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Distributed computing..?

Posted by: Electrolyte - Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:15 pm
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Distributed computing..? 
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Post Distributed computing..?   Posted on: Tue Jul 13, 2004 8:15 pm
I've been kicking around this idea for a distributed computing project, and wanted to ask of its usefulness to the push for spacetravel.
I had two specific hopes. Please tell me if I'm being realistic. My first hope was that the project could be used by a few hundred thousand computers to come up with the very best in new and quality designs, and of course to model and virtually test different chemical compositions for use as propellants. Perhaps even modelling different atomic configurations to provide us with metals with increased tensile strength, or dare I say an entirely new breed of propulsion.
My second hope about such a project, being a bit more subtle. I think that distributed computing would give the average joe, somebody like me, the opportunity to take part in something that he/she supports on a level that lets them feel like they're helping. I think it makes one feel like they're a part of something. I know that's the way I felt after I started running SETI@HOME. And of course, when you feel more a part of something, you're much more apt to give it public support, which would thus increase the attractiveness of space travel as a whole.. :wink:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:22 pm
Hello, Electrolyte,

I suppose your idea to be best for applications like SETI@HOME.

May be something similar could be done for private spacecrafts and space travels - somebody should think it over. Perhaps your first point is a good one.

But what are the most urgent needs of the XPRIZE teams and firms, of the XPRIZE Foundation and of space travels themselves? Another point are the several different costs of missions and future travels to the other planets.

In principle each progress in reduction of cost, increase in speed and innovation of technology requires large evalution of its consequences - may be your proposal supplies a good solution.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:11 am
I'm glad you think it's a good idea. I unfortunately know little about the technical aspects of such a project, or the potential for usefulness, but I figure it's always a good thing to put out new ideas. (even at the risk of being wrong, haha)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 10:57 am
Just this moment I have a concrete idea of an "application" for your thoughts of a distributed computing project.

Besides all the funcionality search machines and other programs are providing in the internet there seems a special kind of information to be required - knowledge, ideas, experiences required but missed by teams.
There are enterprise solutions of knowledge data bases but they haven't matured really yet - so they don't be fit to the web yet.

But you can select web contents including this board by a few special searching tokens, collect all the results and then distribute them to volunteers like those of SETI@home. These volunteers get a special program to search for relationships between the selected sites using additional special tokens. The list will be sent back to you to be published for use by private spacecraft and travel firms (etc.) and as basis for iterations of the process.

This way something like a special worldwide knowledge database might be established by volunteers, enthusiast etc.

What about that idea?



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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:24 pm
Well, the only reason i can think of is just let a central computer 'design' a million wing configurations or something that can be calculated, so that the most optimum confiuration can be calculated.

Though i suppose that this is allready known and testing it in real life is always better because you cant calulate everything. Calculatin gmolecules is most likely still in its infancy and who knows whats gonna be good and whats aint? If you have values which you think that are criteria for a wing, so if a wing configuration is above these values, is good, then this calculation is allready limited.

I suppose that it can be usefull but like i said, who says which values are good and which arent?


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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:50 am
Sounds like a cool idea. I'd imagine that could really take off after space travel becomes mainstream and the subsequent proliferation of space-related technologies and interests.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:54 am
Personally.. I don't see distributed computing as the answer.., but yes a possibility.. but too much limited to 1 goal, and most space related developments have/need almost all unique specifications.

I guess this enters a lot of my expertise and intrests.. so I'll just start writing a terrible long post ;)

As a game developer.. who is intrested in a lot, Artificial Inteligence is part of it., so I looked more and more into those developments and Neural Networks Computing is one of them. and also in general computer techology, nano technology.. etc

Some info:
What is a Neural Network?
An Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is an information processing paradigm that is inspired by the way biological nervous systems, such as the brain, process information. The key element of this paradigm is the novel structure of the information processing system. It is composed of a large number of highly interconnected processing elements (neurones) working in unison to solve specific problems. ANNs, like people, learn by example. An ANN is configured for a specific application, such as pattern recognition or data classification, through a learning process. Learning in biological systems involves adjustments to the synaptic connections that exist between the neurones. This is true of ANNs as well.


In human words, it's a system where you only have to give a database with the materials you have or even on molecular basis and a perfectionism level, as example for a spaceship "how faster is better, it has to be air closed, humans have to be able to live deacent in it etc etc".
And neural networks will find the answer for you, how to make a spaceship with the goals you may have set and create a spaceship with:
- maximum safety
- maximum speed
- maximum quality for humans in it
- etc etc all depends on your perfectionism goals..

