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Distributed computing projects

Posted on: May, 5th 2011
Radio-telescope
The distributed computing consist in the use of several personal computers to resolve, in less time, a problem for that we needed several years of computation with only one computer. This kind of computation usually use the processors of the users that voluntarily give their CPU cicles and GPU when they aren't using their computer, constituting a economic way of do an investigation when a supercomputer is not available.

Really, the behavior is seemed to a supercomputer, because a supercomputer is also a network of processors, where one or more master nodes are in charge of distribute and coordinate the work to the slaves nodes.

The most famous of this projects is the SETI@home ("SETI at home"). SETI is the acronym of (Search for Extra-Terrestrila Intelligence), which consist in install a screensaver that analice the radio signals received by the Allen Telescope Array to search messages from other worlds, although recently have been stopped temporaly the radio-telescopes due to the lack of money.

The SETI project has been the precursor and producer of the project BOINC@home. That is a similar software that englobes a lot of projects of distribute computing, with this we can choose in which of them we want participate. In BOINC, we can find projects of several branches: medicine, biology, physics, artificial intelligence, cryptography, mathematics, etc. Although there are other projects of distribute computing that this tool doesn't have.

If you search the disposable projects, will be some of them that you could think that are more interesting, as analize the collisions of the LHC, studies about the DNA, nuclear fusion simulations, climate predictions, etc., but even if you collaborate in the projects that seem that have less practical utility, as by example, search decimals of Pi, calculate prime numbers, predict the performance of the future quantum computers or the best way of play chess, you will be contributing to the cryptography, the mathematics, the algorithmics, the artificial intelligence, as well as the distributed computing itself.

So you know, if you want contribute with the science, only you need a computer conected to Internet and install one of this programs.

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