Experiences in the Design and Implementation of a Social Cloud for Volunteer Computing

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Volunteer computing provides an alternative computing paradigm for establishing a large scale computing resource to support scientific computing. The model is particularly well suited for projects that have high popularity and little available computing infrastructure. The premise of volunteer computing platforms is the contribution of computing resources by individuals for little to no gain. It is therefore difficult to attract and retain contributors to projects. The Social Cloud for Volunteer Computing aims to exploit social engineering principles and the ubiquity of Social networks to increase the outreach of volunteer computing, by providing an integrated volunteer computing application and creating gamification algorithms based on social principles to encourage contribution. In this paper we present the development of a production SoCVC, detailing the architecture, implementation and performance of the SoCVC Facebook application and show that the approach proposed could have a high impact on volunteer computing projects.

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Experiences in the Design and Implementation of a Social Cloud for Volunteer Computing

  1. 1. Experiences in the Design andImplementation of a Social Cloud forVolunteer ComputingRyan Chard, Kris Bubendorfer, Kyle ChardIEEE eScience 2012
  2. 2. Volunteer Computing Volunteer computing provides a low-cost alternative for resourcing large scale projects, by using resources contributed by the public. BOINC Almost 2.5 million users in total Half a million are actively contributing BOINC provides ~6.5 petaflops of computational power to eScience 2
  3. 3. Volunteer Computing Barriers Users: Discovery and selection of projects Client software installation Managing multiple accounts Projects: Low visibility for new projects Low levels of active contribution Anonymous and unaccountable users 3
  4. 4. Social Networks Over one billion users now have Facebook On average, people on Facebook install apps more than 20 million times every day Every month, more than 500 million people use an app on Facebook or experience the Facebook Platform on other websites More than 7 million apps and websites are integrated with Facebook More than 7 billion hours are spent on Facebook each month 4
  5. 5. What if... 1% of Facebook users contributed to BOINC That would be over ten million people, compared to the half million current users. 5
  6. 6. Social Cloud Computing A Social Cloud is a resource and service sharing framework utilizing relationships and policies established between members of a social network. 6
  7. 7. The Social Cloud for Volunteer Computing(SoCVC) Single location Single identity Familiar environment Advertising channels Publicise eScience Potential to utilise social information Implicit incentive mechanisms Trust can be inferred from friends 7
  8. 8. SoCVC Architecture1. Discovery andsetup2. Projectselection 4 53. Connect clients4. Users directedto projects 35. Service pollsinformation 1 2 8
  9. 9. Social Assistance Interest signatures are used to match users and projects1. Users definetheir own interestsignature2. Interestsignatures arecalculated from auser’s friends 3. Project signatures are calculated from their users 9
  10. 10. Social Incentives - TitlesSocial titles are given to the “top” userswithin a group of friends Encourages contribution, retention, and recruitment Project Champions Social Anchors Compute Magnates 10
  11. 11. Implementation 11
  12. 12. Facebook Application 12
  13. 13. Results - Performance Datamodels The time to create, load and remove database models Account Manager Response creation with static vs dynamic signing of URLs 13
  14. 14. Results – Compute Magnate Simulation The VAST dataset includes 6000 individuals and 29,888 relationships Users are assigned an initial contribution level Active users (contribution level > 25%) can contact friends to encourage them to raise their contribution levels. Modelled contribution and willingness to increase one’s contribution through a disinterest factor that decays over time. 14
  15. 15. Summary What if we did get 1%? Increase exposure of eScience Grow the user base for volunteer projects Increase resources for eScience Look out for release in Q4 2012 15

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