Why use neural networks?
Neural networks, with their remarkable ability to derive meaning from complicated or imprecise data, can be used to extract patterns and detect trends that are too complex to be noticed by either humans or other computer techniques. A trained neural network can be thought of as an "expert" in the category of information it has been given to analyse. This expert can then be used to provide projections given new situations of interest and answer "what if" questions.
Other advantages include:

- Adaptive learning: An ability to learn how to do tasks based on the data given for training or initial experience.
- Self-Organisation: An ANN can create its own organisation or representation of the information it receives during learning time.
- Real Time Operation: ANN computations may be carried out in parallel, and special hardware devices are being designed and manufactured which take advantage of this capability.
- Fault Tolerance via Redundant Information Coding: Partial destruction of a network leads to the corresponding degradation of performance. However, some network capabilities may be retained even with major network damage.

Neural networks versus conventional computers..
Neural networks take a different approach to problem solving than that of conventional computers. Conventional computers use an algorithmic approach i.e. the computer follows a set of instructions in order to solve a problem. Unless the specific steps that the computer needs to follow are known the computer cannot solve the problem. That restricts the problem solving capability of conventional computers to problems that we already understand and know how to solve. But computers would be so much more useful if they could do things that we don't exactly know how to do.

Neural networks process information in a similar way the human brain does. The network is composed of a large number of highly interconnected processing elements(neurones) working in parallel to solve a specific problem. Neural networks learn by example. They cannot be programmed to perform a specific task. The examples must be selected carefully otherwise useful time is wasted or even worse the network might be functioning incorrectly. The disadvantage is that because the network finds out how to solve the problem by itself, its operation can be unpredictable.


Todays limitations
Today the computer CPU computing power is the ONLY limitation to compute a space ship that will change this world for ever... and space ;)
It's the same for cars, airplanes, or every machine.. or even things people are doing as work... it can all be done or created a lot better with the help of neural networks.

Answers will come soon
Is this a big problem ? no... those limitations are temporary.. you'll need computers thousands of times as fast as today to compute a larger problem fast anough.. but quantum computers are starting to work in tests done by several teams worldwide... and most experts predict quantum computing is only 10 years "or less" in the future from beeing used in real undistrial environments or even in your own house.
Quantum computing makes a computer "billions" of times faster as todays computers, it's litterly a GIANT LEEP for development of this world.

This GIANT LEEP, will enable Neural networks to be used on large scale projects, as example, creating space ships..

It's already used today for:
- Speech recognition
- Speech production: reading text aloud (NETtalk)
- Text recognition
- Siemens successfully uses neural networks for process automation in basic industries, e.g., in rolling mill control more than 100 neural networks do their job, 24 hours a day
- Robotics - navigation, vision recognition (as example sonny's robot, recognising people visually, sound etc etcand able to dance.. etc etc :))
- Pattern recognition, i.e. recognizing handwritten characters, e.g. the current version of Apple's Newton uses a neural net
- Medicine, i.e. storing medical records based on case information
- Game Playing: (as example my upcomming game etc ;), or a lot of top chess games, black & white and other great games)

(not seti@home, as long as I know it are normal computing operations)

NNs(neural networks) might, in the future, allow:

- robots that can see, feel, and predict the world around them
- improved stock prediction
- common usage of self-driving cars
- composition of music
- Machine learning:
--- Having a computer program itself from a set of examples so you don't have to program it yourself.
--- Optimization: given a set of constraints and a cost function, how do you find an optimal solution? E.g. traveling salesman problem.
--- Classification: grouping patterns into classes: i.e. handwritten characters into letters.
--- Associative memory: recalling a memory based on a partial match.
--- Regression: function mapping
- handwritten documents to be automatically transformed into formatted word processing documents
- trends found in the human genome to aid in the understanding of the data compiled by the Human Genome Project
- self-diagnosis of medical problems using neural networks
- almost everything a human can do.... except dreaming, or really beeing real ;)
- and much more!



Combined with other technology..
Quantum computing is not the only technology that's already proven and will be available in about 10 years from now... also Nano technology is going to make this world change a lot..

Quantum Computing, combined with Neural Networks USED WITH "nano" technology will litterly open the possibility of having space ships repairing themself.. or even changing in emergency situation from a airplane shape to a soyus style landing with a parachute.. (note, in that case nano technology may have to destroy some materials or drop them...)

In the far future.. when Quantum Physics is more advanced, the possibility may go open for changing materials into other "types", on this moment it's limited to atoms.. but when this technology gets in use for real world operations.. (won't happen that soon.. it may need an other 50 to 100 years for development, cause this is hundreds of times more complex as Quantum computing), replicators from star trek would be possible, and also spaceships changing totaly in shape with EVEN other materials ;)

And that's why I think it won't take an other 30 years before I'm walking on the moon ;) because Quantum computing will enable Neural networks to solve most of our difficult tasks ;)

So.. writing an application today to help this industry is ok... but in the end.. it won't change a lot... cause it's too limited and they(the teams) are all using diffrent approuches.. so you can only help 1 thing at once.. and you'll still need months/years to find 1 answer..

