Astropulse takes too long to calculate


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henry_tsai
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Message 878775 - Posted: 24 Mar 2009, 3:42:50 UTC

My computer is over 3-year old, and takes well over 120 hr to finish an astropulse or over 200 hr for a v5 task. Can astropulse tasks be divided into smaller pieces, so my computer may finish them in time?
Henry Tsai, Ph.D.

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Message 878797 - Posted: 24 Mar 2009, 5:52:12 UTC - in response to Message 878775.
Last modified: 24 Mar 2009, 6:05:26 UTC

My computer is over 3-year old, and takes well over 120 hr to finish an astropulse or over 200 hr for a v5 task. Can astropulse tasks be divided into smaller pieces, so my computer may finish them in time?
Henry Tsai, Ph.D.


Astropulse WU are as small as they can be. It's not so much the size as the amount of work required to do a wide spectrum analysis that is required. Due dates on Astropulse are a month.

If you allow Boinc to always run in background and your system is on an average of 4 or 5 hrs a day it should easily make due date. Boinc should not interfere with normal computer operations unless you're running some very heavy duty software like video rendering or high end games.

The other option is to uncheck the Astropulse option in your Seti preferences.

EDIT: There are some third party optimized application posted in the Number crunching forum that can cut crunch time by half. They do require a more hands on participation as using them require staying up to date on the lastest version releases since they won't update automaticaly and require manual installation.
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Message 884526 - Posted: 12 Apr 2009, 10:51:41 UTC

It appears that the test to see if a pc is capable of running Astropulse is not performing very well. I have two old machines, one with an AMD 450 processor and the other with a 633 Celeron: both were apparently deemed suitable for Astropulse, as it started running automatically; the first has taken 386 hours to do less than 15% of the task, with 2158 hours estimated remaining, and the second has taken 557 hours to do less than 53% with 497 hours remaining. Both have now exceeded their deadlines, and I think the best plan would be to cut my losses and abandon them.

Two more modern machines are running the task quite happily, but I wonder how many other computers are being tied up unnecessarily by this gross miscalculation of their hosts' abilities?
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Message 884540 - Posted: 12 Apr 2009, 12:14:53 UTC - in response to Message 884526.

The server-side scheduler code has been modified on SETI Beta to correct the issues of older clients being sent AP work. Hopefully the code will make it to SETI@Home soon.
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Message 893701 - Posted: 11 May 2009, 19:53:37 UTC - in response to Message 878797.

Good day. I have only recently become properly aware of BOINC/SETI and have joined with much good will and enthusiasm initiating several computers about the house. I have to reiterate the point made by others that ASTROPULSE tasks are too big (or the time allowed too short). I also confirm points made elsewhere about the estimation of computer capability being poorly performed. My oldest [participating] computer, with a 1.3GHz P4 processor, I always expected to struggle. By running continuously for 80%+ of the allocated month, however, I now expect it to complete my first task shortly. An other computer with about 3.0GHz will deliver two tasks at about the same time. Surely these machines should not need to be on essentially continuously to (just) complete a task in time? My portable, a hyperthreading 3.0GHz P4 portable, seems set to waste most of a full month's labours, however, despite my recognising its lagging behind a leaving it on literally continuously. I do ask that if something can be done to allow lesser machines to participate then please let it be done. They want in too! ;-) All best regards, George Morris

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Message 893722 - Posted: 11 May 2009, 21:13:41 UTC - in response to Message 893701.
Last modified: 11 May 2009, 21:36:52 UTC

Good day. I have only recently become properly aware of BOINC/SETI and have joined with much good will and enthusiasm initiating several computers about the house. I have to reiterate the point made by others that ASTROPULSE tasks are too big (or the time allowed too short). I also confirm points made elsewhere about the estimation of computer capability being poorly performed. My oldest [participating] computer, with a 1.3GHz P4 processor, I always expected to struggle. By running continuously for 80%+ of the allocated month, however, I now expect it to complete my first task shortly. An other computer with about 3.0GHz will deliver two tasks at about the same time. Surely these machines should not need to be on essentially continuously to (just) complete a task in time? My portable, a hyperthreading 3.0GHz P4 portable, seems set to waste most of a full month's labours, however, despite my recognising its lagging behind a leaving it on literally continuously. I do ask that if something can be done to allow lesser machines to participate then please let it be done. They want in too! ;-) All best regards, George Morris

