Internet-based Distributed Computing Projects
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Active Distributed Computing Projects - Science

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Project Information Project % Complete Major Supported Platforms
Search for extra-terrestrial radio signals at SETI@home. Version 3.08 of the client is available for most platforms as of April 4, 2003. The latest newsletter, #20 ("Telescope Pointing Corrections"), was published August 28, 2003. A Glossary of Concepts is available to explain the project's unique terminology. The project is also mapping the distribution of hydrogen in our galaxy. See the project's most promising signal candidates. See pictures of the Arecibo telescope from the SETI@Home team's March, 2003 visit.

Alert! On April 4, 2003, a security hole was found in the SETI@home client and reported to the SETI@home team. Version 3.08 of the client, which fixes the security hole, is available for most platforms. On November 14, 2003, the project reported that one or more viruses/worms may be circulating on the Internet and installing SETI@home on infected computers. It has a page with more information.

SETI@Home is the largest public distributed computing project in terms of computing power: on September 26, 2001 it reached the ZettaFLOP (1021 floating point operations) mark--a new world record--performing calculations at an average of 71 TeraFLOPs/second. For comparison, the fastest individual computer in the world is IBM's ASCI White, which runs at 12.3 TeraFLOPs/second. On June 1, 2002, the project completed over 1 million CPU years of computation. On August 19, 2003, the project processed its 1 billionth work unit.

As of June 14, 2002, the project has found 3.2 billion spikes and 266 million Gaussians. See the best candidate signals found so far.

Check the status of the SETI@home data server and tapes.

View derived statistics for SETI@home.

Get answers to all of your SETI@home questions in the SETI@home FAQ.

View the SETI@home discussion boards.

See the project's future plans. The timeline was last updated December 2, 2002. The transition plan for moving the project the BOINC platform was posted on October 6, 2003.

Read a short research paper, written in 1998, about the origins of SETI and SETI@home.

See a Powerpoint slide presentation about Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), the open-source software architecture which will be used for SETI@home II. These slides were used for a presentation at the 2002 O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.

See my SETI@home stats.
See my team's SETI@home stats.

1,148,592,834 total work units processed
Windows 32
Help the Analytical Spectroscopy Research Group (ASRG) in their SETI project. Their system has the same basic goal as SETI@Home, but it uses a more manual process: you download work units from a web page, process them with one of three tools, and email results back to the project coordinator. More information can be found on the volunteer page. ongoing dialup-friendly

Windows 32

evolution@home evolution@home is a grand-challenge computation research program to study evolution. The first simulator for the project "helps uncover potential genetic causes of extinction for endangered and not-yet-endangered species by investigating Mullers Ratchet. Your help to improve understanding of such genomic decay might one day be used to fight it." As of October 24, 2002, more than 16.3 years of CPU time have been contributed to the project.

On October 24, 2002, Laurence Loewe published the first scientific paper, "evolution@home: Experiences with work units that span more than 7 orders of magnitude in computational complexity," based on the results of the project. This paper was presented at CCGrid 2002 in May, 2002.

To participate, download the client, then select a run-file based on the amount of RAM you can dedicate to the application and the amount of time you want the application to run, then run the application and email the results file. See more information about the client in an overview. Release 6, for Windows and Macintosh, is available as of October 7, 2002. Please upgrade to this version if you are using an older version. Scheduling session 7 of the run-files is available as of March 27, 2003.

evolution@home GUI, a third-party tool, provides a graphical interface for the semi-automated version of the evolution@home client.

See high scores for the project.

Join an unofficial discussion forum about the project.

An old version of the site is available in German.

172,161.0 billion individuals observed in 21.4 years of CPU time since mid-March, 2003

Windows 32

eOn Help research techniques for "calculating the long time dynamics of systems" in the eOn project. From the website: "A common problem in theoretical chemistry, condensed matter physics and materials science is the calculation of the time evolution of an atomic scale system where, for example, chemical reactions and/or diffusion occur." Interesting events occur so rarely that they can only be observed in direct simulations by using a distributed computing environment. See a brief scientific overview for a more detailed description of this problem. The project works in a similar way to Folding@Home in that results from one set of work units are used to generate the next set of work units. Unlike Folding@Home, it is not critical if some users don't return the results of their work units within a time limit or at all. The current project studies ice growth.

The application is built on the Fida and Mithral distributed computing platforms. The Windows client can run as a screensaver (which doesn't show any information about what it's doing), or as a command-line client (run the client.exe executable in the installed directory). Note that although you have the option to install the client in any directory, the screensaver expects it to be installed in C:\Program Files\UW Chemistry\ Eon (this bug will be fixed soon). The Linux client is command-line only. The application supports users behind proxy servers. Edit the client.cfg file: change active to yes, and add your proxy server hostname and port number. Note: on Windows, only use notepad to edit client.cfg. wordpad and the DOS edit command strip off important end-of-line characters in the file and client.exe will reset it to its default values. In dtpad you will see an empty rectangle character after each field: this is the end-of-line character and it must not be removed.

Join an unofficial discussion forum, presented by Terrene Bell, about the project.

ongoing: 6,203,734 total results
116 years, 217 days total time
Windows 32
Climate Prediction logo Help predict Earth's climate 50 years from now. The project uses a large-scale Monte Carlo simulation to predict what the climate will do in the future.

