Option to turn on/off LTD.

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Profile adrianxw

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Message 2966 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 12:36:33 UTC

Since upgrading my core client from 4.25 to 5.x I have had to fight the scheduler to get it to do what I want.

The within day scheduling/STD I have no problems with, and if I did, it is easy to adjust. The LTD is a real pain.

I am fed up of deciding I want an Einstein wu, (for example), pressing "Allow new work" and then nothing happening because it has a negative LTD. So I have to suspend everything else, to force a download, which makes the LTD situation worse, or I have to edit the .xml files. Both are an irritation.

It must be a very simple modification I'm asking for here, a simple switch that sets a flag that can be tested when the core does it's LTD calculation, if the flag is enabled, calculate LTD, if disabled, insert zero.

Usually when I make a request like this, I get a whole host of people come on and say "the LTD is working to ensure the projects are allocated the way YOU asked" - well, before you decide to post a reply like that, let me say, don't bother, I've read it all before. I know I can adjust the way the projects are allocated time by adjusting the quotas at the individual projects, but that is a bigger pain then using the methods I mentioned above.

I do not feel this is too much to ask - I had no choice to upgrading my core, and I've suffered this annoyance being rammed down my throat for my pains.

Off topic, din't there used to be a "wish list" sort of thing here somewhere?
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.
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Profile Jord
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Message 2968 - Posted: 5 Feb 2006, 22:23:03 UTC

You could of course just let Boinc do its thing and stop trying to force your way of doing things. I don't know how many projects you are attached to and frankly I don't care. But here's a thought for you: If you stop sitting on top of Boinc and just let it run for what it is worth for the next 2 weeks, you will NOT see that some projects won't download new work. Unless they are out of work.

I'll give you my setup: 8 projects attached, 6 of them with work at this moment, all 6 have one or more work units available in my Work list. Why? Because I didn't fight the scheduler.

But seeing how you really don't want that answer, you can use BoincDV (Boinc Debt Viewer) to reset all LTDs. Google it yourself.

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Michael Roycraft

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Message 2969 - Posted: 6 Feb 2006, 4:21:39 UTC


First off, there is not such switch, and no need for one.

BoincDV will zero the debts, but note that you have to exit Boinc completely before a debt reset can be done, otherwise the file it need to change is in use. At that point, open BoincDV, click on the "Clear debts" button, close BoincDV, and restart Boinc. You will need to do this sequence periodically, say every few days.

Those 4 steps are only a little less than adjusting shares, the proper solution and the task which you find so daunting, and much less trouble than the constant micro-managing which you have been doing and with which you seem to feel comfortable. Please don't take offense - I'm not here to put you down. I don't understand you, but I also don't feel that it's too necessary that I do. Whatever works for you is fine with me.

Good Luck,

"The arc of history is long, but it bends toward Justice"
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Message 2972 - Posted: 6 Feb 2006, 15:13:22 UTC

adrianxw: Join the club !! I complained as well and offered my 2 cents. They have no intenion of making the scheduler less complictated. If anything it will probably get more complicated.

Here's what I did to work around the problem: I have 7 computers and I only run ONE project at time on each computer. I'm signed up with 9 projects though, so every Monday morning I pick a computer and "Resume" work on one of the 2 idle projects and "Suspend" the active one. If a project is down (like LHC is right now) I just take it out of the rotation. I accomplish what I want without micro-managing.

--- bt
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Profile adrianxw

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Message 3002 - Posted: 9 Feb 2006, 15:11:00 UTC


I know how to zero my LTD, I have a simple Perl script I wrote which does it's job admirably. All I do is stop BOINC, run the script and start it again. I do not need further tools.


I am in no way offended, you were perfectly polite, why should I take offence? The LTD issue I addressed above, I do not really need BoincDV, (which I think I do have lying around somewhere thinking about it). I just wish what must be a very simple modification could be made, and if I don't make my request, the BOINC team assume everyone is happy with what they've got - which is not the case.


I have tried that approach, but it causes spiky result returns, and in addition, I needed to keep an eye on the expiry dates of wu's. Suspending for a period of days could cause me to run into time constraints, and I have no wish to return work late. Also, of course, if a project runs dry mid week, it is necessary to manually schedule again, (LHC is famous for doing so, 100,000 wu's one day, dry a couple of days later).

My current approach is similar however. Taking this machine as an example, (none of my machines are set up the same, since they all have very different capabilities).

It is a 3.2GHz HT P-IV. It runs 4 main projects CPDN 30% Predictor 20% Rosetta 20% and SIMAP 15% - that leaves 15%. What I like to do is run Seti, uFluids, Einstein and LHC in that 15%.

