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October 11, 2017
BOINC: Volunteer Computing for Science Gateways
Presented by David Anderson, Research Scientist, Space Sciences Laboratory, at the University of California, Berkeley and Steven Clark, Purdue and nanoHUB
BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) is a distributed computing infrastructure based on a centralized server that coordinates volunteer computer resources. The volunteered resources can come from a variety of types of systems including home computers, institutional servers, and smartphones. BOINC has been used as the underlying foundation for a number of distributed computing projects.
Now, a collaboration between UC Berkeley and Purdue is adding volunteer computing to the nanoHUB nanoscience gateway. Owners of personal computers — Windows, Mac, Linux — will be able to support nanoHUB by transparently running compute-intensive nanoHub applications in the background on these computers. The goal is to greatly increase the computing throughput available to nanoHUB (perhaps tens of thousands of CPUs) at a lower cost than that of commercial clouds and dedicated hardware. This will support new paradigms, such as uncertainty quantification and anticipated computing, that can add significant scientific utility to nanoHUB.
We will describe the technical aspects of this work — moving jobs between batch systems, and using virtualization to run Linux jobs on consumer devices — as well as our plans for recruiting volunteers.
Our work will become part of the HUBzero software, allowing any Hub to add its own volunteer computing capability. More generally, the technology we're developing will simplify the task of adding volunteer computing to any science gateway.
BOINC Slides (David Anderson's part)
nanoHUB Slides (Steven Clark's part)