Problems and Technical Issues with Rosetta@home

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Peter Hucker of the Scottish Boinc Team
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Message 97566 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 15:27:52 UTC - in response to Message 97565.  
Last modified: 24 Jun 2020, 15:29:08 UTC

"Deadlines for Rosetta@home tasks are 3 days from the time they are issued. "
Is there any sesible reason for sauch a short time?
Spending lots of time crunching is pointless if a task is "Completed, too late to validate". Seems more like an insult to people donating their time to then slap them in the face.


Perhaps the scientists don't want to wait two weeks to get the answers they need? That seems perfectly reasonable to me. A task takes 8 hours, so 3 days is plenty of time.

Your Boinc client shouldn't be downloading more than it can get done. It should learn how often your computer runs, what other projects you're doing, etc.

But the best way is to set your cache to a small value - I have mine on 0.13 + 0.13 days (which is 3-6 hours). There's no need to queue lots of tasks.
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Message 97567 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 16:15:28 UTC - in response to Message 97566.  

The Rosetta deadlines are beyond silly.
People are crunching and losing time after time. I am not complaining about work that take "two weeks" but three days. I keep one alleged day of work but when Rosetta's unrealistic times are always vastly shorter than the actual time it takes, it is ridiculous. Then to reject a result because it is out of such a daft short time is to be frankly insulting.
I do note the very large number of people who have left and continue to leave the project and it does not surprise me in the least. It has to be time to rething some things and that includes the three day time limit.
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Peter Hucker of the Scottish Boinc Team
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Message 97568 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 17:00:25 UTC - in response to Message 97567.  
Last modified: 24 Jun 2020, 17:04:43 UTC

The Rosetta deadlines are beyond silly.
People are crunching and losing time after time. I am not complaining about work that take "two weeks" but three days. I keep one alleged day of work but when Rosetta's unrealistic times are always vastly shorter than the actual time it takes, it is ridiculous. Then to reject a result because it is out of such a daft short time is to be frankly insulting.
I do note the very large number of people who have left and continue to leave the project and it does not surprise me in the least. It has to be time to rething some things and that includes the three day time limit.


I don't understand what you're getting at. You receive a task that takes 8 hours to complete, and you have to send it back in 3 days (9 times longer than it takes to do it). How can that possibly cause you not to get them done in time?

The predicted times are not "unrealistic", they're precisely correct. In fact they're somehow limited to 8 or 12 hours. If yours take longer than that, there's something very wrong with your computer.

And it's not a daft short time, it's presumably because the scientists need those results back quickly so they can work on the next stage.

I've looked at your computers, and two of them are working just fine, all tasks were validated fine, and done in exactly 8 hours each. Only the i5-8400 is playing up, it's taking 24 hours to do a task, but only doing 8 hours of processing. Is your CPU doing something else aswell? Is it overheating? Have you limited Boinc to use 33% of CPU time? If the latter, change that to 100% and put the cores down to 33% instead. That will run less tasks at once, but at full speed.
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Message 97573 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 19:22:37 UTC

The BOINC manager is not that good at predicting my compute time and anyway i am not home on weekends so i always have some tasks due to finish a day my computer will be off. So at the end of the week i have to cancel a batch. Systematically.

I understand they want their results fast but i cannot always provide.
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Message 97574 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 19:33:20 UTC - in response to Message 97573.  

The BOINC manager is not that good at predicting my compute time and anyway i am not home on weekends so i always have some tasks due to finish a day my computer will be off. So at the end of the week i have to cancel a batch. Systematically.

I understand they want their results fast but i cannot always provide.

Have you tried setting No new tasks about the time any more tasks downloaded will not finish in time?
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Message 97576 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 19:59:59 UTC - in response to Message 97565.  

"Deadlines for Rosetta@home tasks are 3 days from the time they are issued."
Is there any sensible reason for such a short time?
Spending lots of time crunching is pointless if a task is "Completed, too late to validate". Seems more like an insult to people donating their time to then slap them in the face.

Not sure if you count it as a sensible reason, but around 6,000 people are dying in the world of CV19 every day for the last few months.
The quicker they come back, the quicker the next iteration of tasks can go out again.

You're not spending a lot of time crunching tasks if you can't get an 8hr task back within 3 days. The average turnaround time at this project is 1.3 days, including all delays - a very large number inside 24hrs.
Either you're machine isn't working on them much or your buffer of tasks is too high to work through them by the deadline - or a combination of the two.

