Docking@Home Fixed Credit System
After numerous requests Docking@Home is moving to a fixed credits system. A fixed credit system assigns a fixed amount of credit per job. The decision, in terms of credits, is taken at the server level and no longer at the client level.
Since the length of the D@H jobs dynamically changes, the amount of credits per job is periodically updated, again at the server level, based on the past results gathered during a certain period of time (usually 3 hrs). This assures additional fairness in the assignment of credits. The figure below shows how the periodic update works.
No magic formula exists either for variable or fixed credits and in both scenarios some of you may feel not as rewarded as others.
This is what we envisioned as a critical case that may occur in D@H with fixed credits; rarely, we have observed that jobs may not terminate within the expected time. This is because the rotating ligand is not able to properly dock into the protein and the simulation goes on trying new conformations. We have introduced several conditions in the code to prevent this problem, nevertheless still some cases occur. This results in some very long jobs (longer than the average). The fixed credit approach will penalize machines running these jobs. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do besides monitoring these jobs.
Let's keep the fixed credits for 4 months and see whether we have to reconsider this credit approach.
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