Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing

infobox software
name = BOINC

caption = Current (top) and former (bottom) BOINC logos
developer = University of California, Berkeley
latest_release_version = 6.2.19
latest_release_date = September 22, 2008
operating_system = Cross-platform
genre = Grid computing
license = GNU Lesser General Public License
website =

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a non-commercial middleware system for volunteer and grid computing. It was originally developed to support the SETI@home project before it became useful as a platform for other distributed applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, and astrophysics. The intent of BOINC is to make it possible for researchers to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world.

BOINC has been developed by a team based at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley led by David Anderson, who also leads SETI@home. As a "quasi-supercomputing" platform, BOINC has over 565,000 active computers (hosts) worldwide processing on average 1.2 PFLOPS as of July 27, 2008." [ BOINCstats - BOINC combined credit overview] ." Retrieved on July 27, 2008.] BOINC is funded by the National Science Foundation through awards SCI/0221529, [ [ Research and Infrastructure Development for Public-Resource Scientific Computing] , The National Science Foundation] SCI/0438443 [ [ SCI: NMI Development for Public-Resource Computing and Storage] , The National Science Foundation] and SCI/0721124. [ [ SDCI NMI Improvement: Middleware for Volunteer Computing] , The National Science Foundation]

The framework is supported by various operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and various Unix-like systems including Linux and FreeBSD. BOINC is free software which is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License.

Design and structure of BOINC

BOINC is designed to be a free structure for anyone wishing to start a volunteer computing project. Most BOINC projects are nonprofit and rely heavily, if not completely, on volunteers.

In essence BOINC is software that can use the unused CPU cycles on a computer to do scientific computing—what you don't use of your computer, it uses.

BOINC consists of a server system and client software that communicate with each other to distribute, process, and return workunits.

BOINC User Interfaces

BOINC can be controlled remotely by Remote Procedure Calls, from the command line, and from the BOINC Account Manager.

BOINC Manager currently has three 'views': the "Advanced View", the "Grid View" and the "Simplified GUI".

The appearance (skin) of the Simplified GUI is user-customizable, in that users can create their own designs.

Account Managers

The account manager concept was conceived and developed jointly by GridRepublic and BOINC. Current account managers include:
* [ BOINC Account Manager] (The first publicly available Account Manager)
* [ GridRepublic]

BOINC Credit System

The BOINC Credit System is designed to avoid cheating by validating results before granting credit.
* A credit management system helps to ensure that users are returning results which are both scientifically and statistically accurate.
* Online distributed computing is almost entirely a volunteer endeavor. For this reason projects are dependent on a complicated and variable mix of new users, long-term users, and retiring users.
* There is no single generic reason why someone chooses to donate his or her computing resources to any given project.

Origins of the BOINC platform

BOINC was originally developed to manage the SETI@home project.

The original SETI client was a non-BOINC software exclusively for SETI@home. Being one of the first volunteer grid computing projects, it was not designed with a high level of security. Some participants in the project attempted to cheat the project to gain "credits"; while some others submitted entirely falsified work. BOINC was designed, in part, to combat these security breaches. [cite web
last = Anderson
first = Dr. David P.
title = Public Computing: Reconnecting People to Science
accessdate = 2007-06-13

Projects using BOINC Framework

See also

*List of distributed computing projects
*United Devices Cancer Research Project
*Xgrid A similar technology built into Mac OS X


* cite news
first = Ashlee | last = Vance
title = Sun and UC Berkeley are about to BOINC
url =
publisher = The Register | date= 2003-12-17 | accessdate = 2006-11-13

External links

* [ Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC)]
* [ Interview with David Anderson]
* [ Unofficial wiki]
* [ Rom Walton's Blog (BOINC Developer)]
* [ Boincoid - A Java/Android port of BOINC]

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