Especially while tasks are in short supply, you should reduce your offline cache of tasks by a margin that allows you to complete them on time instead of just waiting in a queue, because many others have run out of work and would complete them inside half a day.

You picked the wrong day to say you've got too many tasks to complete within the deadline...
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Message 97577 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 20:00:14 UTC - in response to Message 97574.  
Last modified: 24 Jun 2020, 20:02:05 UTC


Have you tried setting No new tasks about the time any more tasks downloaded will not finish in time?


Yes but it doesn't work out well enough. Reducing the cache helped better but i still have to cancel some. It doesn't help that i sometimes stop to crunch for Folding. :)
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Sid Celery

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Message 97578 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 20:22:21 UTC - in response to Message 97567.  

I do note the very large number of people who have left and continue to leave the project and it does not surprise me in the least.
It has to be time to rethink some things and that includes the three day time limit.

Before Seti shut down there were 40-50k hosts returning tasks daily here. Currently it's around 550k daily. Good observation.

After the massive influx of new users and hosts, the project did have a massive rethink, doubling the minimum runtime and cutting the deadline from 8 days to 3.
It was massively successful, enabling 10x as many tasks to be returned with more useful information in a lot less time, while not exceeding the server capacity (which was being hammered at the time)

That being the case, if you could tweak your settings appropriately to your ability to run and meet the deadline the project requires, that would be great.
Or you could continue being late to return your tasks and get no credit for them. Your choice.
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Message 97579 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 20:22:36 UTC - in response to Message 97577.  


Have you tried setting No new tasks about the time any more tasks downloaded will not finish in time?


Yes but it doesn't work out well enough. Reducing the cache helped better but i still have to cancel some. It doesn't help that i sometimes stop to crunch for Folding. :)

Folding@home? If so, I have Folding@home doing GPU work only, with BOINC projects taking up all of the CPU time they can without interfering with Folding@home or with my email reading. That allows both Folding@home and BOINC to crunch nearly 24 hours a day.
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Sid Celery

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Message 97580 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 20:31:43 UTC - in response to Message 97577.  

Have you tried setting No new tasks about the time any more tasks downloaded will not finish in time?

Yes but it doesn't work out well enough. Reducing the cache helped better but i still have to cancel some. It doesn't help that i sometimes stop to crunch for Folding. :)

I have no idea as I've never used it, but would it help to set something in Boinc's "Daily Schedules" tab under Computing Preferences? I wonder what it would do.
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Message 97581 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 20:37:01 UTC - in response to Message 97580.  


I have no idea as I've never used it, but would it help to set something in Boinc's "Daily Schedules" tab under Computing Preferences? I wonder what it would do.


I don't know. It doesn't seem to forbid specific days. Just specific hours some days. In the meantime, i will try to reduce further the cache to see if it helps well enough. :)
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Message 97582 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 21:08:51 UTC - in response to Message 97581.  
Last modified: 24 Jun 2020, 21:11:03 UTC


I have no idea as I've never used it, but would it help to set something in Boinc's "Daily Schedules" tab under Computing Preferences? I wonder what it would do.


I don't know. It doesn't seem to forbid specific days. Just specific hours some days. In the meantime, i will try to reduce further the cache to see if it helps well enough. :)

That appears to mean that you can exclude certain days by excluding all of the hours on those days.

I'd expect how much it helps to depend on how well BOINC uses the excluded days in its calculations of how much work to download.
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Peter Hucker of the Scottish Boinc Team
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Message 97585 - Posted: 24 Jun 2020, 23:00:48 UTC - in response to Message 97573.  

The BOINC manager is not that good at predicting my compute time and anyway i am not home on weekends so i always have some tasks due to finish a day my computer will be off. So at the end of the week i have to cancel a batch. Systematically.

I understand they want their results fast but i cannot always provide.


Just leave the machine on. Computers enjoy crunching :-) I've got 6 running 24/7. 5 of them in another room where I can't hear the fans!
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Message 97590 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 7:21:55 UTC

I've been seeing a lot of
error while downloading
tasks, and the website sometimes gives me the message "Project is Down."

Is this just me or are others seeing this too?
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Message 97592 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 10:22:38 UTC - in response to Message 97590.  

Is this just me or are others seeing this too?

