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I started to work for distributed computing in 2003, when I payed attention in the SETI@home project. In the same year I recognized the community of...


Maintenance is over!
The project is restarted with new native BOINC apps and additional computational scenario.

Now the large WUs can be assigned only to the GPU and the small ones only to the CPU.

GPU apps do not require dedicated CPU core by default anymore. If you notice any performance issues caused by this, consider using custom app configuration. Place this file in the project's folder.

The apps of this project do not make checkpoints. If stopped, the task will be restarted from the beginning. The task execution time should not exceed 10 minutes for moderate PCs. However, some tasks may take longer to complete on low-end PCs. This is particularly true for low-end GPUs. If the execution time of tasks is unacceptably high for your GPU, consider disabling it in the "Preferences for this project" in your profile page.

The project is in beta-testing stage. Bugs are more than likely. However, all the results obtained during this stage will be included in the final database If no critical errors are found.

Thank you for participating!
18 Jun 2017, 18:09:05 UTC · Comment

Project restart in June
The maintenance is almost over. The new native BOINC apps are being tested in the local network now. We expect the project to be restarted at the end of next week. This will be preceded by server and storage upgrade. The work on the database is still in progress and will continue in parallel with the computations.

Also, the paper “XANSONS for COD: a new small BOINC project in crystallography” was accepted for presentation at the BOINC:FAST’2017 conference which is to be held in Petrozavodsk, Russia in August.
5 Jun 2017, 21:46:33 UTC · Comment

XaNSoNS is published in SoftwareX
The article about XaNSoNS, the software this project is based on, has been published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal SoftwareX. The article is open-access and can be found here.

The paper was submitted to the journal about a month before this project was launched, so I was able to add only a brief mention of the BOINC project during the revision process.
7 Feb 2017, 19:27:29 UTC · Comment

The number of project team members has doubled!
Nikolay Khrapov agreed to join the project in 2017 as a developer of the diffraction pattern database. He will also help with the system administration. Nikolay is known to the BOINC community primarily as the system administrator for the SAT@Home project. Now things will get easier!

Happy New Year!
31 Dec 2016, 14:49:01 UTC · Comment

Alpha-testing is over! The project is stopped for long-term maintenance.
The work generator is stopped. BOINC server will wait for all WUs that are in-progress. The site and the forum will continue to work during the maintenance. However, the registration of new users will be suspended. The TODO list can be found here.

The alpha-testing was successful! Here are some results and conclusions.

  • About 5.6% (~20,500 structures) of COD entries are processed. The collected data will be used to determine the optimal set of crystallite sizes and the optimal resolution of the simulated diffraction patterns for the final database.
  • A few critical bugs (see e.g., 1, 2 and 3) in the app are fixed thanks to volunteers who participated in debugging on this site and on http://boinc.ru. All apps are sufficiently stable now. A fraction of fails is about 1% (see, e.g., these statistics for November 27th).
  • The site functionality was improved thanks to the advices given by volunteers.
  • The optimal parameters of the virtual server are determined: 2 cores of Intel Xeon E5-2666, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD storage with read/wright throughput of 1500 IOPS, network load: 60 MB/s.
  • The processing power donated by volunteers to this project was much higher than expected. This allows to extend the initial range of crystallite sizes to larger sizes (up to 30 nm).
  • Although the MultiSize feature has slightly improved the scheduling, it is still far from optimal. It is clear now that CPU and GPU apps should receive WUs of different size due to large difference in performance. It is also clear that single-threaded CPU app is required to process small WUs. So, the distribution of WUs for different crystallite sizes between the apps should be like this:

    CPU, single-threaded: < 10 nm
    CPU, multi-threaded: 10 – 20 nm
    GPU: > 20 nm

I will post the progress of work from time to time. However, please do not expect much until the spring of 2017.

I am very grateful to all volunteers participating in the alpha-testing! I apologize for poor server performance, awful job scheduling, app crashes and bugs leading to a waste of computational resources. Thank you for your patience and understanding! 29 Nov 2016, 17:00:36 UTC · Comment

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