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Squatch

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Message 57227 - Posted: 27 Oct 2017, 12:52:07 UTC

Glad I found this thread before posting my first ever message to the forums. My credit appeared to be completely wiped out a day or two ago inside the BOINC application (from 229k on 10/4 to 0 a couple days ago), and I was wondering what had happened. Looking at my profile on the website also showed 0 credits, and the tasks page showed my completed work units, all with zero credit, so it was a consistent issue.

I agree with the sentiments of most of the other posters. No, I'm not obsessed with credits because yes, the science is more important. And yes, I understand that credits have no value beyond the good feeling it gives me for helping crunch numbers for what is likely the biggest issue of our day (and almost certainly the biggest issue for our children). But by the same token, I do leave two computers running 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, even when I'm away for a week on vacation or business trips, specifically to run BOINC projects, so it's nice to be rewarded with credits, even though the reward ultimately has no value beyond, "Hey, thank you for helping out."
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TPCBF

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Message 57235 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 2:41:23 UTC - in response to Message 57212.  

A moment of perspective, if you please.

...

Forget 'credits', revel in our long history of cumulative accomplished science; revel in what YOU do to help protect the planet -- i.e., the important stuff. There is a lot!
Well, maybe you should broaden your view a little bit.

For me, it is not as much the credit by itself (yes, it is worthless) but to me, it is an indicator of a successful running application.
If there is a steady flow of those credits (that used to be the case with CPDN's "trickle credits"), then for me that indicates
a) the application is properly running on my host(s), for which I pay the resources to operate
b) that the project is acknowledging those resources that I put into it.

My first check would alsays be on my local hosts, as I do not have the time and/or intention to babysit them. When a regular increase of credits is missing, it could be that this host is down or needs otherwise attention.

If a project has problems providing that credit/stats function, it might be an indicator that not all is right with this project. Some projects just don't seem to care...

Ralf
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anymouse

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Message 57238 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 7:41:13 UTC - in response to Message 57235.  

I'm not obsessed with credits, but yesterday when I looked at my project stats across the four projects I participate in (SETI, Rosetta, World Community Grid, and this one), and noted my points plunged from a little over 850,000 to zero.

Having dealt with everything from "computation errors" to my Internet provider that uses two cans and a string to provide me Internet service at about 10% of my monthly income (and I ain't rich to begin with), coupled with my very pedestrian understanding of computer software, I need the point display to tell if what I'm doing out here in the High Plains outback is accomplishing anything.

My wife (who is a retired software engineer) noted the same when her points plunged to zero: She can't tell if what she's doing on her (much faster) computer is doing anything at all.

Without feedback from the program (as expressed in points), as far as I can tell all I am doing is running up our electric bill. Without feedback from the project administrators, I can't tell if the project gives a diddly damn whether I am doing anything or not.

I realise the importance of the study of climate science and the horrendous amount of number-crunching required to make decent climate models. If I don't know if the data is being processed then I can devote my computer's time to more looking for potential disease cures (or aliens).

When I get data from Climate Prediction, I usually get three or four blocks of data. I put all but one on hold so I can run multiple projects. Right now I don't see any point to processing the three blocks I have until I can determine if I am actually doing anything other than overheating my laptop.

Some feedback on this problem from the administrators would be nice.
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DJStarfox

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Message 57239 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 12:23:48 UTC

This thread is too long, and after reading it, I still don't know why so many people lost all their credits in the last day or so. I lost 1.1 million credits today.

What the hell is going on guys? This needs to get fixed ASAP.

And who programed BOINC to be this volatile that a rogue process or sysadmin can just wipe out credits granted to every user? This has got to change if BOINC is to continue long-term.
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Profile Iain Inglis
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Message 57240 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 13:31:01 UTC - in response to Message 57239.  

... And who programed BOINC to be this volatile that a rogue process or sysadmin can just wipe out credits granted to every user? ...

My understanding is that the temporarily vanishing credits are part of an effort to implement a longer-term fix to the credit system to provide more timely updates. So the credits haven't been wiped out - they need to be recalculated, that's all.
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dduggan47

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Message 57243 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 15:13:01 UTC - in response to Message 56760.  
Last modified: 28 Oct 2017, 15:27:52 UTC

Hang in with us. It is the science that matters, not credit, eh?


I agree with that as posted previously, but credit updates also gives us the feedback of a living/running project.


Exactly. The credits also give us a feeling of accomplishment and a way to measure how we've helped. In short, the credits make it fun.

I wouldn't be doing this if it was just for credits in some random credit game. It really is about the science. There's a LOT of science that can be done via BOINC though. This isn't the only "game" in town.

