boinc" per se, but there are stats sites that crunchers rely on for rankings - and blacklisting of projects could occur there. So while there's no real centralized authority, there are places where ridiculously inflated stats could be hidden from common public view, which is where it really counts for credit whores.

If problems like this aren't taken care of immediately and fixed retroactively, then the credit system will be bunk. Period. Without a valid credit system, the incentive for crunchers to distribute their computing time across projects and compete with other crunchers on a (more or less) level playing field will be gone, and crunchers like myself will vote with our feet by disconnecting altogether. Some, of course, will happily accept millions of credits for doing essentially nothing, but the credibility of the system far outweighs the greedy desires of the few. Credits aren't everything, but they are important and do fill a competitive need that drives users to participate. Devaluing the credit system by allowing massively inflated credits will collapse the system, and participation by those who pay attention will plummet. So for everyone's good, this mess needs to be cleaned up.
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Message boards : Projects : AQUA grants insane amount of credits

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