If you feel that the project is not selecting the proper jobs for some of your systems capabilities, I would suggest that you set up a separate venue for these computers. You can have up to 4 separate preferences settings - Default, Home, School, and Work.

set one of these in your Resource share and graphics SETI@home preferences to

Run only the selected applications
SETI@home Enhanced: yes
Astropulse: no
Astropulse v5: no
If no work for selected applications is available, accept work from other applications? no

Assign the lesser computers listed on your account by selecting the Detail link and changing it to the new designated venue.

Here is a short primer on Preference Venue and Computer Summary Page in the Unofficial Boinc Wiki. The information predates Astropulse so the above work option is not mentioned but it still should still be helpful.
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Message 894382 - Posted: 13 May 2009, 23:35:25 UTC - in response to Message 893722.

GET RID OF THE ASTRO PULSE. I invest 80 plus hours only to have the time frame expire and not get ANY credit for any of it. I have a quad core 2.6ghz AMD Phenom and instead of loading one or two astro pulse tasks it loads four then none get done. I am ready to detach from the project due to this crap.
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Message 894414 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 0:08:14 UTC - in response to Message 894382.

AstroPulse is the next phase of data gathering in the search for E.T. There is not technical reason to get rid of it. If some users don't like running it, there is always the aforementioned preference change to disable it for your account.

Personally, I like AstroPulse and would rather do nothing but AP work.
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Message 894425 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 0:22:47 UTC - in response to Message 894382.
Last modified: 14 May 2009, 0:25:59 UTC

GET RID OF THE ASTRO PULSE. I invest 80 plus hours only to have the time frame expire and not get ANY credit for any of it. I have a quad core 2.6ghz AMD Phenom and instead of loading one or two astro pulse tasks it loads four then none get done. I am ready to detach from the project due to this crap.

An interesting first post. I'm sorry about your attitude, but I can't agree with you. Perhaps a different approach might be more beneficial. As an original Seti cruncher you must remember that in the early days Work Units (WU) took much longer to analyze than Astropulse does now.

Astropulse WU have a 30 day deadline which means they only need about 3 hrs a day to complete on time. With a powerful system like yours that should be easy to do especially if you allow Boinc to run in background. Third party optimized, system specific, software is also available which can reduce crunch times below 20-30 hrs.

Another option is to simply choose not to do Astropulse. Just go into the SETI@home preferences in your account and edit the option to select the kind of work you will accept.

Run only the selected applications
SETI@home Enhanced
Astropulse
Astropulse v5

If no work for selected applications is available, accept work from other applications?
Use Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) if available
Use Central Processing Unit (CPU)
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Message 894462 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 1:50:50 UTC

I would like the deadlines on AP work to be increased.
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Message 894554 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 11:39:13 UTC - in response to Message 894462.

I would like the deadlines on AP work to be increased.


This might be the best option for the project since the primary complaint is that people can't finish the work before the deadline, so it seems logical to increase the deadlined. If you can't make the goal, move the goalpost.
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Message 894581 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 14:00:24 UTC - in response to Message 894554.

I'd say that most of my pending credit is from people that either abandon the project or abort the WU's before they even run the work
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Message 894602 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 15:12:50 UTC - in response to Message 894581.

If I remember correctly weren't they talking about shortening the deadline to try to keep new people from getting them until they proved they could handle them?
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Message 894634 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 16:58:24 UTC

I'd rather have the preferences page pop up and ask me which I'd like to do with a note under each app explaining seti_enhanced = short WU's with lower credits
Astropulse = very long WU's with very large credit
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Message 894635 - Posted: 14 May 2009, 17:01:42 UTC - in response to Message 894382.