[Edit]

PS: I came looking at the forum like a lot of people probably did to find out what happened to my half million credits. (I was lucky, still had about 300k left.) I should have read through the tread though before posting. What I said was true but I need to add that I understand that s**t happens and I appreciate the effort by the volunteers and paid staff (are there any?) to get things corrected.
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Profile Megacruncher

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Message 57246 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 21:09:58 UTC

The credits aren't so much about fun but are a source of acknowledgment of our freely given efforts, which is why we don't like them arbitrarily evaporating.

I've been running most BOINC projects since the kick-off. I have over 139 Billion credits so the 6 million CPDN credits I have are arithmetically neither here nor there. Except they are/were my credits for this project so I am seriously pissed off by the fact that since returning to a project, which I long ago accepted was a modest payer, to find that not only have I got no credit for my new work but my 6 million has been revised back to less than 4 milliom.

I'd be a little less critical if any of the 86 other projects I'd crunched had had similar problems. But they haven't.

It is about the science but given the choice of doing science with or without disdain most people will go for without.

The Scottish Boinc Team
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Profile Slywy

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Message 57247 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 22:02:02 UTC - in response to Message 56958.  

Look at people and fitness trackers. Without trackers, people tend to walk or run less, or less often. But when they have a tracker, they're more likely to want to walk/run/work out more often and for longer periods, as a competition against themselves (15,000 steps? Bah, I can do 20,000!) or against friends (You slacker! Only 10,000 today?). It's a fairly basic aspect of human psychology. There's no conventional reward, but people tend to find satisfaction at meeting benchmarks and moving to the next one.
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sohleks

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Message 57248 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 22:43:16 UTC

I started on CPDN a few weeks ago and my first points just ticked in today. I put my machine on exclusively climate for about a week and got some done. Also my current work unit is doing the point trickle. So hopefully that's a sign of upcoming recovery for you veteran crunchers.
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Profile Alan K

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Message 57249 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 23:00:54 UTC - in response to Message 57248.  

Looks like the credits have been restored. I've got my 10M back. Thanks to Andy I guess.
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Alex Plantema

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Message 57250 - Posted: 28 Oct 2017, 23:45:53 UTC

Mine are back too!
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Profile Megacruncher

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Message 57258 - Posted: 29 Oct 2017, 23:23:30 UTC

Hurrah!
Many thanks for fixing the credits.
Hopefully they will not break again but if the ever do please try & stay apologetic despite the irritating irritation of your loyal crunchers. Best not to imply that the privilege of being allowed to assist with the science is reward enough and that we shouldn't worry ourselves about the credit. I'll be back. Others might not.

The Scottish Boinc Team
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dduggan47

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Message 57259 - Posted: 29 Oct 2017, 23:54:12 UTC
Last modified: 29 Oct 2017, 23:56:36 UTC

Don't see mine back yet but I'm sure they will be in time. I have faith! :-)

Edit: Never mind. I'm blind. They're back. Thanks to all.
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Cruncher Pete

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Message 57260 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 0:19:45 UTC

I am for one am unlikely to return until this project is fixed. For months, people have been complaining about not getting any credit, credits not updated, credit lost etc. The majority of answers to these problems came from those who openly state that they do not care for credits. I have not seen any replies from an Administrator even though the team consists of numerous Professors and Dr's. I have seen plenty of requests to donate to the project though. It seem the Admins do not care about how many volunteers they have or loose because of lack of transparency, no time to listen to wingers like me etc. If you care to read the BOINC Documentation it explains how to utilize the NEWS section on the front page yours is empty and we have to search through hundreds of Messages to find an answer. Please make use of it, let us know if you are experiancing an problem, forewarn us of website or project update downtime and in other words communicate with your volunteers.

This project is the worst in the BOINC circle. We as volunteers donate our equipment and time and at the end of a quarter we receive our Electricity account to see how stupid we are donating to a cause that do not care to listen or even tell us if they have a problem. The Volunteer moderators are Moderators and not Administrators. They are not Administrators who are responsible for maintaining the system in good order. Without their in between action we would never know if we are actually making any difference.

This once a month credit issue is a joke. Most other BOINC Project adjust their credit at least once a day why can't you. If your IT personnel are not good enough perhaps you should ask assistance from Berkley or other Universities or projects for they have no such problems and some of them like LHC run multiple sub projects at once. Daily credit is the only way that I can be sure that I am not wasting my time on Electricity.
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Profile Iain Inglis
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Message 57261 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 1:18:31 UTC - in response to Message 57260.  