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Last edited by Sigurd on Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:42 am, edited 5 times in total.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:16 am
I was going to say, "That's impossible." But then your signature reminded me of what Lord Kelvin said ...

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:25 am
Continued...

Info:
(basic info)
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~nd/surprise_96 ... eport.html
http://www.cs.stir.ac.uk/~lss/NNIntro/InvSlides.html

Diagnosing cancer with artificial neural networks
http://genomebiology.com/researchnews/d ... 0020218-01

PRED-CLASS: cascading neural networks for generalized protein classification and genome-wide applications
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/quer ... t=Abstract

The Value of Neural Networks for Classification:
http://www.neuroxl.com/white_paper_neural_networks.htm

just a lot of info where it's used or researched for:
http://www.sric-bi.com/Explorer/NN.shtml

A Simple application:
http://www.mathworks.com/products/neuralnet/

Also.. Neural Networks is the basis.. Fuzzy logics etc makes it even more powerfull etc etc ..

EDIT:
@desertbadger, I'm able to write Neural Networks today, actually I'm even using it in the Artificial Inteligence for my game today, it's possible because of the limited problems it has to solve, they only need very few cpu power.

It's even possible John Carmack is using this for his rocket to keep it in balance, because with perfectionism... neural networks can do things.. people see as "not possible" ;)

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 5:41 am
Okay, I'll reserve judgement until I've read and comprehended all your links. (This may take a while.)

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 12:15 pm
Sigurd wrote:
<neural networks snip>


Damn you! I was just about to bring those up. However, you did a far superior job than I would have....

And can't neural networks be used in combination with distributed computing (seti@home style) to increase the power? I mean, the biggest advantage to distributed computing is that it can pull off thousands of operations at once, as opposed to just doing one thing at a time.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 26, 2004 3:54 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
Sigurd wrote:
<neural networks snip>


Damn you! I was just about to bring those up. However, you did a far superior job than I would have....

And can't neural networks be used in combination with distributed computing (seti@home style) to increase the power? I mean, the biggest advantage to distributed computing is that it can pull off thousands of operations at once, as opposed to just doing one thing at a time.


It is possible... but you'll need large servers and a backbone acces to the internet ;) to be able to handle all those users... (costs a lot lot lot..)
I think it will cost more than a team would need to pay to an other company to research an engine or so..

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:18 am
Indeed, that was a terribly long two posts ;) But very good information. Also very familiar looking. Maybe because you have sent that to me before lol.

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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:01 pm
Thanks for posting it, I had a great time reading it. I didn't know neural networks were so far along as a technology.
It would be fascinating to actually design something like that on a large scale with a few terabytes, I wonder how closely the end result would mirror the actions of the human brain when it comes to problem solving.
I'd think that especially with the fault tolerance as you say, that to study how the network goes about working around the problem of part of the network crashing would lead to greater insight into how the brain can do the same thing at times.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 28, 2004 2:00 am
Electrolyte wrote:
Thanks for posting it, I had a great time reading it. I didn't know neural networks were so far along as a technology.

You're Welcome, I guess more advanced techniques may even reduce the needed cpu to find solutions.

Electrolyte wrote:
It would be fascinating to actually design something like that on a large scale with a few terabytes, I wonder how closely the end result would mirror the actions of the human brain when it comes to problem solving.

A few terrabytes or precessing power of terraherz would be nice, would create a lot of new possibilities.. but I guess only quantum computing (terraherz would be damn slow) will solve most of our problems... cause we'll always say.. "what if it could be faster.. what if we had it today ;)"

Electrolyte wrote:
I'd think that especially with the fault tolerance as you say, that to study how the network goes about working around the problem of part of the network crashing would lead to greater insight into how the brain can do the same thing at times.

That's a possibility.. in the far future.. there is a posibility neural networks (atleast the more advanced version of it), may recreate a human beeing step by step in virtual reality... to give us the posibility.. to reverse it step by step and to give humans the idea how a human work.. and actually proof that there is "or isn't" something else that gave us our personality.

I only hope.. people will not fight (for some it could be very controversial)... because of religion.. when a computer would be able in the far future.. to perfectly create a human beeing.. and I guess it will be possible... (even if humans have some invisible field or other thins we may not know... nothing tells us we can't create our own or actually understand those things..)
On the other hand.. I don't think we'll keep calling it a computer.. cause in those times.. most of what we have would be nano technology with computer stuff in it, able to transform in less then a millisecond to anything you want.. it would be hard to reffer to every object as a computer :P, if I could.. I really would love to take a short visit to "3"004 8)

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