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Recently Completed Distributed Computing Projects

Many of the links on this page may no longer work. They are kept here for historical purposes.

Project InformationCategoryCompletion DateProject DurationTotal Number of Participants / Computers

questsin attempted to develop common sense artificial intelligence to "cluster information into sets, made up of related elements (words to start with, followed by concepts, ideas etc) and their potential hierarchies." Volunteers could help build the information sets by entering lists of related terms into the interface on the project's main web page. Data collected by the project was to eventually be made available to the public in raw form, similar to other projects. While the project ran it gave immediate results and could be used as a research tool on its own. The project began in 2005.

Participants could learn more about the algorithms behind the project in the project owner's blog and could discuss the project in a forum.

Human unknown unknown unknown/unknown
The M4 message breaking project decrypted 3 encrypted signals (messages) which were intercepted in the North Atlantic in 1942 and which were believed previously to be unbroken. These signals were presented by Ralph Erskine in a letter to the journal Cryptologia in December, 1995. The signals were presumably enciphered with the four rotor Enigma M4 cipher machine. See the project's results. The processed processed over 5,694,000 work units.

The project cracked its first message on February 20, 2006. It cracked its second message on March 7, 2006. It cracked its third message on January 14, 2013.

On May 27, 2008, the project attempted to decode the Scharnhorst message and succeeded the next day.

The project used "a mixture of brute force and a hill climbing algorithm" to crack each cipher. The Enigma keyspace is too large for a brute force approach. The hill climbing algorithm tried to optimize the plugboard settings (which form a very large part of the keyspace) by changing the settings one step at a time and evaluating each step by determining how closely the deciphered plaintext matches the statistics of natural language. The scoring function used Sinkov Statistics. The software client used a Python script to download a work unit containing a range of 26^4 keys. It then used a C program to test each key in the range, and then returned the best or most-fit result to the project server.

See the M4 wiki. See the project's mailing list.

Cryptography January 14, 2013 7 years unknown/unknown
Artificial Intelligence System Artificial Intelligence System attempted to "reverse engineer the brain in order to build a large scale artificial intelligence system." The project's software client "is an application that simulates neurons. Each downloaded work unit generates 100,000 biophysical neurons. Because the simulator is in an initial phase and we have very few cellular models implemented, we can only use it to test for simulations capacity. To date the largest brain simulation has been done on a cluster of 27 machines, with 100 billion neurons simulated over a period of 50 days. While it was a very interesting experiment which pushed the frontier further on it was a partial simulation only, in the sense that many of the required components were not implemented due to hardware constraints." The project hoped "to make increasingly precise estimations on storage, number of computers required, duration, bandwidth and other factors," related to large scale brain simulation. As of April, 2009, the project had simulated over 700 billion neurons. The human brain has about 100 billion neurons.

The project used a BOINC-based client.

Science 2010 3 years unknown/unknown
Hydrogen@Home Hydrogen@Home researched more efficient ways to produce hydrogen to use as an energy source. The project simulated "interactions of 3D structures of proteins and substrate" "to predict previously uncharacterized catalytic interactions of biological catalysts."

The project used a BOINC-based client.

Science 2010 3 years unknown/unknown
The eOn: Long timescale dynamics project researced techniques for "calculating the long time dynamics of systems." From the original website: "A common problem in theoretical chemistry, condensed matter physics and materials science is the calculation of the time evolution of an atomic scale system where, for example, chemical reactions and/or diffusion occur." Interesting events occur so rarely that they can only be observed in direct simulations by using a distributed computing environment. The project switched to a BOINC-based software client on September 3, 2010. By June 7, 2014, the project generated 625,007,145 results using 183 years and 62 days of CPU time. As of 2008, the project "has implemented several strategies to increase the simulation time, accuracy, and system size scaling." It completed some improvements to its algorithm by August 5, 2008, and published its results in a paper titled "Adaptive kinetic Monte Carlo for first-principles accelerated dynamics" to the Journal of Chemical Physics on September 16, 2008. Also, the project received a U.S. National Science Foundation research grant which allowed it to "use quantum mechanics to evaluate the interactions between atoms" so that it could "simulate more interesting systems, including chemical reactions at surfaces, and the computational design of catalysts." Science June 7, 2014 12 years unknown/unknown
FreeFlour asked participants to play a geography question game to help donate flour to the Bread for the World Institute (and to help improve participants' knowledge of geography). For each question a participant answered correctly the project donated money equivalent to a spoonfull of flour to the food program. Participants could play the game as often as they liked. The project cost nothing to participants and they did not need to register. Charity 2014 5 years unknown/unknown
evolution@home evolution@home was a grand-challenge computation research program to study evolution. The first simulator for the project "helps uncover potential genetic causes of extinction for endangered and not-yet-endangered species by investigating Mullers Ratchet. Your help to improve understanding of such genomic decay might one day be used to fight it." As of October 24, 2002, more than 16.3 years of CPU time had been contributed to the project. By 2014 the project had observed 831,970.601 individuals using 54.289 years of CPU time.

On October 24, 2002, Laurence Loewe published the first scientific paper, "evolution@home: Experiences with work units that span more than 7 orders of magnitude in computational complexity," based on the results of the project. This paper was presented at CCGrid 2002 in May, 2002. On May 31, 2008, the project published results from a study of Muller's ratchet in the Amazon Molly, a fish species which has no males, reproduces asexually and should go extinct due to genetic degradation, but which hasn't. See links in the article Muller's ratchet quantified in the Amazon molly on the project website. On September 30, 2008, the project announced that it has quantified Muller's ratchet in the worm C. elegans. On November 15, 2008, the project began a new project, Project 6, "to further investigate how two different types of slightly harmful DNA changes interact with each other's evolutionary behaviour in a population." As of 2014, the main project website ended and the project continued as a BOINC project in the yoyo@home EvoHo project.

Science 2014 11 years unknown/unknown
15k2n1 The 15k Prime Search looked for prime numbers of the form 2n - 1. It looked for 15k which produce many primes n: "in general when k has many small factors, n is more likely to produce a prime because it can't have those same factors." As of May 7, 2005, the project was the #1 top project by number of primes, with 397 primes discovered.

The project found the following prime numbers recently:
165054615 * 2223395 - 1October 10, 2005
504017085 * 2246861 - 1October 10, 2005
545544285 * 2232438 - 1October 10, 2005
355424355 * 2456781 - 1October 11, 2005
2 primes for k=9345October 15, 2005
736320585 * 2339426 - 1October 16, 2005
2190435975 * 2204857 - 1October 18, 2005
743411955 * 2210282 - 1October 18, 2005
2 primes for k=773021535October 18, 2005
2 primes for k=245630385October 18, 2005

The project listed all of the primes it found.

The project used the LLR.exe, NewPGen.exe and RMA.NET software executables.

The project's discussion forum and wiki.

Mathematics 2008 5 years unknown/unknown
NFSNET NFSNET used "the Number Field Sieve to find the factors of increasingly large numbers."

On November 10, 2002, NFSNET completed the factorization of W(668), a 204-digit special number field sieve (SNFS).

The project's 10 most recent factorizations:
NumberBeganSieving CompletedFactorization CompletedStats
7254 + 1 February 19, 2005 March 22, 2005 April 10, 2005 stats
11208 + 1 March 22, 2005 April 3, 2005 April 10, 2005 stats
11212 + 1 April 3, 2005 May 22, 2005 June 22, 2005 stats
2751 + 1 May 22, 2005 July 18, 2005 in progress stats
2760 + 1 July 17, 2005 July 27, 2005 August 4, 2005 stats
2736 + 1 July 26, 2005 September 5, 2005 October 5, 2005 stats
2719 + 1 September 5, 2005 September 28, 2005 October 30, 2005 stats
2761 - 1 September 19, 2005 November 24, 2005 January 22, 2006 stats
2764 + 1 November 19, 2005 February 7, 2006 May 1, 2006 stats
2,1466L February 7, 2006 March 27, 2006 March 30, 2006 stats
3479 + 1 March 30, 2006 in progress not yet started stats
2797 + 1 March 30, 2006 unknown July 3, 2006 stats

The project's discussion forum.

Mathematics 2010 over 8 years unknown/unknown
Computing for Clean Water World Community Grid Computing for Clean Water developed lower-cost and more efficient water filters. The project, a collaboration between World Community Grid and Tsinghua University, performed molecular dynamics experiments to study the physical properties of carbon nanotubes at the nanoscale level. Understanding these properties can help scientists create more efficient water filters using carbon nanotubes. See more information about the project. See the project's FAQ.

On June 23, 2012, the project announced interesting results: depending on the length of the carbon nanotubes, water may flow through the tubes more efficiently in a more complicated, non-linear manner. The project tested tubes of different lengths: 15nm, 20nm and 30nm.

The project published a paper, Friction of water slipping in carbon nanotubes, on March 31, 2011.

The project successfully completed on April 25, 2014. The project scientists are conducting further studies to verify "interesting results" from the project and will publish a paper on the project's results soon.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

Science April 25, 2014 3 years, 6 months unknown/unknown
Open Mind Indoor Common Sense created a repository of knowledge which would enable people to create more intelligent mobile robots for use in home and office enviornments.

