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Upcoming Distributed Computing Projects

  idlepower.net 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. idlepower.net 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.
GriPhyN 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 NANO@Home is in the early development stages. It is based on a proposal which 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, valves, wheels, hinges, etc., contributing to a Nano-widget Library of devices from which more complex nanoscale machines could be designed.

Join a discussion forum or some mailing lists about this project.

  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.
  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 that the project is on hold as of late 2003, due to a lack of funding.

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.

  Décrypthon, hosted by the French organization Téléthon, is creating a grid computing platform to study four projects for the next one to three years. The platform will run on a closed computing grid at a university while it is being developed. Later in 2004, an Internet-based client should be available. You can sign up for email updates (in French) about the project's progress.

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

  BOINC Beta Test will analyze radio telescope signals to look for "short broadband signals that could be evidence of black hole evaporation, pulsars, or life." The project runs on the BOINC platform. The project is currently in expanded beta testing. Version 2.15 of the Astropulse software is available for Windows as of December 24, 2003. Version 2.14 is available for Linux as of December 10, 2003, and for Solaris as of November 30, 2003.

The project is also beta testing a SETI@home client. Version 3.07 of the SETI@home client is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX and Solaris as of June 1, 2004. Note that after June 1, 2004, older versions of the client will not be able to receive any work units.

XML stats are available as of March 3, 2003: 3,182 results have been completed as of September 11, 2003. Support for team creation is available as of March 3, 2003.

See source code for SETI@Home (the BOINC version) and Astropulse.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

  The ISBN Database Project will "create a multilingual database of books with well-defined remote access protocols and free individual access." It should catalog books the way MusicBrainz catalogs music. The project is currently in development, but you can register to receive email notification when the project website is officially launched.

The project has catalogued 401,737 books, 227,467 authors, and 33,185 publishers as of February 10, 2004.

OpenMind Animals The OpenMind Animals project will allow volunteers to use a simple guessing game to teach computers about animals and how to ask questions to distinguish different animals. This project is part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.
GPU GPU, "a Giga@lobal Processing Unit," will be a framework for distributed computing based on the Gnutella peer-to-peer network. The project hopes to use the platform "to support peaceful, open and free research through supercomputing. The CPU-time sharing system does not recognize privileges between users. Each person agrees to provide network resources as needed and in return is able to get CPU-cycles from other clients on the network system." The platform client currently allows sharing of files and some basic computations. Plug-ins will extend the capabilities of client nodes and will be optimized for users' CPU-types.

The GPU client is a graphical application with windows for file sharing, computation, and other features. Windows version 0.806 of the client is available as of November 28, 2003. It scales up to at least 20 machines. Linux version 0.115 of the client is available as of May 28, 2003. chat

Nano-Hive Nano-Hive, a nanospace simulator, will "create a simulator in software that accurately models the physical world at a nanometer scale. The ... simulator [will] act as a tool for the study, experimentation, and development of nanotech entities." See the Documentation Overview for more details. You can join a mailing list to receive updates about the project.

Version 1.0.1 of the software is available for Windows, Linux and Unix as of May 15, 2004.

Einstein@Home Einstein@Home, part of the World Year of Physics 2005 Project, will "search data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and from the GEO 600 gravity wave detector for signals coming from rapidly rotating neutron stars, known as pulsars." The project will run on the BOINC platform.

The project would like at least 1 million people to participate. If you are interested, sign up for the mailing list at the project website and to join a list of potential participants. The project hopes to begin public beta testing in December, 2004.

Pirates@Home Einstein@Home is developing a separate project, Pirates@Home, to help it develop the Einstein@Home client application. Pirates@Home is currently not open to public participation.

The Lattice Project
The Lattice Project will be the first project to combine private computing grids (based on the Globus platform) and a public distributed computing infrastructure (based on the BOINC platform) to study various problems in bioinformatics. Unlike most distributed computing projects, which study one problem, "Lattice provides the framework for running many types of scientific applications as Grid services. This is also true for jobs that get sent to the BOINC pool. The Lattice 'Project,' in the BOINC sense, will be comprised of multiple applications." The specific problems to be studied are listed on the Grid Services page. Source code for the project will be freely available (except for the few commercial bioinformatics applications used in the project). See a FAQ for more information about Lattice. BOINC participants can also see the project's BOINC page, which will be the project's home page for these participants.

The project is currently in development and internal testing. Progress for the project and the services it will support is listed on the News and Grid Services pages.