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|Recently Completed Distributed Computing Projects|
|Many of the links on this page may no longer work. They are kept here for historical purposes.|
|Project Information||Category||Completion Date||Project Duration||Total Number of Participants / Computers|
"the effects of atmospheric dispersion as it relates to the accuracy of
measurements used in climate prediction." The project also planned to research
other topics in atmospheric science. The project ended when the project owner
didn't have enough time to maintain it.
See the project's discussion forum.
|Science||August 3, 2009||2 years, 3 months||unknown/unknown|
searched for drugs to fight
Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), "a
genetic disorder that leads to benign tumors in multiple organs, including the
brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs and other organs. The project was sponsored
by The Rothberg Institute for childhood diseases.
The project began work on its second protein target, PI3K, on June 17, 2002.
It began working on revised PTEN and PI3K protein targets and new FRAP and
EIF4E targets in February, 2003. It began working on the AKT protein target
on November 3, 2003. Phase I of the project was completed on April 2, 2006.
Phase I statistics are available in a
hall of fame.
Phase II began on April 3, 2006. Phase II searched for potential drugs for the protein target Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb). "The overexpression of Rheb has been shown to result in unusual overgrowth of various tissues, and is believed to be central to the growth processes underlying tumorgenesis." Phase II is also using new candidate drug libraries. The Phase I targets may be tried with the new libraries in the future. The project published a press release about Phase II on April 13, 2006.
The project tested its 1 billionth conformer in July, 2004.
In the seven years the project ran it produced over 150 million potential disease-fighting drugs. The best of the candidates will be tested in the laboratory to determine their effectiveness. The project owners will provide occasional updates on the progress of the lab testing to the project participants.
See the project's TSC discussion forum.
|Life Sciences||April 15, 2009||7 years||unknown/unknown|
The Drug Design Optimization Lab
searched for oral drugs which could fight
SARS, deadly diseases for
which there was currently no cure, and for
Malaria, a life-threatenting
disease for which 40% of the world's population was at risk. This project,
sponsored by The Rothberg
Institute for childhood diseases, used volunteer resources to screen
Anthrax, Smallpox, Ebola, SARS, and Malaria proteins against a database of
2 million potential drugs. The SARS project began on April 17, 2003. The
Malaria project began on November 7, 2003. The Avian Influenza project
began on April 13, 2006. See a detailed discussion about the
science behind the project.
In the seven years that the project ran it produced over 150 million potential disease-fighting drugs. The best of the candidates will be tested in the laboratory to determine their effectiveness. The project owners will provide occasional updates on the progress of the lab testing to the project participants.
See the project's discussion forum.
|Life Sciences||April 15, 2009||7 years, 5 months||unknown/unknown|
high 3x+1 (Collatz) conjecture
stopping times. On June 23, 2008, the project found a higher stopping time:
2,361,198,062,777,205,778,683 with a stopping time of 2240.
See the project's discussion forum.
|Mathematics||November 14, 2008||9 months||unknown/unknown|
XGrid@Stanford attempted to "modelize the
conformational changes of the beta 2 adrenergic receptor, and have a better
understanding of its pharmacology." This project was run by Charles Parnot, a
postdoctoral fellow in
Brian Kobilka's lab in
the Molecular and Cellular Physiology
department of Stanford University.
The project was not designed to be a complete, public distributed computing
research project: it was designed for Apple OSX users running Apple's
XGrid software to help a
university researcher complete his research. As of December 3, 2007, the
project only used computing resources from OpenMacGrid. When the project ended,
efforts toward it project were moved to OpenMacGrid.
The project was presented at the 2004 Biomedical Computation at Stanford (bcats) conference on October 16, 2004.
|Life Sciences||October, 2008||4 years, 3 months||unknown/unknown|
"accurately simulate nanosystems too large to be calculated via normal means,
and thereby enable further scientific study in the field of nanotechnology."
The project ended when the project owner, Brian Helfrich,
left the company sponsoring the project and the company had no interest in
continuing the project. The owner would be happy for another individual or
group to take over the project and resume its work.
The project's "Tooltip Failure Mode Search Project, conducted by Brian Helfrich and Dr. Damian Allis ran on NHAH from February 2007 through May 2007. It utilized computing cycles donated from over 6,000 computers worldwide and reached a peak performance of nearly 3 teraFLOPS." See an explanation of the project and the project's results.
|Science||September, 2008||2 years||unknown/unknown|
used "techniques from the attack from Wang et al.,
... to find [MD5 hash] collisions which are more flexible:" these collisions
will help "clarify the nature of the vulnerabilities in applications of MD5
that have been opened up by the collision finding methods of Wang et al."
The MD5 encryption algorithm was first broken in August, 2004, by a Chinese
research team. This project attempted to improve on their work by allowing
the first blocks of two messages to be chosen at will instead of being equal.
The first phase of the project, "called 'MD5 Birthdaying,' consists of
finding a block with very specific properties, that will help us in later
phases. Finding that block on a single Pentium4 3Ghz would take approx. 800days of 24/7 continous running." In the future the project planned to work on
collision-finding for SHA-1. The project website was taken down after the
project ended, but a
summary of the project is
available. The project generated 5,845,364 BOINC
credits, found 120 collisions (including 80 useful collisions) and eliminated
8 (of 8) bitdifferences.
The project found its first collision on March 10, 2006. On July 1, 2006, the project stopped its birthday search to continue with stage 2: completing a partial collision to a full MD5 collision. On September 12, 2006, the project started using its new application for stage 2 work. It eliminated all 8 bitdifferences for stage 2 as of October 12, 2006.
