Internet-based Distributed Computing Projects
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Upcoming Distributed Computing Projects

the Internet Movie Project The Internet Movie Project will create computer-generated movies. Anyone who can run the free POV-Ray ray-tracing program can join this project.

The project released its first general-release distributed rendering client along with a live job, on November 12, 2001.

Casino 21 The project will use a large-scale Monte Carlo simulation to predict Earth's climate 50 years from now. This will be a heavy-duty distributed project in which each client will take over a year to run! Check the What's New page to see the latest news about the project.

June 15, 2001: An experiments page was added which lists the first four planned experiments. The first experiment, number 0, is a pilot test of this project's distributed computing system. It will ensure the project's simulation model will work correctly for the future experiments.

centrata Centrata is a startup company that will create for-pay distributed computing projects.
XtremWeb XtremWeb is creating a distributed computing infrastructure to process many different kinds of projects. It plans to demonstrate the infrastructure with the Auger project, which will simulate "air showers," phenomena caused by cosmic rays entering Earth's atmosphere.

A Linux client is available as of November 22, 2000 (look for the Download Now button on the main index page). A Windows client is available as of March 7, 2001. Note that the client is only a prototype client, still in testing stages, and does not have some major features like checkpointing (occasional saving of a work unit in progress) and automatic upgrade of the client. A more fully-featured client should be available later this year. The XtremWeb coordinators would like your help in testing the client's installion procedure so that they can improve it in future versions.

All project software: the servers, clients, and the website, will be released as open-source, free software in late March or early April, 2001.

The XtremWeb project will also make available server and LAN administration software so that anyone can create a private or public XtremWeb-based project. The first project based on XtremWeb is a performance tool which measures performance parameters of a global computing environment. This performance data is needed before projects like Auger can be run. Auger will be the second project.

The XtremWeb project coordinators stress that the XtremWeb site is intended to support other people who wish to use the XtremWeb software for their own distributed computing projects: it is not intended to host XtremWeb-based applications itself.

op3nCOLA op3nCOLA is creating the first collaborative distributed computing infrastructure to spider/index web pages on the Internet. Each client can also be a server (like Napster), and can coordinate with other clients to spider certain areas of the Web or to share certain search techniques.

op3nCOLA is also creating the first open-source cola (as in soft drink).

The op3nCOLA developer's client, alpha version 0.1, is available as of October 25. Here are some white papers about it:
Encapsulating Effort and Distributing Labor: Why openCOLA
Solving the Slushpile With openCOLA will be the first project to create distributed supercomputing applications. Current applications solve problems that are very easy to parallelize and which have small amounts of data to transfer between the server and the client. will solve large problems that don't easily split into smaller problems. It will require participants to have fast Internet connections (like ADSL or cable), and to have 1 gigabyte or more of free disk space.
  The GriPhyN Project will implement the first petabyte-scale computational environment for data- intensive science in the 21st century. The environment is called a Petascale Virtual Data Grid (PVDG). This project may or may not be open to public participation.
  NANO@Home is currently in the concept stage, but will hopefully be implemented in the next few years. The proposal outlines a project which would use distributed computing to solve problems in the field of nanotechnology, specifically to derive nanoscale equivalents of real-world parts like bolts, screws, vavles, wheels, hinges, etc., contributing to a Nano-widget Library of devices from which more complex nanoscale machines could be designed.

If you are interested in contributing to the design and implementation of this project, please review the proposal and contact Robert Bradbury.

  The PhotonStar Project will be a distributed human project to support Optical SETI. Individuals with a PC, an Internet connection, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a telescope will be able to attach a laser detector to their telescope and use their PC to join their telescope with thousands of others to create a giant telescope. This giant telescope will be used to detect laser pulses from a specific star system at a specific time.

See a paper about the project.

GnutellaPower will use a plug-in to the Gnutella2 peer-to-peer file sharing software to enable "Community Computation," allowing users to donate their CPU cycles to solve global problems like cancer and AIDS.

Compute Power Market  
Compute Power Market will create a computation power market based on grid computing technologies to allow customers to access computation power in the same way they access electrical power, at market-based prices. The project "seeks to address complexities involved in developing a technology infrastructure that lets the users and resource providers to operate under computational economy over the Internet." It is based on the Economy Grid Project.

More information and links about grid computing can be found at the Grid Computing Info Centre (GRID Infoware).

  A paper titled "Distributed Molecular Modeling over Very-Low-Bandwidth Computer Networks" proposes a molecular modeling or nanotechnology project designed that will work well over geographically-diverse computers and/or computers with low communication bandwidth.
grobots Grobots will be "a massively distributed supercomputing platform for the ongoing modelling and simulation of evolvable nanotechnology." It will provide a Java-based "virtual environment for self-replicating machines running evolving software to be tested, evaluated and even farmed." The project is in early development: the architecture design should be completed by late 2001 or early 2002. In the meantime you can register on the main page to show your interest in the project and to volunteer your Java coding skills and writing/artistic skills if you would like to contribute to the project.
The Internet Movie Project
Another site called The Internet Movie Project was created in early 2001. It will use Internet-based collaboration to create computer animations and movies. It currently has three projects in the early design stages: "Wrackoff," "Make or Break," and "The Inspector". You have to register to view the discussion forums about these projects. The project needs graphic designers, web designers, and marketers now. It will need renderers later when the projects are ready to render.
DECRYPTHON, hosted by the French organization TÚlÚthon 2001, will be a proteome decryption project to fight against neuromuscular and other diseases. It will compare and classify about 500,000 proteins. The website is written in French, but babelfish provides a reasonable translation of the text. More information in English may be found at AFM, Association Francaise contre les Myopathies. The project will begin in February, 2002. The project software will initially only be available for the Windows platform.