Starting on November 9, 2006, the project offered participants a US$25 Amazon.com gift certificate if they submitted 1000 accepted entries. Only entries submitted after November 9, 2006 counted. Each participant could earn a lifetime maximum of 20 gift certificates. A maximum of 900 gift certificates were to be awarded. 777 gift certificates were awarded as of June 18, 2008. As of 2011 the project also ran on Amazon Mechanical Turk. By December 8, 2011, 3,735 registered users submitted 1,184,388 items.

The project was part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.

Human 2011 8 years unknown/unknown
Predictor@home Predictor@home predicted protein structures from protein sequences. The first phase of the project, mfold, tested and evaluated "new algorithms and methods of protein structure prediction in the context of the Sixth Biannual CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction) experiment" to help answer "critical biomedical questions of protein-related diseases." The second phase of the project, charmm, studied protein refinement.

The Brooks Research Group [the group that owned the project] relocated to the University of Michigan in December, 2007. The project and website were transferred to Ann Arbor, Michigan in late 2007 and early 2008. The project was never active again after the move.

The top 5 predictions for targets T0196 and T0197 were available as of July 1, 2004 and were listed in the project's gallery.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Life Sciences 2008 4 years unknown/unknown
Galaxy Zoo Supernovae
Galaxy Zoo Supernovae attempted to "catch exploding stars"--supernovae in images of the Milky Way Galaxy. Data for the project were provided by the Palomar Transient Factory automated sky survey at the Palomar Observatory. Two astronomers in the Canary Islands observed the best candidates found by the project in its first run. The astronomers viewed 16 candidates from the project on June 12, 2009: most of the candidates were confirmed to be supernovae. Results from the project were used to train machines to identify supernovae in images. The training worked so well that as of August, 2012, machines were better at identifying supernovae the first time in images than humans were. The project may be restarted in the future with a combination of machine and human identification of supernovae in images or with humans identifying supernovae in images that are difficult for machines to analyze.

See more information about the project. See the latest discoveries and project news in the Galaxy Zoo blog and twitter feed.

Join the Galaxy Zoo discussion forum.

Human August 3, 2012 3 years unknown/unknown
Ramsey@Home Ramsey@Home searched for Ramsey numbers. "Ramsey theory, named for Frank P. Ramsey, is a branch of mathematics that studies the conditions under which order must appear. Problems in Ramsey theory typically ask a question of the form: how many elements of some structure must there be to guarantee that a particular property will hold?"

The project generated 78,843,323 total BOINC credits.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

Mathematics 2011 3 years 1,367/3,300
NETI@home provided to network researchers "a wealth of end-to-end data that has been previously unavailable" in order to make the Internet faster and more reliable.

The original description of the project:

"NETI@home is an open-source software package that collects network performance statistics from end-systems. ... NETI@home is designed to run on end-user machines and will collect various statistics about Internet performance. These statistics will then be sent to a server at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), where they will be collected and made publicly available. We believe that this tool will give researchers much needed data on the end-to-end performance of the Internet, as measured by end-users. Our basic approach is to sniff packets sent to and received by the host and infer performance metrics based on these observed packets. NETI@home users will be able to select a privacy level that will determine what types of data will be gathered, and what will not be reported. NETI@home is designed to be an unobtrusive software system that runs quietly in the background with little or no intervention by the user, and using few resources.

"NETI@home is written in C++ and uses the popular Ethereal network analyzer to sniff packets. NETI@home also uses the zlib compression library. ... NETI@home has been developed as a thesis project at Georgia Tech and has been designed in accordance with the CAIDA specifications on network statistics.

"NETI@home includes the NETIMap application, written in Java, to encourage the use of NETI@home. The NETIMap application, when run, will display a geographical map of the world. As Internet hosts are contacted (a website, for example), a dot is placed on that host's calculated coordinates. The coordinates are calculated using CAIDA's NetGeo database."

Internet 2011 7 years unknown/unknown
MoneyBee was a screen saver that used neural networks to analyze stock market charts and indices to predict future trends of the indices. The client trained its neural network with recent market data in an attempt to make good, useful predictions. Participation in the project was free, and all users who participated got access to the predictions in the form of charts with technical analyses and user guidance.

The site was also available in German , French , and Italian .

Financial 2011 6 years unknown/unknown
AndrOINC was "trying to break a 1024 bit RSA key used by Motorola to sign the boot and recovery partitions on the Motorola Milestone. If this key could be broken, [Motorola mobile device users] would be able to sign [their] own boot/recovery images, which would enable [them] to run custom kernels and recovery images on the Milestone." The project ended very soon after it began, due to a lack of funding.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Cryptography January 31, 2011 2 weeks unknown/unknown
The 12121 Search looked for large primes of the form 121 * 2n - 1, a subsidiary of the search of k * 2n - 1 for k < 300. This project planned to search for n up to 1,000,000 in the short term, and for larger n in the long term. The project used the LLR.exe command-line client.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

Mathematics June, 2010 6 years unknown/unknown
The 2721 Search looked for large primes of the form 27 * 2n - 1. This was a sister project to the 12121 Search. The project used the LLR.exe command-line client. Mathematics June, 2010 5 years unknown/unknown
SIGPS (The Small Internet GFN Prime Search) searched for primes of the form b8192 + 1 (b > 99999999), a Generalized Fermat prime number. The project used the AthGFNsv.exe client to sieve candidate primes. The project also had several other sub-projects:
Subproject Began Ended
Generalized Fermat prime search: primes of the form b8192 + 1 (b > 99999999);
found 16 primes
September 21, 2004 December 3, 2004
Generalized Fermat prime search: primes of the form b16384 + 1;
found 32 primes
December 3, 2004 May 21, 2009
Generalized Fermat prime search: primes of the form b32768 + 1;
found no primes
May 21, 2009 August 5, 2009
LLR primes;
found 4 primes and 3 probable primes
April 9, 2008 August 5, 2009
Generalized Fermat cofactor PRPs;
found 75 primes
May 10, 2008 August 5, 2009
PFGW search;
found 36 primes
August 23, 2008 August 5, 2009
Fermat Euler Theorem for Fermat number F25;
determined the 4th cofactor of Fermat 25 is composite
August 23, 2008 August 5, 2009
Fermat Test for 2nd cofactor of Fermat number F26 on Sony PlayStation 3;
determined the 4th cofactor of Fermat 25 is composite
August 2, 2009 in progress

The project used a command-line client for each of its subprojects and also created a client for the Sony PlayStation 3 game console.

Mathematics June, 2010 6 years unknown/unknown
Care2's Click to Help Haiti asked participants to click a button to generate donations to help support Oxfam America's emergency relief efforts in Haiti. Oxfam America used these donations to deliver emergency water and sanitation services to Haiti. Participants could click the button once per day to generate a donation for the project. 195,135 people clicked 591,335 times during the project. Charity June, 2010 1 year unknown/unknown
Care2's Healthy Smiles asked participants to click a button to help support Tom's of Maine's Dental Health for All program. This program "supports community organizations that provide dental care to people who would otherwise go without." Participants could click the button once per day to generate a donation for this project. The program cost the participants nothing (it was paid for by Tom's of Maine). The program was run by Care2. Charity June, 2010 1 year unknown/unknown
Nutritious Rice for the World World Community Grid Nutritious Rice for the World, a World Community Grid project, "predict[ed] the structure of proteins of major strains of rice. The intent [was] to help farmers breed better rice strains with higher crop yields, promote greater disease and pest resistance, and utilize a full range of bioavailable nutrients that can benefit people around the world, especially in regions where hunger is a critical concern." See more information about the project and the project's FAQ.

The project generated 29,563,782 total results, and over 7 billion protein folding models. Researchers will use results from the project to learn what functions particular proteins perform in the rice plant.

See a May 19, 2010, interview with Dr. Ram Samudrala, the head of the project, by Alexander Janssen.

This project is discussed in the World Community Grid forums.

Life Sciences April 6, 2010 1 year, 11 months unknown/unknown
Note: this project is now part of PrimeGrid. Here is the project's historical information:

Help the Riesel Sieve's efforts to solve the Riesel problem by "removing prime candidates for the remaining k's from a huge .dat file.... The .dat file contains n values from a current low of about 1,700,000 to a high of 20,000,000 per remaining k. Individual sieving efforts per single k can take two weeks to a month to sieve to a sufficient level. This coordinated sieving effort will allow us to sieve 100 times deeper and much quicker. No more sieving to 3T and stopping in frustration as the hours per factor mount, now we can go to 300T and beyond..." Before the project began, there were 101 candidate k's and over 11 million k/n pairs. See the status of all remaining k values. See an overview of the tests remaining to be completed.

Look for news updates in the News column of the PrimeGrid project main web page.

As of February 18, 2005, the project has sieved all of its ks to 100T. As of June 18, 2005, the project has 5,488,686 k/n pairs left to test. As of March 22, 2006, the project has completed the 2^20 to 2^21 stage of its first run. As of February 27, 2007, the project has sieved all of its ks to 500T.