The project published its MD5 collision results on October 24, 2006: Colliding X.509 Certificates for Different Identities. The project owner published his Master's Thesis, "On Collisions for MD5," based on results from the project, in July, 2008.
|Cryptography||June, 2008||2 years, 5 months||unknown/unknown|
|BeWeS MouseTracker tracked the distance traveled by a participant's computer mouse, and the number of times the participant clicked it, and periodically reported that information to the project server. Participants could compete against other project members and teams, and a participant could win a prize if he or she was the first person to reach a distance goal. The project was just for fun. The project's distance goal was "around the world."||Human||April, 2008||4 years, 6 months||unknown/not applicable|
|CHRONOS (Chromosomal Nostalgia) searched for relationships between the 24 chromosomes of the human genome. An understanding of these relationships would help scientists to better understand and prevent genetic diseases, including cancer and diabetes. This project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website was only available in Japanese, but English speakers could see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in this and other cell computing Birth projects. The project completed 5 million work units as of January 10, 2006.||Life Sciences||March 31, 2008||3 years||unknown/unknown|
|Dame una Casa (Build me a Home) asked participants to click a button on their website to generate donations to help build proper homes for needy families in Colombia. The project was part of Minuto de Dios, an organization which has built homes for needy families in Colombia for over 40 years. Participants could click the donate button once per day to generate a donation of US$0.05. The project helped build homes for 4 families.||Charity||March, 2008||3 years||unknown/not applicable|
|Übero's Java-based client allowed people to participate in for-pay projects. The project never began any for-pay projects, however. The most recent Beta version of the client ran "genetic alignment algorithms" which "look[ed] for similar amino acid strings in various organisms." The volunteer project was done for the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of California, Irvine. Future volunteer projects would have included protein folding and radiation research.||Life Sciences||2007||7 years||unknown/unknown|
|Pi Segment attempted to break the world's record for known digits of Pi. The current record as of 2007, set by PiHex in September, 2000, was 1 quadrillion digits. The project website was currently only in Chinese and English. The project first verified the result of the PiHex project, then began its own calculations. It completed at least 230,773 work units.||Mathematics||2007||1 year||unknown/unknown|
|Red Library DLV (Distributed Link Validator) validated links in Red Library, readyresponse.org's link directory. The project distributed links from the directory to volunteers to test, and removed links from the directory which were no longer valid (i.e. links which returned a 404 error for 7 days or more). The project planned to validate links from other sites in the future. It is not known how many links the project validated.||Internet||2007||2 years||unknown/unknown|
|Project Dolphin was the old Project Dolphin, restarted by a new project coordinator. It let participants track their total number of keystrokes and periodically reported that total to the project server. Participants could compete against other project members and teams in the stats. The project was just for fun. The project recorded ober 220 billion keystrokes.||Human||2007||1 year||unknown/not applicable|
|The Common Sense Learner project attempted to teach computers to think. It asked users to teach Learner, an Artificial Intelligence system being developed by the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), by agreeing or disagreeing with knowledge statements made by Learner, or by extending Learner's knowledge. The project learned over 25,000 items before it ended sometime in 2007.||Human||2007||4 years||unknown/not applicable|
|Proth Sieve sieved ranges of k up to 10 trillion to support participants at Yves Gallot's Proth Search Page. The project apparently ended sometime in 2007. No results from the project were published.||Mathematics||2007||2 years||unknown/unknown|
Twin Internet Prime Search
for the largest twin primes of the form k * 2n - 1 and
k * 2n + 1. On January 15, 2007, the project found the largest
known twin primes:
2003663613 * 2^195000 - 1
2003663613 * 2^195000 + 1
The numbers are 58,711 digits long.
On November 26, 2006, this project began collaborating with PrimeGrid.
Join a discussion forum about the project.
|Mathematics||Novenber 26, 2006||7 months||unknown/unknown|
Assault on 13th Labour
attempted a brute-force decryption of an RC5 code
used in the online/offline game
On September 22, 2006, 5,374,785 new work units, which included new key spaces for the characters SPACE , . ? !, were added to the project. Counting these work units, the project was about 70% complete as of that date. The project completed Phase 1 (the original keyspace), and began searching the expanded keyspace, on October 8, 2006. The project apparently ended a few months after that. No results were reported.
|Cryptography||late 2006||8 months||unknown/unknown|
The World Community Grid's
Genome Comparison project created a data source of similarities among all
predicted protein sequences. The project "perform[ed], for the first time, a
complete pairwise comparison between all predicted protein sequences,
obtaining similarity indices that will be used, together with standardized
Gene Ontology, as a reference
repository for the annotator community and providing an invaluable data source
Join a discussion forum about World Community Grid's projects.
|Life Sciences||June, 2007||7 months||unknown/unknown|
The National Foundation for Cancer Research
Screensaver-Lifesaver project searched for drugs to fight pancreatic cancer. The project was a
partnership among grid.org, the
National Foundation for Cancer Research
(NFCR), the Centre for Drug Discovery in the
Department of Chemistry at the
University of Oxford, England, the
NFCR Center for Targeted Cancer Therapies at the
University of Arizona in Tucson,
Arizona, USA, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute
(TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The
project attempted to test 3.5 million drug-like molecules against the
following proteins related to pancreatic cancer: Aurora A Kinase,
Aurora B Kinase, PRL-1 Phosphatase, and Urokinase-type Plasminogen Activator
(uPA). The project ended on April 27, 2007.
The project used the grid.org computing platform.
|Life Sciences||April 27, 2007||2 years||unknown/unknown|
United Devices Cancer Research.
searched for cancer-fighting drugs. The project was
National Foundation for Cancer Research
(NFCR), and the Centre for Drug Discovery in the
Department of Chemistry at the
University of Oxford, England. The first
phase of the project,
THINK, began in March,
2001 and completed in June, 2002. That phase used over 200,000 hours of CPU
time to screen 3.5 billion molecules against a range of cancer protein
targets. The second phase,
began in June, 2002. That phase further refined the results from the first
phase. Oxford has
a detailed website about the science behind the project. The project
ended successfully on April 27, 2007. Over 126,000 years of CPU time were
donated to the project by its participants, and 132,856,061 potential drug
molecules were discovered.
On November 16, 2004, the project announced that 400 compounds from the LigandFit phase had been synthesized and tested in a lab. Between 2-4% of them showed activity. Typically less than 0.1% of compounds from computer-simulated screening show activity. The next step for the successful compounds was "to persuade pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies to take up these experimentally verified hits and to test them further."
