Proceedings of the 4th BOINC Workshop


Quick start: distributed computing in one hour or less (David Anderson). Slides, Video

Building and debugging BOINC applications (Rom Walton). Video

Customizing your BOINC server (Kevin Reed). Slides, Video 1 Video 2

Bossa: middleware for distributed thinking (Anderson). Slides Video

Bolt: teaching and training for citizen cyber-science (Anderson). Slides Video


Bill Bovermann, Kevin Reed: World Community Grid. Slides (general), Slides (technical), Video 1 (general), Video 2 (general), Video 3 (general), Video 3 (tech)

Marc Garbey : Volunteer computing for ecology: the Virtual Prairie BOINC project Slides Video

Bruce Allen: Future directions for Einstein@home Slides, Video

Alejandro Rivero: Ibercivis: status, configuration, and expectations Slides, Video

Jack Shultz: Modeling biological hydrogen production. Slides, Video

Francois Grey, Ana Gago Da Silva: The AfricaMap Project and CCC. Slides, Video 1, Video 2

Ben Segal: Status and future of LHC@home. Slides 1, Slides 2, Video

Matt Blumberg: GridRepublic status report. Slides 1. Slides 2

Andrew Gillette: The Invisible Hand and Hidden Markets of the BOINC Community Platform. Slides, Video

Peter Kacsuk: EDGeS: integrating BOINC-based DGs with EGEE. Slides Video

Gabor Gombas: Security issues in hierarchically connected BOINC systems Slides, Video

Jozsef Kovacs: BOINC extensions in the SZTAKI Desktop Grid system. Slides Video

Derrick Kondo: Ensuring Collective Availability in Volatile Resource Pools via Forecasting Video

Fernandez de Vega: Extending BOINC by means of virtualization. Video

Daniel Lombraña González: An organizational grid management system for BOINC Slides, Video

Jaspal Subhlok: Inter-task communication on volatile nodes. Slides, Video

Carlos Varela: Enabling synchronous computations on volunteer computing environments. Slides, Video

Oded Ben-Dov: BOINC goes Mobile Site Video

Carl Christensen: The Quake Catcher Network. Slides Video

Matt Blumberg: Distributed Thinking. Slides

David Anderson: BOINC: the year in review. Slides, Video 1, Video 2, Video 3

BOF notes

Video 1, Video 2

Social Networks etc.

Distinguish between:

  • improving communication for people already in BOINC projects
  • improving communication to attract more people to BOINC

Consider different options

  • Technical solutions to make it easier to interface to social networking RSS feeds etc.
  • Getting scientists to communicate more and getting that information out (esp. to Grid Republic)
  • Getting volunteers/ students to help make advertising, information about projects
  • Getting professional PR help and/or collaborating on a higher plane with WCG

WCG will have their marketing colleagues study the potential for digital influence and win back using social networking and related media – will report on this next year

Some debate about whether to make BOINC itself the social platform (FaceBOINC). Divided views on this, and it seems that this is what GridRepublic? is trying to do anyway.

John of Ireland felt that some of the improvements to support team communication had not really paid off as expected. Noted that only about 3% of users use forums. Can social networking really help to make volunteers stickier?

Some ideas include:

  • Get professionals to comment on websites and videos used to promote BOINC projects.
  • Get scientists to engage more in forums, and also have regular Q&A sessions.
    • Make it easier for scientists to edit information
    • Make system for RSS feeds focused on the science
    • NB WCG redesigning their website to focus on scientific results
  • Hire a full-time communications officer for BOINC projects?
  • Make competitions amongst volunteers to make the best website
  • Give users credit for bringing in more users
  • Icons/badges seem to be very effective (WCG experience)
  • Develop tools so BOINC projects can be used easily by educators (high school).

Volunteer thinking and education

There was discussion about BOLT being used for education, for example, modules for high-school teachers that use BOINC project science. David emphasized that BOLT is not designed for this. “ BOLT is just a framework for showing web stuff and seeing how useful it is for education.” But there was agreement that it could be useful to have a mechanism to generate useful educational material - funding sources like this!

Discussion of what to call volunteer thinking:

  • Distributed thinking
  • Thinking cloud
  • BrainBOINC

What are the possibilities of volunteer thinking – and BOSSA?

People would like to know what it costs to integrate BOLT with BOINC projects.

  • How much manpower is required?

David was concerned that Bossa needed more real world apps to develop

BOSSA for UNOSAT –huge opportunities

Language recognition

Comparing languages

Saving old languages

Translating lectures

Another idea could be to approach existing VC projects like Herbaria@home

Or develop mobile phone version for killer app

…to be continued!

Virtual machines for BOINC apps

Mostly we talked about two approaches:

  • A "inner" BOINC client (or some other queueing system client) runs in the VM. The outer BOINC client views it as a single (potentially infinite) job, and doesn't know anything about files etc. This approach will be important at CERN, where they need to run the PANDA queueing system to get people to use it.
  • The (outer) BOINC client knows about jobs, input/output files etc. Only the app runs in the VM.

Each approach has some requirements and issues. In the 1st approach we need to pass account ID, user prefs, etc. into the VM. In the 2nd approach we need be able to move files to and from the VM (according to Reinhard, Virtual Box provides this capability). It wasn't clear how to do screensaver graphics in either approach.

VMWare provides a rich API (web service) with features like suspend, resume, and checkpoint.

We agreed that app versions should have info (plan_class?) saying which VM player is needed, and that the BOINC client should detect VM players.

Wish list

Comments and requests during the workshop wrap-up:

  • Should standardize XML
  • Use Doxygen
  • Implement validator and assimilator as classes with virtual functions.
  • Categorize project news items as "server status", "news", "emergency"
  • To prepare for P2P data features, add boolean prefs for
    • allow incoming network connections
    • allow outgoing connections to non-server locations
  • Investigate running BOINC on OpenMoko
Last modified 12 years ago Last modified on Sep 8, 2011, 8:32:54 AM

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