On September 16, 2005, the project offered a US$100 prize to the person who found the next prime for the project. Project participant NeoLogic found the prize-winning prime, 357659 * 2^1779748 - 1, on September 24. On September 26, the project began a Prime Bounty Contest, which rewards both prime hunter and sieve participants in the project. On September 28, 2005, the project began a Riesel Sieve Prime and Sieve Bounty donation fund at fundable. This fund will be used for rewards for project participants who find primes and who sieve significant factors for the project, according to the contest rules.

The project offers the independent LLRNet client and a BOINC-based Sieve client.

See the project's wiki.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Mathematics March, 2010 6 years, 5 months unknown/unknown
TSP TSP searched for the shortest route between the 48 capital cities of the contiguous United States of America. The project attempted to solve that problem to study the Traveling Salesman Problem, an NP-Hard problem for which there is no efficient general solution. The project first "[used] the brute force method to find an optimal solution to a 48 city TSP. Once the optimal path(s) is/are known evaluation of other algorithms can begin. Future algorithms [would have included] genetic algorithms, repetitive nearest neighbor, simulated annealing and ant colony optimization." TSP was the first distributed computing project to be developed and hosted in American Samoa.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

Mathematics 2009 about 1 year unknown/unknown
Dodaj Swoje Serce (Add/Give your Heart) asked participants to click a button to help fund medical treatment and rehabilitation for a woman with bone cancer. The project planned to help other people, too. The program cost participants nothing (it was paid for by the companies which sponsored the site) and participants did not need to register. Charity October, 2009 4 years, 7 months unknown/unknown
PovertyFighters asked participants to click a "Click Here!" link to give poor families the chance they needed to work out of poverty. The project donated money to microcredit charities around the world. These charities loan poor families money to start small businesses. Participants could click the link once per day to add $0.25 US to the next self-employment loan. The program cost participants nothing (it was paid for by the companies which sponsored the site) and participants did not need to register. Charity October, 2009 5 years, 1 month unknown/unknown
APS@Home APS@Home researched "the effects of atmospheric dispersion as it relates to the accuracy of measurements used in climate prediction." The project also planned to research other topics in atmospheric science. The project ended when the project owner didn't have enough time to maintain it.

See the project's discussion forum.

Science August 3, 2009 2 years, 3 months unknown/unknown
CommunityTSC CommunityTSC searched for drugs to fight Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), "a genetic disorder that leads to benign tumors in multiple organs, including the brain, kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs and other organs. The project was sponsored by The Rothberg Institute for childhood diseases. The project began work on its second protein target, PI3K, on June 17, 2002. It began working on revised PTEN and PI3K protein targets and new FRAP and EIF4E targets in February, 2003. It began working on the AKT protein target on November 3, 2003. Phase I of the project was completed on April 2, 2006. Phase I statistics are available in a hall of fame.

Phase II began on April 3, 2006. Phase II searched for potential drugs for the protein target Ras homolog enriched in brain (Rheb). "The overexpression of Rheb has been shown to result in unusual overgrowth of various tissues, and is believed to be central to the growth processes underlying tumorgenesis." Phase II is also using new candidate drug libraries. The Phase I targets may be tried with the new libraries in the future. The project published a press release about Phase II on April 13, 2006.

The project tested its 1 billionth conformer in July, 2004.

In the seven years the project ran it produced over 150 million potential disease-fighting drugs. The best of the candidates will be tested in the laboratory to determine their effectiveness. The project owners will provide occasional updates on the progress of the lab testing to the project participants.

See the project's TSC discussion forum.

Life Sciences April 15, 2009 7 years unknown/unknown
D2OL The Drug Design Optimization Lab (D2OL)TM searched for oral drugs which could fight Anthrax, Smallpox, Ebola, SARS, deadly diseases for which there was currently no cure, and for Malaria, a life-threatenting disease for which 40% of the world's population was at risk. This project, sponsored by The Rothberg Institute for childhood diseases, used volunteer resources to screen Anthrax, Smallpox, Ebola, SARS, and Malaria proteins against a database of 2 million potential drugs. The SARS project began on April 17, 2003. The Malaria project began on November 7, 2003. The Avian Influenza project began on April 13, 2006. See a detailed discussion about the science behind the project.

In the seven years that the project ran it produced over 150 million potential disease-fighting drugs. The best of the candidates will be tested in the laboratory to determine their effectiveness. The project owners will provide occasional updates on the progress of the lab testing to the project participants.

See the project's discussion forum.

Life Sciences April 15, 2009 7 years, 5 months unknown/unknown
3x+1@home searched for high 3x+1 (Collatz) conjecture stopping times. On June 23, 2008, the project found a higher stopping time: 2,361,198,062,777,205,778,683 with a stopping time of 2240.

See the project's discussion forum.

Mathematics November 14, 2008 9 months unknown/unknown
XGrid@Stanford XGrid@Stanford attempted to "modelize the conformational changes of the beta 2 adrenergic receptor, and have a better understanding of its pharmacology." This project was run by Charles Parnot, a postdoctoral fellow in Brian Kobilka's lab in the Molecular and Cellular Physiology department of Stanford University. The project was not designed to be a complete, public distributed computing research project: it was designed for Apple OSX users running Apple's XGrid software to help a university researcher complete his research. As of December 3, 2007, the project only used computing resources from OpenMacGrid. When the project ended, efforts toward it project were moved to OpenMacGrid.

The project was presented at the 2004 Biomedical Computation at Stanford (bcats) conference on October 16, 2004.

Life Sciences October, 2008 4 years, 3 months unknown/unknown
NanoHive@Home logo NanoHive@Home attempted to "accurately simulate nanosystems too large to be calculated via normal means, and thereby enable further scientific study in the field of nanotechnology." The project ended when the project owner, Brian Helfrich, left the company sponsoring the project and the company had no interest in continuing the project. The owner would be happy for another individual or group to take over the project and resume its work.

The project's "Tooltip Failure Mode Search Project, conducted by Brian Helfrich and Dr. Damian Allis ran on NHAH from February 2007 through May 2007. It utilized computing cycles donated from over 6,000 computers worldwide and reached a peak performance of nearly 3 teraFLOPS." See an explanation of the project and the project's results.

Science September, 2008 2 years unknown/unknown
HashClash HashClash used "techniques from the attack from Wang et al., ... to find [MD5 hash] collisions which are more flexible:" these collisions will help "clarify the nature of the vulnerabilities in applications of MD5 that have been opened up by the collision finding methods of Wang et al." The MD5 encryption algorithm was first broken in August, 2004, by a Chinese research team. This project attempted to improve on their work by allowing the first blocks of two messages to be chosen at will instead of being equal. The first phase of the project, "called 'MD5 Birthdaying,' consists of finding a block with very specific properties, that will help us in later phases. Finding that block on a single Pentium4 3Ghz would take approx. 800days of 24/7 continous running." In the future the project planned to work on collision-finding for SHA-1. The project website was taken down after the project ended, but a summary of the project is available. The project generated 5,845,364 BOINC credits, found 120 collisions (including 80 useful collisions) and eliminated 8 (of 8) bitdifferences.

The project found its first collision on March 10, 2006. On July 1, 2006, the project stopped its birthday search to continue with stage 2: completing a partial collision to a full MD5 collision. On September 12, 2006, the project started using its new application for stage 2 work. It eliminated all 8 bitdifferences for stage 2 as of October 12, 2006.

The project published its MD5 collision results on October 24, 2006: Colliding X.509 Certificates for Different Identities. The project owner published his Master's Thesis, "On Collisions for MD5," based on results from the project, in July, 2008.