The project used the grid.org computing platform.
|Life Sciences||April 27, 2007||5 years||unknown/unknown|
The World Community Grid's
Help Defeat Cancer
project enabled cancer researchers "to analyze a larger set of cancer tissue
specimens and conduct experiments using a much broader ensemble of biomarkers
and stains than is possible using traditional computer resources." The project
created a library of biomarkers and their expression patterns "so that, in the
future, physicians can consult the library to help them in rendering diagnoses
and providing the most effective treatment for patients with cancer."
The project allows analysis to be carried out for hundreds of tissue microarrays in parallel, "allowing multiple experiments to be conducted simultaneously. This added level of speed and sophistication could potentially enable investigators to detect and track subtle changes in measurable parameters, thereby facilitating discovery of prognostic clues, which are not apparent by human inspection or traditional analysis alone and could advance the fields of cancer biology, drug discovery and therapy planning."
The project generated 5,316,402 total results.
Join a discussion forum about World Community Grid's projects.
|Life Sciences||April, 2007||9 months||unknown/unknown|
BBC Climate Change Experiment, in a project
with climateprediction.net and
BOINC, studied global climate warming due
to different processes in the 20th century and attempted to predict the
"transient climate response," the actual climate change expected to occur for
various scenarios over the next 80 years. The project used the
Transient Coupled Model
with a dynamic ocean, rather than the "slab model," or unchanging ocean, used
in previous climateprediction.net
experiments. The project was described in a BBC television documentary,
"Meltdown: A Global Warming Journey," (BBC-4, February 20, 2006). Early
results of the project were to be described in a second BBC television program
in May, 2006. On April 11, 2007, "the BBC Climate Change Experiment
including the documentaries 'Meltdown' and 'Climate Change: Britain Under
Threat' [were] nominated for an award in the Interactivity category by the
British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)." The winner was to be
announced on May 20, 2007.
The project simulated 160 years of climate change, between the years 1920 and 2080. Work units for the project took about 2.3 times longer to complete than climateprediction.net's sulphur cycle work units, and about 6.6 times longer than climateprediction.net's slab model work units. A work unit typically took six months to complete.
See the project's discussion forum.
|Science||February 10, 2007||1 year||unknown, but from 171 different countries/269,738|
The Uptime Project
tracked participants' computers' uptime (the time the
each computer had been running since it was last restarted). The client
periodically reported each computer's uptime to the project server.
Participants could compete against other participants and teams in the stats.
The project was just for fun.
The project measured over 8,300 years of total uptime by almost 27,000 users.
|Human||January 3, 2007||2 years, 9 months||27,000/unknown|
attempted to determine the probability with which various cuboids (six-sided
dice with parallel faces but non-equal edge lengths) will land on each of
their surfaces. This simple problem is a 'truncated chaotic' phenomenon, and
doesn't fit neatly into ordinary areas of physics. The results of the
project have "several important practical applications, from manufacturing
(i.e. objects falling on conveyer belts) through to packing of granular
material and proteins." The project's original goal was to simulate one
billion cuboid tosses, in an effort to answer the following questions:
||Mathematics||December 31, 2006||5 months||238/578|
|Zeal was a similar project to dmoz, a user-edited, categorized index of websites, and was hosted (and eventually shut down) by looksmart. Zeal was a completely non-commercial directory built by a community of volunteer editors.||Knowledge||September, 2006||5 years||unknown/not applicable|
The Speculative Search Game was a project/game to "predict which web pages will rank more highly on Google in the future." The game's predictions were "used to build a Speculative Search Engine that ranks those web pages more highly today." Players could guess whether particular websites would rankx higher or lower in the future, and were scored on their predictions. Also, anyone could submit a website URL and a search query to the game.
Join a discussion forum about the project.
|Human||September, 2006||1 year||unknown/not applicable|
|Projet Marmotte tracked the distance traveled by its participants' mouse and periodically reported that distance to the project server. Participants could compete against other project members, teams and countries in the stats. The project was just for fun. The website was written in French.||Human||September, 2006||3 years, 1 month||unknown/not applicable|
|Tiny KeyCounter was another project which let participants track their total number of keystrokes and periodically reported those totals to the project server. It also tracked the number of times a each participant pressed a mouse button or the mouse scroll-wheel. Participants could compete against other project members and teams in the stats. The project was just for fun.||Human||September, 2006||2 years, 2 months||unknown/not applicable|
Open Mind Commonsense
asked participants to help teach computers
to understand human "common sense" in a project which attempted to create a
repository of basic human knowledge. Participants could choose from many
activites, such as describing the things that someone should know to fully
understand an event, and explaining the relationship between a pair of words
or to describing a picture. By the end of the project, 15,108 registered
users had submitted 720,288 items.
This project was part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.
|Human||September, 2006||4 years||unknown/not applicable|
The Open Mind Word Expert
project asked participants to play a free
word game to help teach computers how to interpret English words with multiple
meanings in the context of sentences.
In July, 2003, the project began similar foreign-langauge projects:
The project was part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.
|Human||September, 2006||3 years, 6 months||unknown/not applicable|
|Project Orca tracked tracked a user's total number of keystrokes and periodically reported that total to the project server. Participants could compete against other participants and teams in the project's statistics. The project was just for fun. It was a continuation of the original Project Dolphin. Near the end of the project 14,396,553,323 total keystrokes were counted for 4,847 users, at an average of 409.69 keys/second.||Human||February, 2006||3 years||5,000/not applicable|
|Mindpixel asked volunteers to help teach an artificially intelligent computer program to think more like a human by asking it questions. This project was the first known Distributed Human project. The project was created by Chris McKinstry.||Distributed Human Project||January 23, 2006||5 years||unknown/unknown|
The Distributed Hardware Evolution Project attempted to design the next generation of
self-diagnosing computer circuits. The project client evolved 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
migrated 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 had not
created significant improvements in these circuits. The project evaluated
366,608,013,886 total circuits.
