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Volunteer computing at the Second Citizen Cyberscience Summit

The Second Citizen Cyberscience Summit in London presented a volunteer computing session with six speakers. Benjamin Knispel told that Einstein@Home at http://einstein.phys.uwm.edu has now 300k volunteers for pulsar research. There has been no direct detection yet. Michael Weber from Rechenkraft presented the RNA World Advanced User Participation Kit, a new style of science for cell and protein research. Ben Segal from CERN at http://cern.ch/LHCathome/Physics introduced Volunteer Cloud computing in a real physics project. ATLAS at CERN has simulated the Higgs event. The experiments would like BOINC volunteer resources to be transparently integrated into existing Cloud. With CernVM it is possible to solve the problems of application deployment on all volunteers' machines. CERN has built a volunteer Cloud. It is now in production for CERN's Theory Group running the Monte Carlo QCD event generation. About 4500 active volunteers are working on it and getting credit with about 6000 active PCs. There are up to 1000 simultaneously active VMs at any time and CERN has about 15.000 successful Monte Carlo jobs.  In the future CERN will accept up to 10.000 active volunteers, about 15.000 PCs, and up to 10.000 simultaneous VMs. An interactive game will let volunteers "tune" the theory models and fit them to real measured data. Peter Hanappe from Sony Computer Science Laboratory Paris promoted low-energy volunteer computing in the Sony Project Humanity. The estimated power of participants in volunteer computing is 800.000 and the estimated number of PCs in 2014 will be 2.000.000.000. The energy consumption of volunteer computing can be reduced by 40% if the computation takes place while the owner is using the machine, and when the scientific application uses Dynamic Voltage Scaling to keep the CPU in a low-performance state. The estimated number of mobile cellular subscriptions in 2011 was 6.000.000.000, so why not put BOINC on Android? Marc McAndrew has launched the BOINC-based Charity Engine at http://www.charityengine.com.  The concept of reward is important: half of the amount goes to charity and half goes to a volunteer. Matt Blumberg introduced Gridrepublic, a platform for services with Facebook application. It is not technical and more focused on philanthropy.

 

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