Out of CPU cycles and in need to do science? No problem!

After the bad experience of spending money in clusters and grids and then spending more time doing maintenance, hack-proofing and installing stuff than science, maybe it is the time to rethink how massive distributed evolutionary computation should be done. Nowadays there are lots of free or use-based resources that can be tapped for doing volunteer-based evolutionary algorithms. That is way my last keynote and tutorial have dealt with that: the IDC Keynote, Low or No Cost Evolutionary computation, which you can access here in Heroku, puts the money where its mouth is: talking and doing volunteer-based evolutionary computing at the same time. The PPSN tutorial, Low or no cost distributed evolutionary computation, touched on the same topic, only longer and with more enphasis on tools.
So finally it is just a matter of a little Javascript and using free cloud resources and you can have your very own massive distributed experiment. Whose results will be published soon enough.

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Pool based evolutionary algorithm presented in EvoStar 2012

This is the first internationally published paper (it was previously published in a Spanish conference of a series that deals with a system, intended for volunteer computing, that uses a pool for implementing distributed evolutionary algorithms. The basic idea is that the population resides in a pool (implemented using CouchDB), with clients pulling individuals from the pool, doing stuff on them, and putting them back in the pool. The algorithm uses, as much as possible, CouchDB features (such as revisions and views) to achieve good performance. All the code (for this and, right now, for the next papers) is available as open-source code.
The paper was accepted in the first edition of EvoPar as poster, and mainly concentrates on studying the effect of different parameters on scaling and performance, and comparing it with a canonical GA. Here’s the poster
Pool-based distributed evolutionary algorithms using an object database
The paper Pool-Based Distributed Evolutionary Algorithms Using an Object Database is available from SpringerLink if your university subscribes to it. If it does not, please send us an email.