From the project owner:
"The circuits produced by this projects are truly better than those of
conventional design so would lead to safer controllers in all these
applications saving lives and money."
"The circuits produced by this projects are truly better than those of conventional design so would lead to safer controllers in all these applications saving lives and money."
On October 1, 2004, the project successfully evolved a large number "of circuits with full concurrent error detection using only 14% of the overhead required by the conventional approach," and began evolving a new generation of circuits "as big as those used in industry, many of them using hundreds of gates." On October 14, 2004, circuits and overhead figures from the project "were presented to experts in the self-checking field at the International On-Line Testing Symposium IOLTS 2004. One expert said DHEP may be the best method to design self-checking circuits."
The project used Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Strategies to design improved circuits. Source code and documentation for the project were available for download.
See the project's discussion forum.
|Science||January 16, 2006||2 years, 4 months||unknown/unknown|
|Users could click a button at Wildglobe.com once a day to save Mexican Rainforest (the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve). Each click saved save 4.4 square feet of land. The program cost users nothing (it was paid for by the companies which sponsor the site) and users did not need to register.||Charity||2005||at least 3 years||unknown/unknown|
searched for drugs to fight major diseases. The
project studied cancer, bioterrorism diseases, respiratory diseases, multiple
sclerosis, HIV (AIDS), Malaria, and CJD, as well as studying the human
proteome in general, and the methodology for testing potential drug
compunds against disease protein targets. The non-project was run by
Treweren Consultants, creators of the
On June 30, 2003, the project announced that it successfully found some potential cancer-inhibiting drugs. After testing over 500 million molecules, it produced a set of candidates. 39 candidates were tested in a laboratory, and 7 of those (20%) showed the desired anti-cancer properties. Only 2-3% were expected to show the desired properties. On November 12, 2003, the project announced that it had found growth inhibitors for 5 anti-cancer protein targets. "42 of the 200 molecules tested [so far] showed the desired anti-cancer properties." On March 22, 2004, the project announced that it had "found more molecules which inhibit the growth of cancer cells," and had now discovered "growth inhibitors for 7 anti-cancer protein targets." On April 16, 2004, the project announced that it had found 18 molecules which inhibit the growth of HIV protease, an AIDS protein. More of its cancer-fighting drugs were confirmed to be effective in laboratory tests as of July 2, 2004. On March 14, 2005, the project published a list of 1,279 molecules, tested in a lab, which showed desired anti-cancer properties. These molecules were discovered by 626 project volunteers.
|Life Sciences||December 15, 2005||3 years, 8 months||unknown/unknown|
searched for extra-terrestrial radio signals from
data received by the Arecibo radio telescope. It was the first large-scale
public distributed computing project in the field of science (it was preceded
by GIMPS, which was and is searching for
world-record large Mersenne primes, and by
distributed.net, which was
decoding a message encrypted with the RC5-64 encryption algorithm when
SETI@home began). The project was also a pioneer for public distributed
computing projects. Features of the project's client software application,
and processes developed for running and managing the project, are used or
modeled by most other distributed computing projects today. Using the
knowledge they gained from SETI@home Classic, the project's architects
developed the first popular multi-project distributed computing platform
(project server and software client),
BOINC, and on June 22, 2004, the
SETI@home team began SETI@home (BOINC), a new
version of SETI@home based on the BOINC platform. Both versions of SETI@home
ran in parallel until December 15, 2006, when SETI@home Classic ended and
its results were integrated with the results from SETI@home BOINC. SETI@home
BOINC is still running today, with almost 385,000 participants as of
February 6, 2006, 285,000 more than the next most popular BOINC project.
The project's final statistics:
SETI@home Classic gave its participants frequent updates about the science the project was performing, and the people, software and hardware behind the project, publishing over 22 newsletters, and publishing frequent technical news reports about the project. The project also provided other information, such as a Glossary of Concepts to explain the project's unique terminology, a list of the project's most promising signal candidates, and pictures of the Arecibo telescope from the SETI@Home team's March, 2003 visit.
As of 2001, SETI@Home Classic was 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 had found 3.2 billion spikes and 266 million Gaussians.
View the SETI@home Classic discussion forum.
Read a short research paper, written in 1998, about the origins of SETI and SETI@home Classic.
See a RealPlayer Video interview that Dr. David Anderson gave to CERN's GridCafe on April 30, 2004. The interview lasts 6.5 minutes. See an August 19, 2004, interview of Dan Werthimer, director of the SERENDIP SETI program and chief scientist of SETI@home, by Astroseti.org. Hear a December 6, 2004, interview of David Anderson by Planetary Radio.
|Science||December 15, 2005||6 years||5,436,301/unknown|
|End Homelessness Now asked visitors to click a button to help "raise awareness, funds and activism for social justice issues/projects recognizing homelessness as one end result of specific societal problems such as domestic violence and the war on drugs and general societal problems such as sexism and racism." Visitors could click the button once per day: for each click, the site's sponsors each paid US$0.005 to the project. The project had a Donation Totals page which listed the social justice and homeless support organizations and homeless shelters the project had funded. Visitors contributed over 910,000 total clicks to the charity.||Charity||December, 2005||6 years||unknown/unknown|
to verify Riemann's hypothesis: this hypothesis was formulated in 1859 and
states that "all non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function are on the
critical line (1/2+it where t is a real number)." No one has
been able to prove the hypothesis in 140 years. It is now considered one of
the most important problems of modern mathematics.
The project computed over 1 trillion verified zeros by January 11, 2005, and 1.14 trillion verified zeros overall, collecting over 20 TB of accurate data about the distribution of the zeros, and generated many heuristics about the Riemann Hypothesis which will be published in the Mathematics of Computation journal soon.
|Mathematics||November 30, 2005||4 years||6,617/unknown|
attempted to improve the performance of
distributed/grid computing projects. It planned to study various combinations
of grid computing technologies to find the most efficient way to do grid
computing. The results of this project were to benefit all other distributed
computing projects, and were to be published for free. The project website
was available in English and
French. The project used a
BOINC-based client, running one
application, BOINC Resources Measurement. This application sent 10-minute
"work units" to its clients. For each work unit, the application tried to
do as many addition, multiplication, etc. operations as it could with unused
CPU cycles for 10 minutes, recording statistics every 10 seconds. The
project produced 489,323 credits before it ended.