Cryptography June, 2008 2 years, 5 months unknown/unknown
BeWeS MouseTracker tracked the distance traveled by a participant's computer mouse, and the number of times the participant clicked it, and periodically reported that information to the project server. Participants could compete against other project members and teams, and a participant could win a prize if he or she was the first person to reach a distance goal. The project was just for fun. The project's distance goal was "around the world." Human April, 2008 4 years, 6 months unknown/not applicable
CHRONOS cell computing Birth CHRONOS (Chromosomal Nostalgia) searched for relationships between the 24 chromosomes of the human genome. An understanding of these relationships would help scientists to better understand and prevent genetic diseases, including cancer and diabetes. This project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website was only available in Japanese, but English speakers could see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in this and other cell computing Birth projects. The project completed 5 million work units as of January 10, 2006. Life Sciences March 31, 2008 3 years unknown/unknown
Dame una Casa (Build me a Home) asked participants to click a button on their website to generate donations to help build proper homes for needy families in Colombia. The project was part of Minuto de Dios, an organization which has built homes for needy families in Colombia for over 40 years. Participants could click the donate button once per day to generate a donation of US$0.05. The project helped build homes for 4 families. Charity March, 2008 3 years unknown/not applicable
Ubero Übero's Java-based client allowed people to participate in for-pay projects. The project never began any for-pay projects, however. The most recent Beta version of the client ran "genetic alignment algorithms" which "look[ed] for similar amino acid strings in various organisms." The volunteer project was done for the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of California, Irvine. Future volunteer projects would have included protein folding and radiation research. Life Sciences 2007 7 years unknown/unknown
Pi Segment attempted to break the world's record for known digits of Pi. The current record as of 2007, set by PiHex in September, 2000, was 1 quadrillion digits. The project website was currently only in Chinese and English. The project first verified the result of the PiHex project, then began its own calculations. It completed at least 230,773 work units. Mathematics 2007 1 year unknown/unknown
Red Library DLV (Distributed Link Validator) validated links in Red Library, readyresponse.org's link directory. The project distributed links from the directory to volunteers to test, and removed links from the directory which were no longer valid (i.e. links which returned a 404 error for 7 days or more). The project planned to validate links from other sites in the future. It is not known how many links the project validated. Internet 2007 2 years unknown/unknown
Project Dolphin was the old Project Dolphin, restarted by a new project coordinator. It let participants track their total number of keystrokes and periodically reported that total to the project server. Participants could compete against other project members and teams in the stats. The project was just for fun. The project recorded ober 220 billion keystrokes. Human 2007 1 year unknown/not applicable
The Common Sense Learner project attempted to teach computers to think. It asked users to teach Learner, an Artificial Intelligence system being developed by the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), by agreeing or disagreeing with knowledge statements made by Learner, or by extending Learner's knowledge. The project learned over 25,000 items before it ended sometime in 2007. Human 2007 4 years unknown/not applicable
Proth Sieve sieved ranges of k up to 10 trillion to support participants at Yves Gallot's Proth Search Page. The project apparently ended sometime in 2007. No results from the project were published. Mathematics 2007 2 years unknown/unknown
the Internet Movie Project The Internet Movie Project rendered images for computer-animated movies submitted by project users. The project was an open-source collaboration of volunteers and was just for fun. Participants could volunteer to be a "render-farmer," to render images for test animation sequences. THe project was open to anyone who could run the free POV-Ray ray-tracing program. The project released its first general-release distributed rendering client along with a live job, on November 12, 2001. It released at least 54 live jobs over the next 5 years, to test and further develop the system. Participants rendered at least 72,794 total frames for all of the jobs. The last 10 jobs it completed were:

Job #37 (300 frames) was completed in March, 2004.
Job #38 (1,200 frames) was completed in March, 2004.
Job #39 (300 frames) was completed in March, 2004.
Job #43 (9,000 frames) was completed on August 24, 2004.
Job #44 (4,320 frames) was completed on September 8, 2004.
Job #45 (1,800 frames) was completed on October 28, 2004.
Job #47 (300 frames) was completed on April 7, 2006.
Job #48 (450 frames) was completed on April 8, 2006.
Job #49 (1,050 frames) was completed on September 23, 2006.
Job #50 (875 frames) was completed in October, 2006.
Job #51 (2,790 frames) was completed on October 13, 2006.
Job #54 (1,200 frames) was completed on November 2, 2006.

See open source for the project's IMPFarm client.

Art 2006 5 years unknown/unknown
Twin Internet Prime Search searched for the largest twin primes of the form k * 2n - 1 and k * 2n + 1. On January 15, 2007, the project found the largest known twin primes:
2003663613 * 2^195000 - 1
2003663613 * 2^195000 + 1
The numbers are 58,711 digits long.

On November 26, 2006, this project began collaborating with PrimeGrid.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Mathematics Novenber 26, 2006 7 months unknown/unknown
Assault on 13th Labour Assault on 13th Labour attempted a brute-force decryption of an RC5 code used in the online/offline game "Perplex City".

On September 22, 2006, 5,374,785 new work units, which included new key spaces for the characters SPACE , . ? !, were added to the project. Counting these work units, the project was about 70% complete as of that date. The project completed Phase 1 (the original keyspace), and began searching the expanded keyspace, on October 8, 2006. The project apparently ended a few months after that. No results were reported.

Cryptography late 2006 8 months unknown/unknown
Genome Comparison World Community Grid The World Community Grid's Genome Comparison project created a data source of similarities among all predicted protein sequences. The project "perform[ed], for the first time, a complete pairwise comparison between all predicted protein sequences, obtaining similarity indices that will be used, together with standardized Gene Ontology, as a reference repository for the annotator community and providing an invaluable data source for biologists."

A paper, "Design and Implementation of ProteinWorldDB", was published from results from the project on January 16, 2013.

See status updates for the project. Also see the project's FAQ.

Join a discussion forum about World Community Grid's projects.

Life Sciences June, 2007 7 months unknown/unknown
grid.org The National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR) Screensaver-Lifesaver project searched for drugs to fight pancreatic cancer. The project was a partnership among grid.org, the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), the Centre for Drug Discovery in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, England, the NFCR Center for Targeted Cancer Therapies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, USA, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The project attempted to test 3.5 million drug-like molecules against the following proteins related to pancreatic cancer: Aurora A Kinase, Aurora B Kinase, PRL-1 Phosphatase, and Urokinase-type Plasminogen Activator (uPA). The project ended on April 27, 2007.

The project used the grid.org computing platform.

Life Sciences April 27, 2007 2 years unknown/unknown
grid.org United Devices Cancer Research. searched for cancer-fighting drugs. The project was a partnership among grid.org, the National Foundation for Cancer Research (NFCR), and the Centre for Drug Discovery in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, England. The first phase of the project, THINK, began in March, 2001 and completed in June, 2002. That phase used over 200,000 hours of CPU time to screen 3.5 billion molecules against a range of cancer protein targets. The second phase, LigandFit, began in June, 2002. That phase further refined the results from the first phase. Oxford has a detailed website about the science behind the project. The project ended successfully on April 27, 2007. Over 126,000 years of CPU time were donated to the project by its participants, and 132,856,061 potential drug molecules were discovered.

On November 16, 2004, the project announced that 400 compounds from the LigandFit phase had been synthesized and tested in a lab. Between 2-4% of them showed activity. Typically less than 0.1% of compounds from computer-simulated screening show activity. The next step for the successful compounds was "to persuade pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies to take up these experimentally verified hits and to test them further."

The project used the grid.org computing platform.

Life Sciences April 27, 2007 5 years unknown/unknown
Help Defeat Cancer World Community Grid The World Community Grid's Help Defeat Cancer project enabled cancer researchers "to analyze a larger set of cancer tissue specimens and conduct experiments using a much broader ensemble of biomarkers and stains than is possible using traditional computer resources." The project created a library of biomarkers and their expression patterns "so that, in the future, physicians can consult the library to help them in rendering diagnoses and providing the most effective treatment for patients with cancer."

The project allows analysis to be carried out for hundreds of tissue microarrays in parallel, "allowing multiple experiments to be conducted simultaneously. This added level of speed and sophistication could potentially enable investigators to detect and track subtle changes in measurable parameters, thereby facilitating discovery of prognostic clues, which are not apparent by human inspection or traditional analysis alone and could advance the fields of cancer biology, drug discovery and therapy planning."

The project generated 5,316,402 total results.

Join a discussion forum about World Community Grid's projects.

Life Sciences April, 2007 9 months unknown/unknown
BBC Climate Change Experiment logo The BBC Climate Change Experiment, in a project with climateprediction.net and BOINC, studied global climate warming due to different processes in the 20th century and attempted to predict the "transient climate response," the actual climate change expected to occur for various scenarios over the next 80 years. The project used the Transient Coupled Model with a dynamic ocean, rather than the "slab model," or unchanging ocean, used in previous climateprediction.net experiments. The project was described in a BBC television documentary, "Meltdown: A Global Warming Journey," (BBC-4, February 20, 2006). Early results of the project were to be described in a second BBC television program in May, 2006. On April 11, 2007, "the BBC Climate Change Experiment including the documentaries 'Meltdown' and 'Climate Change: Britain Under Threat' [were] nominated for an award in the Interactivity category by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)." The winner was to be announced on May 20, 2007.

The project simulated 160 years of climate change, between the years 1920 and 2080. Work units for the project took about 2.3 times longer to complete than climateprediction.net's sulphur cycle work units, and about 6.6 times longer than climateprediction.net's slab model work units. A work unit typically took six months to complete.

See the project's discussion forum.

Science February 10, 2007 1 year unknown, but from 171 different countries/269,738
The Uptime Project tracked participants' computers' uptime (the time the each computer had been running since it was last restarted). The client periodically reported each computer's uptime to the project server. Participants could compete against other participants and teams in the stats. The project was just for fun.

The project measured over 8,300 years of total uptime by almost 27,000 users.

