Internet-based Distributed Computing Projects
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Upcoming 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.

Version 1.1.0 of the Linux client is available as of November 5, 2002.

All project software for the servers, the clients, and the website, is open-source, free software and is available for download through the website.

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. 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.

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. The project needs graphic designers, web designers, and marketers now. It will need renderers later when the projects are ready to render.

On September 10, 2002, the site was redesigned. The public discussion forums are the first feature available, and more features will be added to the site soon.

  The Cure Multiple Sclerosis Web Site will search for molecules which bind with proteins that cause Multiple Sclerosis in the hopes of finding a drug to cure this disease.

Note: the project website appears to be unavailable occasionally. If you get a message saying the website does not exist or the link does not work, please wait an hour or two and try accessing the site again.

  The Worldwide Lexicon (WWL) project will use volunteer human translators to translate words and phrases between languages, with an emphasis on uncommon language pairs, and will use a Gnutella-like network of translation and dictionary computers around the world to store the translations and make them freely available to anyone. An HTTP interface to the translation network will provide software developers a communication protocol with which to incorporate WWL dictionary functionality into many different kinds of software applications and web services. The project was be officially announced at the O'Reilly & Associates emerging technologies conference in mid-May, 2002. The project's creator published an excellent overview article about it on May 10, 2002.

One of the first applications to be built from this project will be GNUTrans, a distributed translation service. The service will "crawl popular websites, news sources, etc., and divide texts into small blocks to be translated and revised by human volunteers" via Instant Messenger, using a lexicon@home client application. GNUTrans project hopes to begin a public Beta test in December, 2002.

DECRYPTHON Décrypthon, hosted by the French organization Téléthon 2002, will decrypt proteomes to fight against neuromuscular and other diseases. It should be similar to the Téléthon 2001 project which began in March, 2002.

The website is written in French, but an information page is available in English, and babelfish provides a reasonable translation of the text. More information in English may be found at AFM, Association Francaise contre les Myopathies.

NFSNET NFSNET will "use the Number Field Sieve to find the factors of increasingly large numbers." The project is in the early stages of development. You can track its progress through its status page or by subscribing to a mailing list to receive updates about the project. The project client is being Beta tested as of November 12, 2002. You can participate in the Beta test by following the instructions on the join page.

NFSNET's first project is 6257 - 1, one of the most wanted Cunningham numbers. Sieving for the project was completed on December 8, 2002, and the project is in the next stages of factorization. The next project is 5289 + 1, another most wanted Cunningham number. As of December 23, 2002, sieving is 62% complete.

On November 10, 2002, NFSNET completed the factorization of W(668), a 204-digit special number field sieve (SNFS).

Astropulse will analyze radio telescope signals to look for "short broadband signals that could be evidence of black hole evaporation, pulsars, or life." The project (and the BOINC platform on which it will run) is current in beta testing, with all of the users it needs. The test will be expanded to more users in the future. Version 0.07 of the software is available for Windows, Mac OS/X and Unix variants as of December 24, 2002.