GET RID OF THE ASTRO PULSE. I invest 80 plus hours only to have the time frame expire and not get ANY credit for any of it. I have a quad core 2.6ghz AMD Phenom and instead of loading one or two astro pulse tasks it loads four then none get done. I am ready to detach from the project due to this crap.

I noticed that you don't have any work onboard. If you dont like astropulse click on my link to turn off astropulse. then make sure seti enhanced is the only application that is clicked.

You do have a very nice PC so you really shouldnt have any trouble running Astropulse. even without the optimized app I was able to knock out Astropulse in about 40-60 hours on my phenom 9500
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Message 898165 - Posted: 22 May 2009, 10:05:36 UTC

My machine has been happily boincing away on AP and since I turned CUDA off my RAC has increased. Go figure.

The bottom line is, we're here to aid SETI in their task.
Whatever the project requires of my computer they can have.

It's about aiding science and the brain guys behind it.

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Message 898226 - Posted: 22 May 2009, 14:40:05 UTC - in response to Message 898165.

My little Celeron E1400 dual with an 8500GT card is crunching along happily with a mix of AP, MB and Cuda. I'm optimized to the max but it still takes me ~60 hours to complete an AP. Not complaining as that is still well within the deadline. I doubt my wingmen are complaining either because they know they will get their credit soon since I keep a fairly low cache.
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Message 899804 - Posted: 26 May 2009, 22:54:30 UTC

I just complete an AP v5 Wu and it took 110hrs, on a pentium D 930 @ 4ghz.
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Message 900805 - Posted: 29 May 2009, 2:06:22 UTC - in response to Message 899804.

I just complete an AP v5 Wu and it took 110hrs, on a pentium D 930 @ 4ghz.

you might consider using one of the optimized apps. it should get your time down below 30 hours and maybe below 20
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Message 907961 - Posted: 15 Jun 2009, 20:46:08 UTC
Last modified: 15 Jun 2009, 21:05:49 UTC

u4ia wrote:

GET RID OF THE ASTRO PULSE. I invest 80 plus hours only to have the time frame expire and not get ANY credit for any of it. I have a quad core 2.6ghz AMD Phenom and instead of loading one or two astro pulse tasks it loads four then none get done. I am ready to detach from the project due to this crap.


u4ia's computer:

AMD Phenom(tm) 9950 Quad-Core Processor Measured floating point speed 2661.41 million ops/sec Measured integer speed 5952.16 million ops/sec

My computer:

Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (OCed to 2.7GHz) Measured floating point speed 2620.74 million ops/sec Measured integer speed 5911.11 million ops/sec


For my computer I found one validated AP WU from 3 days ago, with CPU time = 52579.83, or about 14.6 hours. This is with the optimized apps.

Comparing u4ia's computer's floating-point benchmark to mine, if u4ia were to use the optimized apps, then I would expect that it would finish an AP WU in about same amount of time that mine does.

There are 720 hours per 30-day period. This means that you would be able do one Work Unit (or 4 WU since your computer has 4 cores that work in parallel) in time to meet the deadline if you allow BOINC to run just 2% of the day.

This is about 29 minutes of dedicated time per day.

Or one Saturday per month, leaving the computer on from 8am to about 11pm.

Or more if running BOINC less than 100% of the time.

But clearly your computer can do the job in time.

Do try the optimized apps, and post your finding here. This may help others to estimate times based on your experience.

Edit:

By the way, it sounds as if you think that BOINC should have finished if it were to load only 1 or 2 WU instead of 4. This is not the way a multi-core CPU works. It does not do things 4 times as fast as a 1 core CPU. Instead it does 4 different things simultaneously by working on all of them in parallel. Hence it takes the same amount of wall-clock time to do 4 AP WU as it does to do 1 AP WU, as long as each AP WU gets 1 dedicated core.
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