[Cruncher Pete wrote:]... This once a month credit issue is a joke. Most other BOINC Project adjust their credit at least once a day why can't you. ...

CPDN models are long by virtue of the much greater complexity of climate modelling; the models are also hard to validate by simple replication for that reason. The trickle system was introduced in order to issue credits during the running of a model rather than at the end; it also allows credits to be allocated to incomplete models. That system is computationally onerous and hit a limit, which is now being circumvented.

Would it be better if the project had more IT resources? Of course it would, but they don't. Would anyone prefer a credit system that allocated no credits until and unless a model is validated? I think not. So the credit system is designed with volunteer interests in mind, it went wrong, and now it's been fixed.
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Cruncher Pete

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Message 57262 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 2:34:15 UTC - in response to Message 57261.  

[Cruncher Pete wrote:]... This once a month credit issue is a joke. Most other BOINC Project adjust their credit at least once a day why can't you. ...

CPDN models are long by virtue of the much greater complexity of climate modelling; the models are also hard to validate by simple replication for that reason. The trickle system was introduced in order to issue credits during the running of a model rather than at the end; it also allows credits to be allocated to incomplete models. That system is computationally onerous and hit a limit, which is now being circumvented.

Would it be better if the project had more IT resources? Of course it would, but they don't. Would anyone prefer a credit system that allocated no credits until and unless a model is validated? I think not. So the credit system is designed with volunteer interests in mind, it went wrong, and now it's been fixed.


I am sorry but I am not here to argue. I am sick and tired of excuses. The reason now appears to be that you do not have enough IT resources. May I suggest, if that is the case stop the project rather than run it as is without Admin support it just can not possibly succeed.

50+ other projects do not seem to have any problem with large or complex modeling. They have found a way to break down the large models into manageable parcels that any volunteer can manage, complete in 24 hours and receive credit according to hours worked all in 24 hours.

I said my piece. If you choose to ignore it than it is you provocative, your problem. I'm out of here unless the project improves its image. After all, it is my equipment, my time and money and my choice...
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Profile Dave Jackson
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Message 57263 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 7:31:25 UTC - in response to Message 57262.  

50+ other projects do not seem to have any problem with large or complex modeling. They have found a way to break down the large models into manageable parcels that any volunteer can manage, complete in 24 hours and receive credit according to hours worked all in 24 hours.


I note that the only other project I have found (climate@home) looking at this area also has tasks that on my machines at least last well over a week. That project seems to appear and then go into abeyance every few months.

It is also worth noting that most of the tasks here have already been broken down into smaller chunks to make them more manageable.

The reason for not breaking them down further is the statistical methods used to validate results. Because the results of tasks show some variation across both operating system and processor type. Breaking the tasks down further would not only increase the chances of error across the reconstituted piece of work but also reduce the reliability of the statistical process.

If any moderators know better or I have got something wrong, I am sure they will chip in.
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DadX

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Message 57265 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 17:33:27 UTC

Love the pts/hr since the credits were restored. But if it's not intentional then there's probably something that still needs looking into. My most recently completed task and the one in progress both got a hefty lift in point/hour, somewhere between 2-3 times better than what I've received on the same machine for prior work. Don't get me wrong, I love it. It brings the credits awarded (per hour) for this project from one of the worst to one of the best.

And just in case someone want to look at it the WUs are
wah2_pnw25_rlr2_200412_24_666_011289809 (Completed)
wah2_pnw25_rib1_200212_24_666_011285344 (in Progress)
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bernard_ivo

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Message 57266 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 19:44:47 UTC - in response to Message 57265.  

Love the pts/hr since the credits were restored. But if it's not intentional then there's probably something that still needs looking into. My most recently completed task and the one in progress both got a hefty lift in point/hour, somewhere between 2-3 times better than what I've received on the same machine for prior work. Don't get me wrong, I love it. It brings the credits awarded (per hour) for this project from one of the worst to one of the best.

And just in case someone want to look at it the WUs are
wah2_pnw25_rlr2_200412_24_666_011289809 (Completed)
wah2_pnw25_rib1_200212_24_666_011285344 (in Progress)


If I'm not wrong the credits are still based on trickles so in your case 24. However I have few hadcm's like this one who despite been crunched for over a week, got only 1 trickle and rather small credit. On some WUs during the outbreak in the summer I did not get any credit as all trickles were not uploaded/recorded, but nevertheless the WUs completed successfully.
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crashtech

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Message 57267 - Posted: 30 Oct 2017, 21:15:18 UTC

Just wanted to post a "thank you," as it seems that the stats are getting closer to being fixed.
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