Evolving N-Body Simulations to Determine the Origin and Structure of the Milky Way Galaxy's Halo Using Volunteer Computing

Travis Desell, Malik Magdon-Ismail, Boleslaw Szymanski, Carlos A. Varela, Benjamin A. Willett, Matthew Arsenault, Heidi Newberg
2011 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing Workshops and Phd Forum  
This work describes research done by the Milky-Way@Home project to use N-Body simulations to model the formation of the Milky Way Galaxy's halo. While there have been previous efforts to use N-Body simulations to perform astronomical modeling, to our knowledge this is the first to use evolutionary algorithms to discover the initial parameters to the N-Body simulations so that they accurately model astronomical data. Performing a single 32,000 body simulation can take up to 200 hours on a
more » ... 0 hours on a typical processor, with an average of 15 hours. As optimizing the input parameters to these N-Body simulations typically takes at least 30,000 or more simulations, this work is made possible by utilizing the computing power of the 35,000 volunteered hosts at the Milky-Way@Home project, which are currently providing around 800 teraFLOPS. This work also describes improvements to an open-source framework for generic distributed optimization (FGDO), which provide more efficient validation in performing these evolutionary algorithms in conjunction the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).
doi:10.1109/ipdps.2011.346 dblp:conf/ipps/DesellMSVWAN11 fatcat:igsa6tnbuvdmfbvzt2dddcypby