Human January 3, 2007 2 years, 9 months 27,000/unknown
Cuboids logo The Cuboids project attempted to determine the probability with which various cuboids (six-sided dice with parallel faces but non-equal edge lengths) will land on each of their surfaces. This simple problem is a 'truncated chaotic' phenomenon, and doesn't fit neatly into ordinary areas of physics. The results of the project have "several important practical applications, from manufacturing (i.e. objects falling on conveyer belts) through to packing of granular material and proteins." The project's original goal was to simulate one billion cuboid tosses, in an effort to answer the following questions:
  • How do probabilities scale with edge ratios?
  • How do probabilities depend on elasticity and friction?
  • How do final states depend on initial conditions?
The project completed 5,307,973,161 tosses.
Mathematics December 31, 2006 5 months 238/578
Zeal was a similar project to dmoz, a user-edited, categorized index of websites, and was hosted (and eventually shut down) by looksmart. Zeal was a completely non-commercial directory built by a community of volunteer editors. Knowledge September, 2006 5 years unknown/not applicable

The Speculative Search Game was a project/game to "predict which web pages will rank more highly on Google in the future." The game's predictions were "used to build a Speculative Search Engine that ranks those web pages more highly today." Players could guess whether particular websites would rankx higher or lower in the future, and were scored on their predictions. Also, anyone could submit a website URL and a search query to the game.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Human September, 2006 1 year unknown/not applicable
Projet Marmotte tracked the distance traveled by its participants' mouse and periodically reported that distance to the project server. Participants could compete against other project members, teams and countries in the stats. The project was just for fun. The website was written in French. Human September, 2006 3 years, 1 month unknown/not applicable
Tiny KeyCounter was another project which let participants track their total number of keystrokes and periodically reported those totals to the project server. It also tracked the number of times a each participant pressed a mouse button or the mouse scroll-wheel. Participants could compete against other project members and teams in the stats. The project was just for fun. Human September, 2006 2 years, 2 months unknown/not applicable
Open Mind Commonsense asked participants to help teach computers to understand human "common sense" in a project which attempted to create a repository of basic human knowledge. Participants could choose from many activites, such as describing the things that someone should know to fully understand an event, and explaining the relationship between a pair of words or to describing a picture. By the end of the project, 15,108 registered users had submitted 720,288 items.

This project was part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.

Human September, 2006 4 years unknown/not applicable
The Open Mind Word Expert project asked participants to play a free word game to help teach computers how to interpret English words with multiple meanings in the context of sentences.

In July, 2003, the project began similar foreign-langauge projects:

The project was part of the OpenMind Initiative to develop "intelligent" software.

Human September, 2006 3 years, 6 months unknown/not applicable
Project Orca tracked tracked a user's total number of keystrokes and periodically reported that total to the project server. Participants could compete against other participants and teams in the project's statistics. The project was just for fun. It was a continuation of the original Project Dolphin. Near the end of the project 14,396,553,323 total keystrokes were counted for 4,847 users, at an average of 409.69 keys/second. Human February, 2006 3 years 5,000/not applicable
Mindpixel asked volunteers to help teach an artificially intelligent computer program to think more like a human by asking it questions. This project was the first known Distributed Human project. The project was created by Chris McKinstry. Distributed Human Project January 23, 2006 5 years unknown/unknown
tributed hardware evolution logo The Distributed Hardware Evolution Project attempted to design the next generation of self-diagnosing computer circuits. The project client evolved populations of individual computer circuits with Built-In Self-Test (BIST, a way for a circuit to detect whether it is producing results correctly) and then migrated the circuits to other project clients to compete with their circuit populations. Self-diagnosing circuits are important to mission-critical systems exposed to radiation, but 40 years of conventional research had not created significant improvements in these circuits. The project evaluated 366,608,013,886 total circuits.

From the project owner: "As an increasing number of mission critical tasks are automated, self-checking circuits are of paramount importance. For example in medical applications (heart monitors, pacemakers), transport (aeroplane hardware, traffic lights, car ABS braking), space (satellites, probes) and industrial facilites (nuclear power plants) and more to come in the future as cars start driving themselves, surgical operations are performed remotely, etc.. In all these areas human lives or great economic loss are at risk.

"The circuits produced by this projects are truly better than those of conventional design so would lead to safer controllers in all these applications saving lives and money."

On October 1, 2004, the project successfully evolved a large number "of circuits with full concurrent error detection using only 14% of the overhead required by the conventional approach," and began evolving a new generation of circuits "as big as those used in industry, many of them using hundreds of gates." On October 14, 2004, circuits and overhead figures from the project "were presented to experts in the self-checking field at the International On-Line Testing Symposium IOLTS 2004. One expert said DHEP may be the best method to design self-checking circuits."

The project used Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Strategies to design improved circuits. Source code and documentation for the project were available for download.

See the project's discussion forum.

Science January 16, 2006 2 years, 4 months unknown/unknown
Users could click a button at Wildglobe.com once a day to save Mexican Rainforest (the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve). Each click saved save 4.4 square feet of land. The program cost users nothing (it was paid for by the companies which sponsor the site) and users did not need to register. Charity 2005 at least 3 years unknown/unknown
Find-a-Drug Find-a-Drug searched for drugs to fight major diseases. The project studied cancer, bioterrorism diseases, respiratory diseases, multiple sclerosis, HIV (AIDS), Malaria, and CJD, as well as studying the human proteome in general, and the methodology for testing potential drug compunds against disease protein targets. The non-project was run by Treweren Consultants, creators of the THINK screensaver.

On June 30, 2003, the project announced that it successfully found some potential cancer-inhibiting drugs. After testing over 500 million molecules, it produced a set of candidates. 39 candidates were tested in a laboratory, and 7 of those (20%) showed the desired anti-cancer properties. Only 2-3% were expected to show the desired properties. On November 12, 2003, the project announced that it had found growth inhibitors for 5 anti-cancer protein targets. "42 of the 200 molecules tested [so far] showed the desired anti-cancer properties." On March 22, 2004, the project announced that it had "found more molecules which inhibit the growth of cancer cells," and had now discovered "growth inhibitors for 7 anti-cancer protein targets." On April 16, 2004, the project announced that it had found 18 molecules which inhibit the growth of HIV protease, an AIDS protein. More of its cancer-fighting drugs were confirmed to be effective in laboratory tests as of July 2, 2004. On March 14, 2005, the project published a list of 1,279 molecules, tested in a lab, which showed desired anti-cancer properties. These molecules were discovered by 626 project volunteers.

The project ended on December 16, 2005. Questions about the project's closing are answered in the project FAQ. The project's discussion forum may also remain active for a while.

Life Sciences December 15, 2005 3 years, 8 months unknown/unknown
SETI@home (Classic) searched for extra-terrestrial radio signals from data received by the Arecibo radio telescope. It was the first large-scale public distributed computing project in the field of science (it was preceded by GIMPS, which was and is searching for world-record large Mersenne primes, and by distributed.net, which was decoding a message encrypted with the RC5-64 encryption algorithm when SETI@home began). The project was also a pioneer for public distributed computing projects. Features of the project's client software application, and processes developed for running and managing the project, are used or modeled by most other distributed computing projects today. Using the knowledge they gained from SETI@home Classic, the project's architects developed the first popular multi-project distributed computing platform (project server and software client), BOINC, and on June 22, 2004, the SETI@home team began SETI@home (BOINC), a new version of SETI@home based on the BOINC platform. Both versions of SETI@home ran in parallel until December 15, 2006, when SETI@home Classic ended and its results were integrated with the results from SETI@home BOINC. SETI@home BOINC is still running today, with almost 385,000 participants as of February 6, 2006, 285,000 more than the next most popular BOINC project.

The project's final statistics:
Results received2,092,538,656
Total CPU time2,433,979.781 years
Floating Point Operations7.745086e+21
Average CPU time per work unit10 hr 11 min 21.7 sec

SETI@home Classic gave its participants frequent updates about the science the project was performing, and the people, software and hardware behind the project, publishing over 22 newsletters, and publishing frequent technical news reports about the project. The project also provided other information, such as a Glossary of Concepts to explain the project's unique terminology, a list of the project's most promising signal candidates, and pictures of the Arecibo telescope from the SETI@Home team's March, 2003 visit.

As of 2001, SETI@Home Classic was the largest public distributed computing project in terms of computing power: on September 26, 2001 it reached the ZettaFLOP (1021 floating point operations) mark--a new world record--performing calculations at an average of 71 TeraFLOPs/second. For comparison, the fastest individual computer in the world is IBM's ASCI White, which runs at 12.3 TeraFLOPs/second. On June 1, 2002, the project completed over 1 million CPU years of computation. On August 19, 2003, the project processed its 1 billionth work unit. As of June 14, 2002, the project had found 3.2 billion spikes and 266 million Gaussians.

View the SETI@home Classic discussion forum.

Read a short research paper, written in 1998, about the origins of SETI and SETI@home Classic.

See a RealPlayer Video interview that Dr. David Anderson gave to CERN's GridCafe on April 30, 2004. The interview lasts 6.5 minutes. See an August 19, 2004, interview of Dan Werthimer, director of the SERENDIP SETI program and chief scientist of SETI@home, by Astroseti.org. Hear a December 6, 2004, interview of David Anderson by Planetary Radio.

Science December 15, 2005 6 years 5,436,301/unknown
End Homelessness Now asked visitors to click a button to help "raise awareness, funds and activism for social justice issues/projects recognizing homelessness as one end result of specific societal problems such as domestic violence and the war on drugs and general societal problems such as sexism and racism." Visitors could click the button once per day: for each click, the site's sponsors each paid US$0.005 to the project. The project had a Donation Totals page which listed the social justice and homeless support organizations and homeless shelters the project had funded. Visitors contributed over 910,000 total clicks to the charity. Charity December, 2005 6 years unknown/unknown
ZetaGrid attempted to verify Riemann's hypothesis: this hypothesis was formulated in 1859 and states that "all non-trivial zeros of the Riemann zeta function are on the critical line (1/2+it where t is a real number)." No one has been able to prove the hypothesis in 140 years. It is now considered one of the most important problems of modern mathematics.

