The ReDSNet project is an application that makes use of the power of distributed computing to analyze data collected by various organizations in the fight against Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or "ReDS".
What is "distributed computing"?Edit
Distributed computing deals with hardware and software systems containing more than one processing element or storage element, concurrent processes, or multiple programs, running under a loosely or tightly controlled regime.
In distributed computing a program is split up into parts that run simultaneously on multiple computers communicating over a network. Distributed computing is a form of parallel computing, but parallel computing is most commonly used to describe program parts running simultaneously on multiple processors in the same computer. Both types of processing require dividing a program into parts that can run simultaneously, but distributed programs often must deal with heterogeneous environments, network links of varying latencies, and unpredictable failures in the network or the computers.
Distributed, or "volunteer" computing is based on the fact that most privately owned computers are not doing anything most of the time. This idle time during which a machine would otherwise do nothing is now being used to solve scientific or engineering problems that require a large amount of computational power.
The premise is that the volunteers download software from sites such as this that will do the scientific calculations. The application runs as a screensaver, and periodically uploads processed records to the core servers.
Volunteer computing is also sometimes called public resource computing, internet computing, network computing, cycle scavenging, or "@home" computing. There are many volunteer computing projects in existence today, but by far the most popular is SETI@home, which has been going strong for over twenty years.
The ReDSNet processing applications are currently in Beta Testing, and will be available to the general public in the coming weeks.
Our intention* is to provide several different versions of this application:
- Version One: A Flash based version that you can run through the browser of your choice. Once it is available for use, simply log in to the site and click the link on the right. While it remains open in a browser window it will continue to process data nodes.
- Version Two: A Windows-based screen saver. It will not only process data nodes in the background, but also acts as a slideshow for pictures of your choice. Our developers are also doing experimentation with more advanced technologies (DirectX), and there may be even fancier screen savers in the future.
- Version Three: A standalone, Windows-based, "no thrills" application that does nothing but process data nodes. The nice thing about this application is that it is extremely low profile, and you can run multiple instances of it on one machine or across multiple machines; the amount of nodes processed is dependent solely on machine speed. You can even boost the performance of the application if you elect to use it on non-critical systems.
All applications are extensively tested.
All applications are self-contained; they do not install any third party components, services or applications, nor do they modify any registry settings.
Source code and full technical white paper on their functionality is available upon request once the applications are released.