The first climate models for a full 45-year beta-test simulation were successfully completed on March 6, 2003. The project received its 5,000th result on November 7, 2003. See some normal and abnormal results. In the 3 months since the project launch, it achieved: 9,796 completed full runs, 882,272 modelled years, 43,548 registered users, and the web site was translated into 14 languages.

The project client has some large requirements. In particular, one work unit will take up to 6 weeks to complete on a 1.4 GHz CPU. Please study the requirements on the download page before downloading the client, and please do not download the client if you are not willing to commit to completing a work unit. The client runs as a graphical application (GUI) or as a service. The client supports users behind firewalls and proxy servers (see this page for details). Version 2.2.25 of the client is available for Windows as of October 25, 2003: it fixes some crashes, checksum errors, registration issues and other minor issues from the previous version. A version for Linux should be available within a few months. A Mac OS/X version will be developed after the Linux version is available.

Join a discussion forum for this project.

ongoing dialup-friendly

Windows 32

Muon logo Help design a more efficient particle accelerator in Stephen Brooks' Distributed Particle Accelerator Design project. The project "simulates the pion-to-muon decay channel (grey cylinders surrounding a straight blue path) of the RAL Neutrino Factory front end design. This is different to the previous versions of the solenoid-channel-only optimisation because it varies all parameters of the solenoids independently of one another. The bending chicane featured in versions 4.0-4.2x will be replaced by a linear accelerator and a muon 'cooling ring' in version 5."

See technical reports and papers from this project.

The client does not need to contact a project server to get work. It submits results via ftp whenever it accumulates more than 100 Kbytes of results. The software also includes a separate ftp client which you can use to submit results manually. The Windows version of the client can be run as a screen-saver or from the command-line. Version 4.33 of the client is available for Windows as of December 10, 2003. This version can be run under Linux using Wine.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

ongoing dialup-friendly

Windows 32

Lifemapper logo Help "assemble a powerful, predictive electronic atlas of Earth's biological diversity" in Lifemapper. In this project, sponsored by the Informatics Biodiversity Research Center at The University of Kansas, Participants "compute, map and provide knowledge of" where Earth's species of plants and animals live currently, where they could potentially live, and where and how they could spread across different regions of the world. See a paper about this project.

Results of the project will be used "for biodiversity research, education and conservation worldwide, especially to forecast environmental events and inform public policy with leading-edge science."

Anyone can access data and results from the project via the following services:

  • Lifemapper Web Mapping Service - "a web service that allows clients to utilize the Lifemapper data without going through the Lifemapper website. With this service, a client can insert an image element into their own web page that will display a map alone or layered on top of other maps of the same area."
  • Lifemapper QueryByLocation Service - "an XML web service which allows a client to query the two Lifemapper spatial databases to find the species present in a given area. The first database, DataPoints, consists of cached specimen locations from participating institutions. The second database, Models, consists of predicted habitat maps from our screen saver users. The area can be queried by a point (buffered 0), a circle (a point buffered up to .01 degrees), or a polygon."
  • Lifemapper QueryTaxa Service - "an XML web service which allows a client to query the Lifemapper databases to find a species by ScientificName, by CommonName, or by Lifemapper TaxonID. Results can be limited to Lifemapper TaxonID, or can include Scientific Name, Genus, Species, and SubSpecies, DataProviders who provided data points for this species, number of Georeferenced Points and number of Models Computed."

To participate in the project, register for an account through the project, then download the graphical/screensaver or command-line client application. The client is available for Windows and Linux. The graphical version of the client "shows some information on the registered user that is running the application, what species is being processed at that time, a map displaying preliminary results found so far, as well as general information and messages downloaded from [the project] servers." The text version displays similar information in text messages: it runs somewhat faster because it doesn't have to display graphics. The text version of the client supports work unit caching, and keeps processing while downloading new work units or uploading results. The graphical version of the client will have this feature soon. The client supports users behind firewalls (it uses HTTP protocol and port 80), but does not support users behind proxy servers. Version 1.1.01 of the graphical client is available as of June 3, 2003. The text version of the client is available as of September 26, 2003.

Join an unofficial discussion group about this project.

107,691 species collected
50,579 species mapped

Windows 32

Help design the next generation of self-diagnosing computer circuits in the Distributed Hardware Evolution Project. The project client evolves populations of individual computer circuits with Built-In Self-Test (BIST, a way for a circuit to detect whether it is producing results correctly) and then migrates the circuits to other project clients to compete with their circuit populations. Self-diagnosing circuits are important to mission-critical systems exposed to radiation, but 40 years of conventional research has not created significant improvements in these circuits. This project uses Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Strategies to design improved circuits. Source code and documentation for the project are available for download.

To participate in the project, download and install the Java-based client and follow the directions on the website for configuring it for Linux/Unix or Windows. The client supports users behind firewalls or proxy servers, if those users have access to a SOCKS4 or SOCKS5 proxy: see setup instructions in the project website's FAQ/troubleshooting section. The client supports modem-users (your circuit population will only migrate when you are connected to the Internet, but will continue evolving whether or not you are connected).

Join a discussion forum about the project.

1,338,208,277 circuits evaluated

Windows 32

The following icons may appear in the Supported Platforms section of the table:
dialup-friendlythis project is good for users with dialup Internet access
paid projectthis is a for-pay project
Windows 32this project runs on the Windows 32-bit platform
Linuxthis project runs on the Linux platform
MacOSthis project runs on the Mac OS platform
Solaristhis project runs on the Solaris platform