Join a discussion forum about the project.
|Science||October 18, 2005||4 months||119/unknown|
|BOLERO+ studied the evolutionary process which has created the anti-fungoid peptide, which is in the genome of all living things, in order to help create a new antibiotic for humans. The project completed 46,062 work units using almost 107 years of CPU time. This project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website is only available in Japanese, but English speakers can see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in this and other cell computing Birth projects, and can see a Google translation of the project pages.||Life Sciences||July 4, 2005||5 months||unknown/unknown|
(PROtein SURFace Exploratory Research) looked for
similar proteins in the human genome. The knowledge it created will help
scientists to predict potential side-effects for existing drugs and to design
new drugs with fewer side-effects. The project was part of the
cell computing Birth distributed
computing projects sponsored by the
NTT Data Corporation. The project
website is only available in Japanese, but English speakers can see an
unofficial English translation
with detailed instructions for participating in cell computing
Birth projects, and can see a Google translation of the project pages.
The project used a BOINC-based client.
|Life Sciences||May 24, 2005||6 weeks||unknown/unknown|
|Users could click a button at Aquaplastics 2005 "to help WaterAid deliver clean, safe water and sanitation to people in Ethiopia." Each click donated €0.10. Users could also answer a daily quiz question to donate an extra €0.02. The project reached its goal of generating 1.5 million clicks by April 24, 2005, 2 months before its June 22, 2005, deadline, to donate a total of €150,000 to WaterAid. The European plastics industry, the sponsors of the program, agreed to donate an additional €50,000 to WaterAid if the project generated an additional 500,000 clicks by June 22, 2005. The project reached that goal by May 3, 2005. The program cost users nothing (it was paid for by the European plastics industry). The website was also available in French, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish.||Charity||May 3, 2005||2 months||unknown/unknown|
|elecle rendered animations for a short movie "Erecl nico." The movie was broadcast on the Japanese television program "thermal blood! Hobby stadium" on May 7 and May 8, 2005, on The Kids Station. This project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website is only available in Japanese, but English speakers can see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in this and other cell computing Birth projects, and can see a Google translation of the project pages.||Art||April 27, 2005||2 months||unknown/unknown|
Pancakes project continued the work begun in one of Al Zimmerman's
the Pancakes Programming Contest:
the project attempted to exhaustively prove one or more of the solutions
discovered in the contest. See the contest page for details about the
puzzle. The first major task of the project was to verify whether the l9(45)
stack takes 50 flips to be sorted. The project did not have a website. The
project was discussed in the
The project found a +4 solution to the 41 pancakes stack on July 1, 2004. It found a +5 solution to the 42 pancakes stack on July 18, 2004. It finished all of the stacks it was assigned as of August 26, 2004.
|Puzzles/Games||February 15, 2005||8 months||unknown/unknown|
assembled "a powerful, predictive electronic atlas
of Earth's biological diversity." The project, sponsored by the Informatics
Biodiversity Research Center at The University
of Kansas, "compute[ed], map[ped] and provide[ed] 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 can be used "for biodiversity research, education and conservation worldwide, especially to forecast environmental events and inform public policy with leading-edge science." The project collected data for 159,279 species from institutions around the world, and mapped 84,242 of those species.
Anyone can access data and results from the project via the following services:
|Science||January 1, 2005||2.6 years||5,696/unknown|
Make Love Not Spam
attempted to force known spam websites out of business.
The project, run by Lycos Europe,
overloaded known spam sites with fake web page requests in an attempt to
maximize the spammers' bandwidth costs (without actually shutting them down).
It also encouraged visitors to recommend spam sites to attack. The project
ended after some of the sites it attacked reportedly redirected the attack
traffic back to the project site and almost shut it down, and after it
created a lot of controversy over the legality of the project's actions.
The project provided a Windows and Mac OSX screensaver client which sent fake requests to spam sites targeted by the project. The site also had a button which a visitor could press to send a fake request to one of the spam sites.
|Internet||December 5, 2004||2 weeks||unknown/unknown|
The Smallpox project, a collaboration among
grid.org, "Accelrys, Evotec OAI,
IBM, Oxford University, ... and numerous scientific researchers led by Dr.
Grant McFadden and Dr. Stewart Shuman," screened potential drug molecules to
a cure for Smallpox. Phase 1 of the project was completed on September
30, 2003: that phase screened "approximately 35 million molecules against a
series of protein targets related to Smallpox." Participants donated 68,842
CPU years to the project and discovered 65,678,378 potential drug molecules.
Results from phase 1 were submitted to the United States Department of Defense
on Septemeber 30, 2003
(see news about
this). The project identified 44 strong treatment candidates, which were
given to the U.S. Department of Defense for further evaluation. "Based on
the success of the Smallpox study, World
Community Grid was created with the goal of creating a technical
environment where other humanitarian research could be processed."
Join a discussion forum about World Community Grid's projects.
|Life Sciences||November 4, 2004||1 year, 9 months||unknown/unknown|
The Lucas Project
attempted "to complete the factorization tables with
and Lucas numbers
which are maintained by Blair Kelly ... focusing only on composites of Lucas
numbers (composites are the remains left over when a number is successfully
divided by a prime number and the remaining is not prime)." The project hoped
to find all prime numbers that make up each Lucas number. It tried "to find
prime factors up to 55 digits, the ... upper limit of the GMP-ECM program."
The project appears to have been abandoned sometime in 2004.
|Mathematics||2004||at least 1 year||unknown/unknown|
The Distributed Folding
project simulated folding proteins to help scientists learn how proteins "fold
and assemble into living cells." The project, run by the
Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute,
the Hogue Bioinformatics
Laboratory and the
University of Toronto Department of Biochemistry, and supported by
Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program,
tested a protein folding algorithm to see if it could reproduce natural
protein folds. The project hoped to create "the largest samples of protein
folds ever computed." In its first phase, 1a, it made 1 billion folds for five
small proteins. In phase 1b it made 10 billion folds for 10 large proteins.