The project computed over 1 trillion verified zeros by January 11, 2005, and 1.14 trillion verified zeros overall, collecting over 20 TB of accurate data about the distribution of the zeros, and generated many heuristics about the Riemann Hypothesis which will be published in the Mathematics of Computation journal soon.

Mathematics November 30, 2005 4 years 6,617/unknown
XtremLab logo XtremLab attempted to improve the performance of distributed/grid computing projects. It planned to study various combinations of grid computing technologies to find the most efficient way to do grid computing. The results of this project were to benefit all other distributed computing projects, and were to be published for free. The project website was available in English and French. The project used a BOINC-based client, running one application, BOINC Resources Measurement. This application sent 10-minute "work units" to its clients. For each work unit, the application tried to do as many addition, multiplication, etc. operations as it could with unused CPU cycles for 10 minutes, recording statistics every 10 seconds. The project produced 489,323 credits before it ended.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Science October 18, 2005 4 months 119/unknown
BOLERO+ cell computing Birth BOLERO+ studied the evolutionary process which has created the anti-fungoid peptide, which is in the genome of all living things, in order to help create a new antibiotic for humans. The project completed 46,062 work units using almost 107 years of CPU time. This project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website is only available in Japanese, but English speakers can see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in this and other cell computing Birth projects, and can see a Google translation of the project pages.

The project used a BOINC-based client. See the BOINC platform information for the latest version of the BOINC client.

Life Sciences July 4, 2005 5 months unknown/unknown
PROSURFER cell computing Birth PROSURFER (PROtein SURFace Exploratory Research) looked for similar proteins in the human genome. The knowledge it created will help scientists to predict potential side-effects for existing drugs and to design new drugs with fewer side-effects. The project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website is only available in Japanese, but English speakers can see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in cell computing Birth projects, and can see a Google translation of the project pages.

The project used a BOINC-based client.

Life Sciences May 24, 2005 6 weeks unknown/unknown
Users could click a button at Aquaplastics 2005 "to help WaterAid deliver clean, safe water and sanitation to people in Ethiopia." Each click donated €0.10. Users could also answer a daily quiz question to donate an extra €0.02. The project reached its goal of generating 1.5 million clicks by April 24, 2005, 2 months before its June 22, 2005, deadline, to donate a total of €150,000 to WaterAid. The European plastics industry, the sponsors of the program, agreed to donate an additional €50,000 to WaterAid if the project generated an additional 500,000 clicks by June 22, 2005. The project reached that goal by May 3, 2005. The program cost users nothing (it was paid for by the European plastics industry). The website was also available in French, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish. Charity May 3, 2005 2 months unknown/unknown
elecle cell computing Birth elecle rendered animations for a short movie "Erecl nico." The movie was broadcast on the Japanese television program "thermal blood! Hobby stadium" on May 7 and May 8, 2005, on The Kids Station. This project was part of the cell computing Birth distributed computing projects sponsored by the NTT Data Corporation. The project website is only available in Japanese, but English speakers can see an unofficial English translation with detailed instructions for participating in this and other cell computing Birth projects, and can see a Google translation of the project pages.

The project used a BOINC-based client. See the BOINC platform information for information about the BOINC client.

Art April 27, 2005 2 months unknown/unknown
The Pancakes project continued the work begun in one of Al Zimmerman's programming contests, the Pancakes Programming Contest: the project attempted to exhaustively prove one or more of the solutions discovered in the contest. See the contest page for details about the puzzle. The first major task of the project was to verify whether the l9(45) stack takes 50 flips to be sorted. The project did not have a website. The project was discussed in the AlZimmermannsProgrammingContests Yahoo! Group.

The project found a +4 solution to the 41 pancakes stack on July 1, 2004. It found a +5 solution to the 42 pancakes stack on July 18, 2004. It finished all of the stacks it was assigned as of August 26, 2004.

Puzzles/Games February 15, 2005 8 months unknown/unknown
Lifemapper logo Lifemapper assembled "a powerful, predictive electronic atlas of Earth's biological diversity." The project, sponsored by the Informatics Biodiversity Research Center at The University of Kansas, "compute[ed], map[ped] and provide[ed] knowledge of" where Earth's species of plants and animals live currently, where they could potentially live, and where and how they could spread across different regions of the world. See a paper about this project.

Results of the project can be used "for biodiversity research, education and conservation worldwide, especially to forecast environmental events and inform public policy with leading-edge science." The project collected data for 159,279 species from institutions around the world, and mapped 84,242 of those species.

Anyone can access data and results from the project via the following services:

  • Lifemapper Web Mapping Service - "a web service that allows clients to utilize the Lifemapper data without going through the Lifemapper website. With this service, a client can insert an image element into their own web page that will display a map alone or layered on top of other maps of the same area."
  • Lifemapper QueryByLocation Service - "an XML web service which allows a client to query the two Lifemapper spatial databases to find the species present in a given area. The first database, DataPoints, consists of cached specimen locations from participating institutions. The second database, Models, consists of predicted habitat maps from our screen saver users. The area can be queried by a point (buffered 0), a circle (a point buffered up to .01 degrees), or a polygon."
  • Lifemapper QueryTaxa Service - "an XML web service which allows a client to query the Lifemapper databases to find a species by ScientificName, by CommonName, or by Lifemapper TaxonID. Results can be limited to Lifemapper TaxonID, or can include Scientific Name, Genus, Species, and SubSpecies, DataProviders who provided data points for this species, number of Georeferenced Points and number of Models Computed."
Science January 1, 2005 2.6 years 5,696/unknown
Help Make Love Not Spam attempted to force known spam websites out of business. The project, run by Lycos Europe, overloaded known spam sites with fake web page requests in an attempt to maximize the spammers' bandwidth costs (without actually shutting them down). It also encouraged visitors to recommend spam sites to attack. The project ended after some of the sites it attacked reportedly redirected the attack traffic back to the project site and almost shut it down, and after it created a lot of controversy over the legality of the project's actions.

The project provided a Windows and Mac OSX screensaver client which sent fake requests to spam sites targeted by the project. The site also had a button which a visitor could press to send a fake request to one of the spam sites.

Internet December 5, 2004 2 weeks unknown/unknown
World Community Grid grid.org The Smallpox project, a collaboration among grid.org, "Accelrys, Evotec OAI, IBM, Oxford University, ... and numerous scientific researchers led by Dr. Grant McFadden and Dr. Stewart Shuman," screened potential drug molecules to help find a cure for Smallpox. Phase 1 of the project was completed on September 30, 2003: that phase screened "approximately 35 million molecules against a series of protein targets related to Smallpox." Participants donated 68,842 CPU years to the project and discovered 65,678,378 potential drug molecules. Results from phase 1 were submitted to the United States Department of Defense on Septemeber 30, 2003 (see news about this). The project identified 44 strong treatment candidates, which were given to the U.S. Department of Defense for further evaluation. "Based on the success of the Smallpox study, World Community Grid was created with the goal of creating a technical environment where other humanitarian research could be processed."

Join a discussion forum about World Community Grid's projects.

Life Sciences November 4, 2004 1 year, 9 months unknown/unknown
The Lucas Project attempted "to complete the factorization tables with Fibonacci and Lucas numbers which are maintained by Blair Kelly ... focusing only on composites of Lucas numbers (composites are the remains left over when a number is successfully divided by a prime number and the remaining is not prime)." The project hoped to find all prime numbers that make up each Lucas number. It tried "to find prime factors up to 55 digits, the ... upper limit of the GMP-ECM program."

The project appears to have been abandoned sometime in 2004.

Mathematics 2004 at least 1 year unknown/unknown
Distributed Folding The Distributed Folding project simulated folding proteins to help scientists learn how proteins "fold and assemble into living cells." The project, run by the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, the Hogue Bioinformatics Laboratory and the University of Toronto Department of Biochemistry, and supported by Intel's Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program, tested a protein folding algorithm to see if it could reproduce natural protein folds. The project hoped to create "the largest samples of protein folds ever computed." In its first phase, 1a, it made 1 billion folds for five small proteins. In phase 1b it made 10 billion folds for 10 large proteins. Phase 2 began on June 17, 2003 and ended on October 5, 2004. The project received a patent (U.S. Patent number 6490532) for its structure generation algorithm on December 3, 2002. See the results of the proteins which were completed for the project.

Between May 30, 2002 and September 9, 2002, the project competed in the CASP5 structure prediction contest. Results of the competition were made available in late December, 2002. Between July 6, 2004 and August 31, 2004, the project competed in the CASP6 structure prediction contest. Results of the competition were made available on December 24, 2004.

After the project ended, the project team planned to analyze the results of the proteins it had folded with the current algorithm and to create a better folding algorithm for a possible future distributed computing project.

