As we have previously announced, the bigadv (BA) program will reach end-of-life on January 31, 2015. We would like to thank all the donors who have contributed to the program. Throughout the history of Folding@home, donor participation has enabled us to tackle hard problems and engage in bold experiments. The BA program is an example of both of these––the projects in BA are one that simply could not have been addressed otherwise. We are still analyzing the results of these projects, but the preliminary data already yields some exciting results that we are comparing to experiments.
Although the BA program is ending, we recognize that the many-core systems previously used to run BA may not perform optimally on all work units in the Folding@home ecosystem (although they will do quite well on most). In an ideal world, we would have each project performance-benchmarked on a wide variety of systems and a dynamic allocation scheme that matches clients to projects that perform well on their hardware while ensuring a distribution of client capability across Folding@home scientific priorities. However, this sort of matching is more technically involved (and places larger demands on the assignment server) than we are able to offer at this time. At BA end-of-life, in order to make sure that these many-core get WUs best suited for them, clients continuing to use the BA flags will be directed to large work units, although these will carry the normal Folding@Home points scheme rather than a BA scheme. We are planning to expand the diversity of these work units to include a variety of “large” simulation problems, but at this point we are not making statements as to the anticipated longevity of this scheme.
Thank you once again for contributing to Folding@home, whether the BA program or any of our other initiatives. All our past and future scientific achievements are due to your participation and generosity.