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Journal Article

Designing a Runtime System for Volunteer Computing


Allen,  Bruce
Observational Relativity and Cosmology, AEI-Hannover, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Anderson, D. P., Christensen, C., & Allen, B. (2006). Designing a Runtime System for Volunteer Computing. Proceedings of the IEEE Computer Society, 1-33. doi:10.1109/SC.2006.24.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-4D85-8
Volunteer computing is a form of distributed computing in which the general public volunteers processing and storage to scientific research projects. BOINC, a middleware system for volunteer computing, is currently used by about 20 projects, to which 300,000 volunteers and 450,000 computers supply 350 TeraFLOPS of processing power. A BOINC client program runs on the volunteered hosts and manages the execution of applications. Together with a library linked to applications, it implements a runtime system providing process management, graphics control, checkpointing, file access, and other functions. This runtime system must handle widely varying applications, must provide features and properties desired by volunteers, and must work on many platforms. This paper describes the problems in designing a runtime system having these properties, and how these problems are solved in BOINC.