View a Windows Media Player ASF-format file of a television interview by CityPulse24 of the project coordinators on November 27, 2002.

The project software client ran as a screensaver on Win32 and as a text client on Win32, Linux, Sony PlayStation 2 Linux (it was the first distributed computing client to run on this platform), and many Unix platforms including Mac OS X. The project server and client software was also the first to use a ticketing system for submitting results: when the project server was too busy to receive all of the results clients attempted to submit to it, it would assign each client a numbered "ticket," the clients stored their results locally, and then each client could submit its results when the project server "called its ticket."

See a discussion forum about this project.

Life Sciences October 5, 2004 2 years, 8 months 32,976/unknown
The Analytical Spectroscopy Research Group (ASRG) ran a SETI project with the same basic goal as SETI@Home, to detect artificial radio signals from space. The project used a more manual process: users downloaded work units from a web page, processed them with one of three tools, and emailed results back to the project coordinator. More information about the project is/was available on a volunteer page. The project did not report any statistics or results on its website. Science unknown unknown unknown/unknown
Clear Landmines asked users to click a button to help clear landmines around the world. Each click funded the clearing of at least 21 cm2 of land. The program was paid for by the companies which sponsored the site. Money raised by the program was given to the Canadian Landmine Foundation to help fund the removal of landmines. The project generated over 2,400 clicks per day in its final year. Charity September, 2004 4 years unknown/unknown
MD5CRK attempted to prove that the MD5 encryption algorithm is insecure by finding a collision: two inputs which can produce the same digest (encryption method). No one had ever found a collision in the MD5 hash before the project began. Researchers in China (not associated with MD5CRK) announced on August 17, 2004 that they found a collision (see their paper) and proved that MD5 can be broken in a matter of hours. MD5CRK ended without finding its own collision. It generated over 10 million of the estimated 5 billion points it needed to find a collision.

On August 23, 2004, the project made its database publicly available. "www.engsoc.org/~jlcooke holds GZipped images, rrd files, php and MySQL scripts for download. www.dp.cx/md5crk/explore.php contains a database browser and www.dp.cx/md5crk/database contains access to phpMyAdmin for custom queries. The Database contains all the reported work for over 170 days (trillions upon trillions of operations) of the project."

MD5CRK was the first project to enable website owners to configure their web pages to link to a MD5CRK distributed Java applet. This feature allowed users to participate in the project just by viewing a web page. The applet had a button to allow a user to disable/enable the applet, so that the user could decide whether to allow it to run on his or her system. 174 websites participated in the project. The project also provided a standalone client.

Join a discussion forum about this project.

Cryptography August 20, 2004 6 months 1,803/unknown
Click Fome asked users to click a button to generate a financial donation for foor and other reources to help people in need in Brazil. Thes site was available in Portuguese and English. The donations were paid for by the companies sponsoring the site. The project generated over 8.3 million clicks. Charity June, 2004 unknown unknown/unknown
The Photon Soup 2 rendering project produced a simulation of 382 billion photons in a room. This simulation reproduced one which was done by the project coordinator, Richard Keene, in 1994. The first simulation produced an image for SIGGRAPH 94. That image took 100 SparcStation 1's a month to generate. The new simulation was "much better, with a smaller aperature, in stereo, with 3 cameras, and with some errors fixed, and in Java." It also ran on machines which were 3,000 times more powerful than those of 1994. The results of the project were combined into one image, which will be published in an article about the project. See Richard's April 13, 2004 Slashdot article about the project.

See the project's final images.

Art July 1, 2004 10 weeks unknown/unknown
Help Crack DES had the same goals that the DES project did. The project looked for the remaining 35 bits of a 56-bit key, and it had to find them before a May 16, 2004 deadline. The project ended after searching 84.75% of the keyspace without finding the key. Cryptography May 18, 2004 4 weeks 164/unknown
Click the Planet asked asked users to click buttons to save 2square meters of land per click for endangered forests and wildlife areas. The site was only available in Italian.

The three projects listed on the main page were:

  • Costa Rica (Mapeche Conservation Area) - protect Costa Rican rainforest
  • Amazon (Samauma San Pedro) - protect two forest areas in the heart of the tropical Amazon
  • Tanzania (Mkwaja North) - aquire a large extension of the Savannah and donate it to the government of Tanzania
Charity May, 2004 unknown unknown/unknown
Users could click a button at Aquaplastics 2004 "to help WaterAid deliver clean, safe water and sanitation to people in Malawi and Madagascar." Users could also answer a daily quiz question to earn an extra click. Each click donated €0.10. The project hoped to reach 1.5 million clicks by June 22, 2004 to donate a total of €150,000 to WaterAid. It reached its goal 6 weeks early. The program cost the users nothing (it was paid for by the European plastics industry). Charity May 5, 2004 unknown unknown/unknown
DES was a project by a group of students at Åbo Akademi University in Finland to support a Cryptograpy and Network Security course they were taking. They attempted a brute force search of the DES 56-bit keyspace within 1 month. This kind of encryption was cracked by distributed.net in a one-month contest in 1998. One week into the attempt, their professor gave them the first 8 bits of the key to help them narrow the keyspace so that they would have a chance of finishing the project by the deadline. The winning key, 8a2898441652308a, was found after 383 computers searched 63% of the narrowed keyspace in 3 weeks. Cryptography May 5, 2004 3 weeks 262/383
DALiWorld logo DALiWorld (DALi stands for Distributed Artificial Life) wasn't technically a distributed computing project since it wasn't solving a problem. It was just a fun toy: a distributed virtual aquarium. Written in Java by DALi, Inc., it created a virtual saltwater aquarium in a desktop window or in a screensaver and populated it with fish (which didn't do much more than swim around). When the user was connected to the Internet, some of his or her fish occasionally migrated to other users' aquariums and some of their fish migrated to the user's aquarium (he could turn this feature off if he wanted to). The user could click his right mouse button on each fish to see its passport, which showed who created it and where it had been. Miscellaneous April, 2004 2 1/2 years unknown/unknown
ECC2-109, was a distributed effort to solve Certicom's ECC2-109 challenge. The challenge offered a $10,000 (US) prize. The project calculated 41 million distinguished points using the parallelized rho method "in conjunction with (1) The `distinguished points' technique of Paul Van Oorschot and Mike Wiener, and (2) The ideas in the paper of Edlyn Teske for getting walks more closely approximating a random walk" before it found a collision of two points, which enabled it to find the solution:

  $k = \log_P Q$ is given by either of the following:
    (base 16) k = f1e0add3449596419c359dbdb7e
    or  (base 10) k = 306616351199823445499046157605758.

Join a discussion forum about this project. ecc2.com, which hosted the discussion forum, also hosted the project stats.

Cryptography April 14, 2004 17 months 2,600/unknown
The Collatz Conjecture project attempted to verify the Collatz Conjecture for larger values. This was a test project for the Grid on Tap computing platform.

Collatz Phase 1 tested n from 1 to 99,999,999,999. It began on August 22, 2003, and ended on September 3, 2003. Collatz Phase 2 tested n from 100,000,000,000-350,010,009,999. It began on September 2, 2003 and ended on September 10, 2003. Collatz Phase 3 tested n from 350,010,009,999-850,060,009,999. It began on September 10, 2003. Collatz Phase 4 tested n from 850,060,009,999-1,850,160,009,999. Collatz Phase 5 tested n from 1,850,160,009,999-11,851,160,009,999. Collatz Phase 6 tested n from 11,851,160,009,999-21,852,160,009,999. Collatz Phase 7 tested n from 21,852,160,009,999-71,857,160,010,000. Collatz Phase 8 tested n from 71,857,160,010,000-121,862,160,010,001. The project ended before it completed Collatz Phase 9.

Mathematics January, 2004 5 months unknown/unknown
"Search of the next prime of the form n!+1" used the Windows primeform client to search for primes of the form n! + 1 and n! - 1. Mathematics 2004 at least 4 years unknown/unknown
Genome@home Genome@home, a sister project of Folding@home designed new proteins and genes to learn better how natural genomes have evolved and how natural genes and proteins work. It was the first large-scale public distributed computing project to study protein folding.

Genome@home's first experiment concluded successfully in early March, 2001, with more than 1000 users creating more than 15,000 new genes for 217 proteins. On November 12, 2001, Genome@home began Phase 2 of its protein design experiments. This phase studied "all single-chain proteins in the RCSB Protein Data Bank" with a length up to 150 amino acids--over 3,015 different proteins. As of April, 2003, the project had "used almost 20,000 donated CPU-years to calculate over 6 million new protein sequences." The work done with the version 0.99 client, consisting of nine stages, resulted in 4 major scientific publications.

On May 1, 2002, Genome@Home began a new series of RMSD (root-mean-square deviation) projects to study the structural diversity of "ensembles of protein backbones" used in the design of large proteins.

The following paper was published from the results of this project:
"Thoroughly sampling sequence space: large-scale protein design of structural ensembles." Stefan M. Larson, Jeremy L. England, John R. Desjarlais, & Vijay S. Pande. (2002) Protein Science, Autumn, 2002

See a FAQ about the end of the project and how the project results will be used.