I have tried various ways of doing this, but the problem I find is if I set them to allow new work and have a CPU quota of 2-3 %, they don't download wu's often, and when they do, because Einstein and particularly uFluids can take a long time, the scheduler goes into EDF. I can prove it is the long wu that causes this because if I suspend the project with the long wu, it goed to RR, enable it again and straight back into EDF.

EDF there is a nuisance, because it is not the project with the large wu's that typically have shorter deadlines, instead, it runs Predictor, Rosetta and SIMAP out, and then crunches uFluids or Einstein to completion at one sitting, (HT'ing with the CPDN unit).

That makes my wu returns "spiky" i.e. some days I return a regular number of Predictor units, other days a whole load, and other days none. My team mates do not like that, they prefer a steady work rate, as do I.

What I do is have the four projects each set to 15% quota, but only on eof them "allowed new work". I rotate which project is allowed to download, and with 15% it doesn't go into EDF every time, if it does, then I have to micro manage it by manually scheduling the offending wu for an odd hour or so every now and again.

This way, I get to return my regular projects at a steady rate, and can still slip a few wu's for other interesting projects through as and when.

At the end of the day, there are people that like the way the scheduler works and from long experience, I know it is pointless trying to convince them otherwise, they know they are "right" and that I am "wrong" - end of story. I have my own view of course, and not suprisingly, it is somewhat different. I also know I am not alone in this.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.
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Message 3423 - Posted: 10 Mar 2006, 1:19:51 UTC - in response to Message 3002.  

I have my own view of course, and not suprisingly, it is somewhat different. I also know I am not alone in this.

Indeed you are not alone.

What is my story? Well, generally I like to keep a short queue because frankly I enjoy having a fast turn-around time on my WUs. My problem however is my laptop, which I occasionally take with me on places where for several hours (sometimes days)I don't have a network connection. In order to stock up with enough WU to last me that time, I too am forced to "cheat" the system by suspending the work I currently have available ... which also has the effect of messing with my LTD since I have to guess how much to allocate to each project.

Anyhow, this is my particular story of why I sometimes would like to micromanage how Boinc behaves. I am sure many others also have many other reasons, and some may just generally enjoy micromanaging their projects. I know there are times when I am simply in the mood to see project X being crunched instead of project Y.

My suggestion therefore is that instead of trying to make the participants fit the mold dictated by the debt calculations, give them the option to do what they want if the fancy strikes them. As a practical matter it would cut down on the number of help questions related to people seeing that no new work was downloaded because of huge LTD (which by the way is not even visible without heroic efforts). Another benefit would be that by having options, participants would finally gain control over what their computer is doing, instead of Boinc trying to control everything. People are not as logical and systematic as the debt calculations, and I know I personally hate it when some program thinks it knows MY wishes better than I do. The whole purpose of the debt process is so that the participant's wishes can be followed (in a manner that is practical for deadlines, etc), so why not give the participant the option to manually override the process temporarily?

Please, don't get me wrong with my mini tirade here. I think the debt process is a great feature in general. When I am not staring at my statistics or percentage of work done and instead am enjoying the other aspects of my life, I am grateful the debt system is there following my guidelines. But I am human, and not machine. I want to follow my whims and temporarily change things at times.

For those set against micromanaging, realize that the "suspend" feature that is already present is one micromanaging option, and is EXTREMELY useful for cases like I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately it is the only way to micormanage, and so the participants who don't want to follow the rigid debt calculations are left with frustration, questions/comments on the help boards, or they are forced to become "creative" and find ways to circumvent the "feature" they don't like.

Also realize that those who prefer the rigid debt procedure don't have to use the options. Furthermore, if you are really think you know better than the participant, there is always the possibility of including "nag" messgages when the options are utilized. Perhaps a pop-up window saying something like "If you find yourself frequently requesting more work, you may want to increase your cache." or "By turning off the debt calculation, your project preferences will not be followed" or even "By switching projects now, your current work will not complete before the deadline. Are you sure you want to switch?". For the occasional adjustment, people won't mind, and if it becomes more than occasional, they can adjust their settings if you tell them which ones.

In short, give us more options for micromanagement, and if we exercise them, don't penalize us. If I were to click "work on project X now", I mean that Boinc should work on project X now, and (temporarily) forget about the guidelines I set in the resource share. I an certain that a lot of participants would appreciate regaining control over what their computer is crunching.

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Message boards : BOINC Manager : Option to turn on/off LTD.

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