Phase 2 began on June 17, 2003 and ended on October 5, 2004. The project
received a patent (U.S. Patent number 6490532) for its structure generation
algorithm on December 3, 2002. See the
results of the
proteins which were completed for the project.
Between May 30, 2002 and September 9, 2002, the project competed in the CASP5 structure prediction contest. Results of the competition were made available in late December, 2002. Between July 6, 2004 and August 31, 2004, the project competed in the CASP6 structure prediction contest. Results of the competition were made available on December 24, 2004.
After the project ended, the project team planned to analyze the results of the proteins it had folded with the current algorithm and to create a better folding algorithm for a possible future distributed computing project.
View a Windows Media Player ASF-format file of a television interview by CityPulse24 of the project coordinators on November 27, 2002.
The project software client ran as a screensaver on Win32 and as a text client on Win32, Linux, Sony PlayStation 2 Linux (it was the first distributed computing client to run on this platform), and many Unix platforms including Mac OS X. The project server and client software was also the first to use a ticketing system for submitting results: when the project server was too busy to receive all of the results clients attempted to submit to it, it would assign each client a numbered "ticket," the clients stored their results locally, and then each client could submit its results when the project server "called its ticket."
See a discussion forum about this project.
|Life Sciences||October 5, 2004||2 years, 8 months||32,976/unknown|
|The Analytical Spectroscopy Research Group (ASRG) ran a SETI project with the same basic goal as SETI@Home, to detect artificial radio signals from space. The project used a more manual process: users downloaded work units from a web page, processed them with one of three tools, and emailed results back to the project coordinator. More information about the project is/was available on a volunteer page. The project did not report any statistics or results on its website.||Science||unknown||unknown||unknown/unknown|
|Clear Landmines asked users to click a button to help clear landmines around the world. Each click funded the clearing of at least 21 cm2 of land. The program was paid for by the companies which sponsored the site. Money raised by the program was given to the Canadian Landmine Foundation to help fund the removal of landmines. The project generated over 2,400 clicks per day in its final year.||Charity||September, 2004||4 years||unknown/unknown|
attempted to prove that the
encryption algorithm is insecure by finding a collision: two inputs which can
produce the same digest (encryption method). No one had ever found a
collision in the MD5 hash before the project began. Researchers in China
(not associated with MD5CRK) announced on August 17, 2004 that they
collision (see their paper)
and proved that MD5 can be broken in a matter of hours. MD5CRK ended without
finding its own collision. It generated over 10 million of the estimated
5 billion points it needed to find a collision.
On August 23, 2004, the project made its database publicly available. "www.engsoc.org/~jlcooke holds GZipped images, rrd files, php and MySQL scripts for download. www.dp.cx/md5crk/explore.php contains a database browser and www.dp.cx/md5crk/database contains access to phpMyAdmin for custom queries. The Database contains all the reported work for over 170 days (trillions upon trillions of operations) of the project."
MD5CRK was the first project to enable website owners to configure their web pages to link to a MD5CRK distributed Java applet. This feature allowed users to participate in the project just by viewing a web page. The applet had a button to allow a user to disable/enable the applet, so that the user could decide whether to allow it to run on his or her system. 174 websites participated in the project. The project also provided a standalone client.
Join a discussion forum about this project.
|Cryptography||August 20, 2004||6 months||1,803/unknown|
|Click Fome asked users to click a button to generate a financial donation for foor and other reources to help people in need in Brazil. Thes site was available in Portuguese and English. The donations were paid for by the companies sponsoring the site. The project generated over 8.3 million clicks.||Charity||June, 2004||unknown||unknown/unknown|
Photon Soup 2 rendering
project produced a simulation of 382 billion photons in a room. This
simulation reproduced one which was done by the project coordinator, Richard
Keene, in 1994. The first simulation produced an
image for SIGGRAPH
94. That image took 100 SparcStation 1's a month to generate. The new
simulation was "much better, with a smaller aperature, in stereo, with 3
cameras, and with some errors fixed, and in Java." It also ran on machines
which were 3,000 times more powerful than those of 1994. The results of the
project were combined into one image, which will be published in an article
about the project. See Richard's April 13, 2004
Slashdot article about the project.
See the project's final images.
|Art||July 1, 2004||10 weeks||unknown/unknown|
|Help Crack DES had the same goals that the DES project did. The project looked for the remaining 35 bits of a 56-bit key, and it had to find them before a May 16, 2004 deadline. The project ended after searching 84.75% of the keyspace without finding the key.||Cryptography||May 18, 2004||4 weeks||164/unknown|
Click the Planet
asked asked users to click buttons to save
2square meters of land per click for endangered forests and wildlife areas.
The site was only available in Italian.