Life Sciences March, 2004 4 years unknown/unknown
CycleTraders combined distributed computing with Peer-to-Peer computing concepts. A user could use the client to measure the response time of other users' websites while they measured the response time of his/her site. Internet unknown unknown unknown/unknown
RSAttack576, was a distributed effort to solve the RSA 576-bit challenge. The project ended after the RSA 576-bit challenge was factored on December 5, 2003, by some people not related to this project. The project processed over 26,468,196 packets (over 7.9404588+14 keys).

Join a discussion forum (in French) about this project.

Cryptography December, 2003 unknown unknown/unknown
Click for Cans (TM) asked volunteers to click on their favorite American football (gridiron) team's helmet on the project website to donate a can of Campbell's Chunky soup to a "variety of hunger relief charities across the [United States]." The project reached its goal of donating 5,000,000 cans. Charity January 4, 2003 2 months unknown/unknown
Genetic TSP used a Java application that ran through a user's web browser and used genetic algorithms to solve a Traveling Salesman Problem (in a TSP, a salesman must find the shortest route in which he/she can visit each a set of cities once and return to his/her starting city). This project attempted to solve a problem of 15,122 cities of Germany. As of December, 2003, the current record-holders of this problem were Princeton University and Rice University. Puzzles/Games December, 2003 2 years unknown/unknown
GRISK searched for K-optimal lattice rules. It completed a Delta=7 project on November 15, 2000, and a Delta=8 project on December 21, 2001. It began a Delta=11 project on December 21, 2001, and completed 22% of it when the GRISK project ended. Mathematics October, 2003 at least 3 years 604/unknown
emirp The Distributed Emirp Project searched for Emirps, prime numbers whose digits, when reversed, are also a prime number (for example, 13 and 31 are Emirps). The project processed 197 blocks.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Mathematics August, 2003 2 months 65/unknown
Russia flag MD@home studied the properties of oligopeptides. Note that the site is written in Russian, but babelfish provides a reasonable English translation U. K. flag of it. The project simulated the thermal agitation of molecules within large proteins in order to understand how the design of a protein defines the protein's properties and behavior (and the properties and behaviors of the protein's component parts (oligopeptides). The client software simulated the thermal agitation of a molecule and calculated the special characteristics of that thermal agitation. The project processed 32,000 work units. Life Sciences August, 2003 9 months 1,470/unknown
The NEO Project used the NEO-c (Network Exchange Operation for Charity) platform to participate in various computing challenges and projects, and would have donated any winnings to the charities specified by its users. The project was the first to use Microsoft's .NET architecture. The project ended unexpectedly before any results were found for the challenges below:

The project's first challenge was the RSA 576-bit factoring challenge. The project's first attemp to solve the challenge was through random guesses. For this attemp, volunteers generated 39,033,522 packets (.154885015296E+15 keys checked) for the project. The attempt ended on January 10, 2003. The project's second attempt, Phase 2, would have used a General Number Field Sieve (GNFS) algorithm.

The second challenge was the MD5 project. The MD5 encryption algorithm is widely used in business, secure websites, Unix systems, and the Internet. The challenge would have demonstrated MD5's vulnerability, forcing people who use it to develop a better algorithm. This project began on January 30, 2003, and was stopped on May 20, 2003, due to a lack of interest from the MD5 developers (who were outside of the NEO project). The challenge tested at least 0.53% of the MD5 keyspace.

The third challenge was the Tellurium project, a physics project in which space-time geometry, specifically Isaac Newton's Equivalence Principle (see a simpler explanation), would be tested with the handedness or chirality property of matter. The principle has never been tested this way: if the test had caused it to fail, then Albert Einstein's General Relativity theory would be shown to be subtly incorrect. This challenge began on May 9, 2003, but the alpha client for the challenge was never publicly released.

The fourth challenge was World TSP, a study of the Traveling Salesman Problem. This challenge attempted to find the shortest route which visits all 1,904,711 populated cities and towns on Earth. "The current best lower bound on the length of a tour for the World TSP [was] 7,510,666,782 (Kilometers)." This bound was established on June 18, 2002. The challenge used an evolving artificial intelligence algorithm to attempt to beat that bound. With 97,820 total routes completed, the shortest route discovered was 13,802,932,609 Kilometers.

Cryptography, Science July 31, 2003 10 months ~50,000/~50,000
Operation Project X was a distributed effort to solve the Xbox Linux Project, a challenge to crack the 2048-bit RSA private encryption key Microsoft uses to sign Xbox media. If this key was discovered, Linux could be run on the Xbox without modifying the Xbox hardware. The client used Microsoft's .NET architecture, and was available for many platforms, including Xbox. Over 351.3 trillion keys were tested, but the project ended unexpectedly before the key was found.

Source code for the project is available here and here for anyone who would like to continue the project.

Listen to an April 26, 2003 CBC Radio interview (in RealAudio format) with some of the project coordinators.

Cryptography July 31, 2003 4 months ~4,000/unknown
The search for Wieferich prime numbers looked for numbers of the form ap-1 = 1 (mod p2) for a = 2 or 3. The only two known Wieferich primes are 1,093 and 3,511 and there are no other Wieferich primes less than 2 * 1014. The project extended the search limit to 1.25 * 1015, but did not find any new Wieferich primes. 131,429 total ranges (37,424,648,092,395 primes) were checked at an average speed of 621,457 primes per second. 131 near-misses were found. Mathematics June 19, 2003 14 months 304/unknown
dchess logo The Distributed Chess Project tried to create better chess-playing artificial neural networks. The project software implemented a genetic algorithm "to train multi-layer-perceptron neural networks on sets of chess positions with known best continuations (e.g. endgame studies, mate in n moves, white to move and win, ...)." The software was available as a screensaver or command-line client. It allowed the user to "view the status of the evolution any time in terms of computation time, current generation, current best fitness and population diversity" and to "modify the key parameters of the algorithm before a new task starts (e.g. number of generations, population size, number of hidden layers, number of nodes per hidden layer, ...)" if the user wanted to take an active role in shaping its chess-playing neural networks. Volunteers contributed 16 years 57 days of computing time to the project. Puzzles/Games April, 2003 10 months 658/unknown
Cell Computing Japanese flag Cell Computing was a non-profit project sponsored by NTT Data Corporation, with two sub-projects: finding disease-causing genes, and finding good materials for creating optical microprocessors. Note that this site is written completely in Japanese, but the text translates to English reasonably well in the babelfish translation. Tetsuya Matsushita wrote an excellent English translation U.K. flag of the major information about the project and provided screenshots with translations of important information and buttons on each screen. The project was developed on the United Devices distributed computing platform. By the end of the project, 12,000 PCs contributed results to one or both of the sub-projects. A paper detailing the results of the sub-projects should be available soon.

The sub-projects:

  • BOLERO (Bio Odyssey of Lateen Explorer for Repeated Objects), which searched "for the huge repeat of a human genome," and analyzed "a relation with a cause-of-a-disease gene." (see babelfish translation)
  • OPAL (Optical Property AnaLyzer (of photonic crystals)) which looked "for the material which can manufacture an optical microprocessor." (see babelfish translation)
Life Sciences April 30, 2003 4 months unknown/12,000
The Triangles project found difference triangles with the smallest (optimal) span for a given sequence. The project didn't have a website. The project evolved from a programming contest, sponsored by Al Zimmerman, which ran from July, 2002 to October 15, 2002. See the final results of the contest. The project used a modified version of Jean-Charles Meyrignac's client for the Minimal Equal Sums of Like Powers project and a modified version of Stephen Montgomery-Smith's Dispense Package distributed computing platform.

567,847 entries were submitted for the project. See the smallest known spans discovered by the project.

Join a discussion forum about the project.

Mathematics March 7, 2003 4 months 44/unknown
Project Dolphin tracked the total number of keystrokes users made during the use of their computers. It was just for fun. It tracked a total of 34,935,065,880 from over 36,000 users (1,000 times more users than the project coordinator originally planned for). Human January 17, 2003 1 year 36,000/not applicable
DClient was a distributed, brute-force attempt to find the secret "backdoor" password for Tivo's version 3.2 software. This password would allow a Tivo device owner to enable hidden features in the software. The project ended before a key was found. You can read the project post-mortem, download the server source code or the last version of the client application or see the final stats page. The project generated about 2.7 billion blocks of keys using about 85 CPU years.

Version 1 of this project was known as Tivocrack. 320,679 packets were completed for Tivocrack. Tivocrack began from a discussion forum.

Version 2 became active around November 8, 2002.

Cryptography January 20, 2003 3 months unknown/unknown
oomind, the Open Education Community, organized information about any subject into "Courselets," small articles which were submitted by contributors and scored or graded by other contributors. Anyone could submit new Courselets, grade others' Courselets, or study Courselets and earn credit for taking quizzes about them.

The project was built on three basic principles:

  1. Communities create knowledge
  2. Communities determine the worth of knowledge
  3. Knowledge is priceless

The project unoficially stopped in April, 2003, and never began again. When it stopped, it had created 91 Courselets in 15 categories.

Knowledge April, 2003 unknown unknown/not applicable