The Impact of Multi-Core Architectures on Task Retrieval Policies for Volunteer Computing

D. Toth (USA)


Volunteer computing, multi-core, distributed computing, performance


Volunteer computing projects use donated CPU time to solve problems that would otherwise be too computationally intensive to solve. The donated CPU time comes from computers whose owners install a volunteer computing client program on their computer, allowing a project to use the computer’s idle time. The low participation rate in volunteer computing and the increasing number of volunteer computing projects make improvements that more effectively use the donated CPU cycles very important. Past work showed that using certain task retrieval policies could increase the number of tasks volunteer computing clients complete. However, the past work assumed that the volunteered computers had a single CPU and the task retrieval methods that resulted in more completed tasks required the client to be connected to the Internet more often than the other policies. We simulated the task retrieval policies for computers with multi-core CPUs and found that in most cases, the multi-core architecture can lead to a slightly greater than linear increase in the number of tasks that the clients complete, relative to the number of cores the computer running the client has. Additionally, the multi core architecture can reduce the performance gap between the best and worst performing policies significantly, affecting which policies are used.

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