The three projects listed on the main page were:
|Users could click a button at Aquaplastics 2004 "to help WaterAid deliver clean, safe water and sanitation to people in Malawi and Madagascar." Users could also answer a daily quiz question to earn an extra click. Each click donated €0.10. The project hoped to reach 1.5 million clicks by June 22, 2004 to donate a total of €150,000 to WaterAid. It reached its goal 6 weeks early. The program cost the users nothing (it was paid for by the European plastics industry).||Charity||May 5, 2004||unknown||unknown/unknown|
|DES was a project by a group of students at Åbo Akademi University in Finland to support a Cryptograpy and Network Security course they were taking. They attempted a brute force search of the DES 56-bit keyspace within 1 month. This kind of encryption was cracked by distributed.net in a one-month contest in 1998. One week into the attempt, their professor gave them the first 8 bits of the key to help them narrow the keyspace so that they would have a chance of finishing the project by the deadline. The winning key, 8a2898441652308a, was found after 383 computers searched 63% of the narrowed keyspace in 3 weeks.||Cryptography||May 5, 2004||3 weeks||262/383|
|DALiWorld (DALi stands for Distributed Artificial Life) wasn't technically a distributed computing project since it wasn't solving a problem. It was just a fun toy: a distributed virtual aquarium. Written in Java by DALi, Inc., it created a virtual saltwater aquarium in a desktop window or in a screensaver and populated it with fish (which didn't do much more than swim around). When the user was connected to the Internet, some of his or her fish occasionally migrated to other users' aquariums and some of their fish migrated to the user's aquarium (he could turn this feature off if he wanted to). The user could click his right mouse button on each fish to see its passport, which showed who created it and where it had been.||Miscellaneous||April, 2004||2 1/2 years||unknown/unknown|
was a distributed effort to solve
challenge. The challenge offered a $10,000 (US) prize. The project
calculated 41 million distinguished points using the parallelized rho method
"in conjunction with (1) The `distinguished points' technique of Paul Van
Oorschot and Mike Wiener, and (2) The ideas in the paper of Edlyn Teske for
getting walks more closely approximating a random walk" before it found a
collision of two points, which enabled it to find the solution:
$k = \log_P Q$ is given by either of the following:
Join a discussion forum about this project. ecc2.com, which hosted the discussion forum, also hosted the project stats.
|Cryptography||April 14, 2004||17 months||2,600/unknown|
The Collatz Conjecture project attempted to verify the
Conjecture for larger values. This was a test project for the
Grid on Tap computing
Collatz Phase 1 tested n from 1 to 99,999,999,999. It began on August 22, 2003, and ended on September 3, 2003. Collatz Phase 2 tested n from 100,000,000,000-350,010,009,999. It began on September 2, 2003 and ended on September 10, 2003. Collatz Phase 3 tested n from 350,010,009,999-850,060,009,999. It began on September 10, 2003. Collatz Phase 4 tested n from 850,060,009,999-1,850,160,009,999. Collatz Phase 5 tested n from 1,850,160,009,999-11,851,160,009,999. Collatz Phase 6 tested n from 11,851,160,009,999-21,852,160,009,999. Collatz Phase 7 tested n from 21,852,160,009,999-71,857,160,010,000. Collatz Phase 8 tested n from 71,857,160,010,000-121,862,160,010,001. The project ended before it completed Collatz Phase 9.
|Mathematics||January, 2004||5 months||unknown/unknown|
|"Search of the next prime of the form n!+1" used the Windows primeform client to search for primes of the form n! + 1 and n! - 1.||Mathematics||2004||at least 4 years||unknown/unknown|
sister project of Folding@home
designed new proteins and genes to learn better
how natural genomes have evolved and how natural genes and proteins work.
It was the first large-scale public distributed computing project to study
Genome@home's first experiment concluded successfully in early March, 2001, with more than 1000 users creating more than 15,000 new genes for 217 proteins. On November 12, 2001, Genome@home began Phase 2 of its protein design experiments. This phase studied "all single-chain proteins in the RCSB Protein Data Bank" with a length up to 150 amino acids--over 3,015 different proteins. As of April, 2003, the project had "used almost 20,000 donated CPU-years to calculate over 6 million new protein sequences." The work done with the version 0.99 client, consisting of nine stages, resulted in 4 major scientific publications.
On May 1, 2002, Genome@Home began a new series of RMSD (root-mean-square deviation) projects to study the structural diversity of "ensembles of protein backbones" used in the design of large proteins.
The following paper was published from the results of this project:
See a FAQ about the end of the project and how the project results will be used.
|Life Sciences||March, 2004||4 years||unknown/unknown|
|CycleTraders combined distributed computing with Peer-to-Peer computing concepts. A user could use the client to measure the response time of other users' websites while they measured the response time of his/her site.||Internet||unknown||unknown||unknown/unknown|
was a distributed effort to solve the
RSA 576-bit challenge. The project ended after the RSA 576-bit challenge
on December 5, 2003, by some people not related to this project. The project
processed over 26,468,196 packets (over 7.9404588+14 keys).
Join a discussion forum (in French) about this project.
|Click for Cans (TM) asked volunteers to click on their favorite American football (gridiron) team's helmet on the project website to donate a can of Campbell's Chunky soup to a "variety of hunger relief charities across the [United States]." The project reached its goal of donating 5,000,000 cans.||Charity||January 4, 2003||2 months||unknown/unknown|
|Genetic TSP used a Java application that ran through a user's web browser and used genetic algorithms to solve a Traveling Salesman Problem (in a TSP, a salesman must find the shortest route in which he/she can visit each a set of cities once and return to his/her starting city). This project attempted to solve a problem of 15,122 cities of Germany. As of December, 2003, the current record-holders of this problem were Princeton University and Rice University.||Puzzles/Games||December, 2003||2 years||unknown/unknown|
|GRISK searched for K-optimal lattice rules. It completed a Delta=7 project on November 15, 2000, and a Delta=8 project on December 21, 2001. It began a Delta=11 project on December 21, 2001, and completed 22% of it when the GRISK project ended.||Mathematics||October, 2003||at least 3 years||604/unknown|
The Distributed Emirp Project
searched for Emirps, prime numbers whose digits, when
reversed, are also a prime number (for example, 13 and 31 are Emirps). The
project processed 197 blocks.
Join a discussion forum about the project.
|Mathematics||August, 2003||2 months||65/unknown|
|MD@home studied the properties of oligopeptides. Note that the site is written in Russian, but babelfish provides a reasonable English translation of it. The project simulated the thermal agitation of molecules within large proteins in order to understand how the design of a protein defines the protein's properties and behavior (and the properties and behaviors of the protein's component parts (oligopeptides). The client software simulated the thermal agitation of a molecule and calculated the special characteristics of that thermal agitation. The project processed 32,000 work units.||Life Sciences||August, 2003||9 months||1,470/unknown|
The NEO Project used the NEO-c (Network Exchange
Operation for Charity) platform to participate in various computing
challenges and projects, and would have donated any winnings to the charities
specified by its users. The project was the first to use Microsoft's .NET
architecture. The project ended unexpectedly before any results were found
for the challenges below:
The project's first challenge was the RSA 576-bit factoring challenge. The project's first attemp to solve the challenge was through random guesses. For this attemp, volunteers generated 39,033,522 packets (.154885015296E+15 keys checked) for the project. The attempt ended on January 10, 2003. The project's second attempt, Phase 2, would have used a General Number Field Sieve (GNFS) algorithm.
