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Semi-automated global computing

This page describes the details of semi-automated global computing for evolution@home. In order to participate you have to download tasks from a website and submit results by email. Despite all work on a full-automated system, the semi-automated mode will continue to operate for quite some time to come for various reasons.

If you want to contribute computing time via evolution@home's semi-automated computing system, then follow these easy steps:

  • Download worker software. Select a simulator and download it. Currently there is only Simulator005.
  • The first start and configuration. Put the downloaded executable in a special folder (for example "evolution@home" on your desktop) and decompress/decode it, if necessary. Start the executable by doubleclick and enter your preferences (only needed after the first start):
    • You will have to tell the simulator an upper limit for the RAM-size and computing time you are willing to commit to a single simulation (do not enter the computing time of a whole run-file). 
      Do not use virtual memory by trying  to compute simulations that need more RAM than actually available on your system. Virtual memory will slow down your sytem and can render it virtually useless!
    • You can personalize the results you will compute by entering a group and personal name, a web-link you want to promote and PINs that prevent other people to submit results (and links) under your name.
  • Download tasks. Now you are ready to download a run-file of a RAM and time complexity that is appropriate for you. Save it in the simulators folder under the filename "run" or "run.txt". Currently, you can get hot tasks for Simulator005 here. Make sure you choose tasks within the limits you chose above, as the simulator refuses to start tasks with the wrong computational complexity.
  • Start the simulator. If you want to optimize your computing performance, switch off screen savers and energy saving options. Furthermore put a link (alias) to the autostart (startup) folder of your operating system: this will automatically start the next simulation after booting.
  • Submit results.
    • Submission of results is suggested when the results file becomes large (e.g. 1MB) or >2 weeks have passed, but please feel free to choose your own submission intervals.
    • If you want to submit results, remove the results-file (you will recognize it by its name) from the simulators folder and email it as an attachment to the address specified for that simulator (see here for details about Simulator005).
    • Do not submit results twice and do not move the results-file back to the simulators folder as this would result in resubmission of these results.
  • Repeats are not duplicates. As results will be checked for duplicates, it is useless to submit the same results-file several times. However, different runs of the same simulate-commands are not duplicates, as these get different random seeds, if they have been started at different seconds (this is where the seed is computed from). Thus they lead to different results.
    • Repetitions are important to calculate elementary statistics like mean and variance for the parameters observed. Once a parameter combination has been repeated often enough, it is removed from the run-files on the website.
    • If you run evolution@home on a multi-processor machine, then make sure that both processors get different run-files to compute, else starting more than one simulator at the same time with the same run-file will lead to unnecessary replications.
  • The simulator stops automatically. Once all simulations in a run-file have been completed, the simulator quits automatically and renames the "run"-file to "completed-run"-file. When you see this, return to this site to get the next run-files. You may also compose your own run-files by combining various simulate-commands from the published run-files into a single run-file by copy and paste.
  • Flexibility and more information. While full-automated distribution of tasks and submission of results is not yet possible, this manual method gives you maximal flexibility in choosing the type of simulations you want to run. For more details consult the documentation included with the simulator.

If you want more details, please refer to the old Simulator005 documentation (see buttons on the right there) until all content has been transitioned to the new website.

Enjoy computing!

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