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1) Message boards : Number crunching : The Dog Days of Summer Challenge (Message 39885)
Posted 2973 days ago by braindancer
Great discussion.

As we are trying to figure out a way to make the challenges "fair", I think we need to really define the concept of "fairness". While there is a lot of sense in Michael's delineation of "I'm paying for it" vs "I got it for free", this may not be enough.

Imagine a racing competition, where a bunch of Mazda Miatas are readying ofr a time trial, and then a Porshce dude shows up and beats the hell out of them. Would it be fair? Well, he paid his own money for it! But still, I'm sure everyone would agree that this would not be considered fair. Therefore there are those tiered systems, by engine volume or by whatever else.

But in case of racing, people are competing on SKILL. So basically the essence of "fair" competition is to isolate skill from everything else - you and I are in equal conditions, I am a better driver, so I will win. Is this paradigm applicable to distributed computing? Not really. What is the skill involved here? Installing BOINC? I'm sure we are all at about same level :)

These challenges will never be "fair" in a traditional, "sporty" sense. We can, for example, go crazy and define a separate tier for every CPU model. In that case, everyone in that tier will complete the challenge with the same result - or maybe someone will win by a thin margin just because they were refreshing their BOINC more obsessively and got a few extra WUs. But do we really want to compete on that?

I think the essence of this competition should be such so that it motivated participants to bring everything they can to crunch. The end goal is always to crunch more. So if the challenges are structured in a way that penalizes participants for bringing in extra firepower (or at least make it complicated) - the project will not benefit from them at all.


P.S. these are just my thoughts on the matter - I don't have a perfect solution, nor do I recommend to stop discussing and just stick to the way it is. Let's brainstorm, maybe there is a setup that will make everyone happy and still be beneficial for the project itself.
2) Message boards : Number crunching : The Dog Days of Summer Challenge (Message 39826)
Posted 2974 days ago by braindancer
While the subject has been chewed upon more than enough now, I figured I'd stop by to say hello, since I am the guy who rented the mini-farm.

First, as many have said, as of now there is nothing in the rules that would outlaw this activity.

Second, I do understand that the subject is sensitive, and I respect the concerns that have been voiced. While I personally believe that this investment is, in its nature, no different from me buying a farm and setting it up at home, I understand that not everyone shares this opinion.

Finally, I wanted to say that I will abide by whatever decisions and policies are instituted by PrimeGrid. Team Ukraine, and me personally, does NOT and will NOT cheat. If the word is that we can't use cloud - we won't.


P.S. Fun fact: even if you remove my farm, we'd still win ;)

2182648.88 - 1874542.11 = 308106.8
My contribution: 292909.03

Cheers!
3) Message boards : Number crunching : The Dog Days of Summer Challenge (Message 39652)
Posted 2976 days ago by braindancer
It looks like the availability of PPS is going down fast. Is the server generating any more work? I was wondering if at this pace, the well is going to run dry again before the end of the challenge.
4) Message boards : Number crunching : The Dog Days of Summer Challenge (Message 39634)
Posted 2977 days ago by braindancer
I am looking all over the place, yet I don't seem to find a link to chat. Care to share? Thanks!
5) Message boards : Number crunching : The Dog Days of Summer Challenge (Message 39632)
Posted 2977 days ago by braindancer
For me personally, what sucks most is the total lack of communication. The challenge is going down the toilet - where are the damn frequent updates? "We are having issues with such and such", "This is what we are doing to fix it", "ETA is X hours", "Please do this and that to help us (put everything on hold, or retry, or whatever)"? Why does it look like nobody even cares?

I spent hours yesterday setting up a crunch farm specifically for this challenge, and what is happening not is NOT in any way a rewarding experience.
6) Message boards : Number crunching : The Dog Days of Summer Challenge (Message 39609)
Posted 2977 days ago by braindancer
That page seems to be based off http://www.primegrid.com/challenge/2011_6/top_teams.html and therefore has little to do with reality. During the stats update, there was a moment when the stats displayed something more realistic, showing top teams in the 1 million ballpark.
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