The second challenge was the MD5 project. The MD5 encryption algorithm is widely used in business, secure websites, Unix systems, and the Internet. The challenge would have demonstrated MD5's vulnerability, forcing people who use it to develop a better algorithm. This project began on January 30, 2003, and was stopped on May 20, 2003, due to a lack of interest from the MD5 developers (who were outside of the NEO project). The challenge tested at least 0.53% of the MD5 keyspace.
The third challenge was the Tellurium project, a physics project in which space-time geometry, specifically Isaac Newton's Equivalence Principle (see a simpler explanation), would be tested with the handedness or chirality property of matter. The principle has never been tested this way: if the test had caused it to fail, then Albert Einstein's General Relativity theory would be shown to be subtly incorrect. This challenge began on May 9, 2003, but the alpha client for the challenge was never publicly released.
The fourth challenge was World TSP, a study of the Traveling Salesman Problem. This challenge attempted to find the shortest route which visits all 1,904,711 populated cities and towns on Earth. "The current best lower bound on the length of a tour for the World TSP [was] 7,510,666,782 (Kilometers)." This bound was established on June 18, 2002. The challenge used an evolving artificial intelligence algorithm to attempt to beat that bound. With 97,820 total routes completed, the shortest route discovered was 13,802,932,609 Kilometers.
|Cryptography, Science||July 31, 2003||10 months||~50,000/~50,000|
Operation Project X was a distributed effort to solve the
Xbox Linux Project, a challenge to crack the
2048-bit RSA private encryption key Microsoft uses to sign Xbox media. If
this key was discovered, Linux could be run on the Xbox without modifying
the Xbox hardware. The client used Microsoft's .NET architecture, and was
available for many platforms, including Xbox. Over 351.3 trillion keys
were tested, but the project ended unexpectedly before the key was found.
Listen to an April 26, 2003 CBC Radio interview (in RealAudio format) with some of the project coordinators.
|Cryptography||July 31, 2003||4 months||~4,000/unknown|
|The search for Wieferich prime numbers looked for numbers of the form ap-1 = 1 (mod p2) for a = 2 or 3. The only two known Wieferich primes are 1,093 and 3,511 and there are no other Wieferich primes less than 2 * 1014. The project extended the search limit to 1.25 * 1015, but did not find any new Wieferich primes. 131,429 total ranges (37,424,648,092,395 primes) were checked at an average speed of 621,457 primes per second. 131 near-misses were found.||Mathematics||June 19, 2003||14 months||304/unknown|
|The Distributed Chess Project tried to create better chess-playing artificial neural networks. The project software implemented a genetic algorithm "to train multi-layer-perceptron neural networks on sets of chess positions with known best continuations (e.g. endgame studies, mate in n moves, white to move and win, ...)." The software was available as a screensaver or command-line client. It allowed the user to "view the status of the evolution any time in terms of computation time, current generation, current best fitness and population diversity" and to "modify the key parameters of the algorithm before a new task starts (e.g. number of generations, population size, number of hidden layers, number of nodes per hidden layer, ...)" if the user wanted to take an active role in shaping its chess-playing neural networks. Volunteers contributed 16 years 57 days of computing time to the project.||Puzzles/Games||April, 2003||10 months||658/unknown|
was a non-profit project sponsored by
NTT Data Corporation, with two
sub-projects: finding disease-causing genes, and finding good materials for
creating optical microprocessors. Note that this site is written completely
in Japanese, but the text translates to English reasonably well in the
babelfish translation. Tetsuya Matsushita wrote an excellent
translation of the major information about the project and
provided screenshots with translations of important information and buttons
on each screen. The project was developed on the
United Devices distributed computing platform. By the end of the
project, 12,000 PCs contributed results to one or both of the sub-projects.
A paper detailing the results of the sub-projects should be available soon.
|Life Sciences||April 30, 2003||4 months||unknown/12,000|
The Triangles project found difference triangles with
the smallest (optimal) span for a given sequence. The project didn't have
a website. The project evolved from a
programming contest, sponsored by Al Zimmerman, which ran from July, 2002
to October 15, 2002. See the
final results of the contest. The project used a modified version of
Jean-Charles Meyrignac's client for the
Minimal Equal Sums of Like Powers
project and a modified version of Stephen Montgomery-Smith's
Dispense Package distributed
Join a discussion forum about the project.
|Mathematics||March 7, 2003||4 months||44/unknown|
|Project Dolphin tracked the total number of keystrokes users made during the use of their computers. It was just for fun. It tracked a total of 34,935,065,880 from over 36,000 users (1,000 times more users than the project coordinator originally planned for).||Human||January 17, 2003||1 year||36,000/not applicable|
was a distributed, brute-force attempt to find the secret "backdoor"
password for Tivo's version 3.2
software. This password would allow a Tivo device owner to enable hidden
features in the software. The project ended before a key was found.
You can read the project
post-mortem, download the
code or the last version of the
or see the final
stats page. The project generated about 2.7 billion blocks of keys using
about 85 CPU years.
Version 2 became active around November 8, 2002.
|Cryptography||January 20, 2003||3 months||unknown/unknown|
oomind, the Open Education Community,
organized information about any subject into
"Courselets," small articles which were submitted by contributors and scored
or graded by other contributors. Anyone could submit new Courselets, grade
others' Courselets, or study Courselets and earn credit for taking quizzes
The project was built on three basic principles:
The project unoficially stopped in April, 2003, and never began again. When it stopped, it had created 91 Courselets in 15 categories.
|Knowledge||April, 2003||unknown||unknown/not applicable|