Me too.
https://boinc.bakerlab.org/rosetta/results.php?hostid=4684790
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Message 97602 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 14:16:19 UTC - in response to Message 97581.  


I have no idea as I've never used it, but would it help to set something in Boinc's "Daily Schedules" tab under Computing Preferences? I wonder what it would do.

I don't know. It doesn't seem to forbid specific days. Just specific hours some days. In the meantime, i will try to reduce further the cache to see if it helps well enough. :)

In this era of high speed, always-on internet connections, what purpose does the cache even serve? I have mine set to zero so it just downloads WUs as others finish and it works just fine. And since those WUs are always "fresh," I never have to worry about running up against the deadline.
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Peter Hucker of the Scottish Boinc Team
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Message 97603 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 14:33:38 UTC - in response to Message 97602.  
Last modified: 25 Jun 2020, 14:34:27 UTC


I have no idea as I've never used it, but would it help to set something in Boinc's "Daily Schedules" tab under Computing Preferences? I wonder what it would do.

I don't know. It doesn't seem to forbid specific days. Just specific hours some days. In the meantime, i will try to reduce further the cache to see if it helps well enough. :)

In this era of high speed, always-on internet connections, what purpose does the cache even serve? I have mine set to zero so it just downloads WUs as others finish and it works just fine. And since those WUs are always "fresh," I never have to worry about running up against the deadline.


I run Milkyway, where the tasks take one minute on a graphics card. I can't download them that often, the server doesn't allow it. I only set my cache to 3+3 hours though. For example, on my CPUs I currently have 66 CPU tasks running and 12 tasks queued. It doesn't seem right to me to be constantly downloading 1 task at a time, I'm sure the server prefers I download batches of say 6. In fact on my 24 core machines, they could be trying to get tasks from Rosetta extremely often if they got one at a time. What if one task finished at 3:00pm, so it downloaded a new task, then another core finished at 3:01pm? And another at 3:02pm? I suspect I'd hit a server limit of how often I can contact.
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Message 97606 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 15:20:03 UTC - in response to Message 97603.  

I run Milkyway, where the tasks take one minute on a graphics card. I can't download them that often, the server doesn't allow it. I only set my cache to 3+3 hours though. For example, on my CPUs I currently have 66 CPU tasks running and 12 tasks queued. It doesn't seem right to me to be constantly downloading 1 task at a time, I'm sure the server prefers I download batches of say 6. In fact on my 24 core machines, they could be trying to get tasks from Rosetta extremely often if they got one at a time. What if one task finished at 3:00pm, so it downloaded a new task, then another core finished at 3:01pm? And another at 3:02pm? I suspect I'd hit a server limit of how often I can contact.
Ok, that sounds like a reasonable fringe case. But for the vast majority of people whose computers take hours to run each WU, it doesn't seem like a cache of jobs really adds much benefit from a project standpoint. It just unnecessarily delays WU completion as they sit claimed-but-idle in someone's queue.
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Peter Hucker of the Scottish Boinc Team
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Message 97608 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 15:40:11 UTC - in response to Message 97606.  

Ok, that sounds like a reasonable fringe case. But for the vast majority of people whose computers take hours to run each WU, it doesn't seem like a cache of jobs really adds much benefit from a project standpoint. It just unnecessarily delays WU completion as they sit claimed-but-idle in someone's queue.


Agreed, for normal computers without Milkyway on GPU, or with huge numbers of cores. A long time ago I'd use a big cache on projects which had a lot of server downtime, but I don't think many do that much now. Even if they did, if you have two projects your computer can fall back on the other one.

But a queue of 3+3 hours (I think the Boinc default is pretty similar) isn't much, since it also includes the time for the running tasks to complete. Say you have 4 cores, and they have all recently started an 8 hour Rosetta task, they all have 7 hours to completion. No tasks will be queued, because Boinc can see all 4 cores are going to be busy for 7 hours. Only when it gets below 3 hours will it download anything. At this point with my setting, it would get one task per core, and if you have 24 cores like two of my machines do, zero queue would mean constantly hammering the server for work.
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Message 97615 - Posted: 25 Jun 2020, 19:08:27 UTC - in response to Message 97592.  

i don't get new work, too, Some days ago the "NumberFields@home" had a problem: Expired SSL certificates. User action was required. Maybe here the same?
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Message boards : Number crunching : Problems and Technical Issues with Rosetta@home



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