Way too Many Work Units

Matthew Rongey ID: 7556 Posts: 9
23 Sep 2014 05:43 PM

I just looked at my boinc client and there are 100 work units for CE queued up, all with deadlines in the next two hours! I'm running a quad core cpu, and it takes about an an hour for each core to do one work unit. Until now, the most CE work units I have ever seen queued up on my machine has been 8.

Rytis Slatkevičius ID: 195 Posts: 56
24 Sep 2014 09:21 AM


you are running an outdated client version on that computer, and it does not support limiting the number of tasks that is sent to you. It is however not a big deal if the tasks expire - they will automatically be assigned to other users in that case, no harm done.

In any case, I suggest you upgrade the client using the "add computer" link in the toolbox on the home page.

Luca Nicosia ID: 639885 Posts: 2
06 Nov 2014 09:45 PM


I have similar problem. I get tasks ending in two hours which I can't possibly complete, and when they are sent out incomplete I get new ones with same short deadline.

Happened with BOINC and now with the dedicated CE engine replacing BOINC.

I don't see the point in running tasks which I cannot finish.

Which could be the issue?



Marcel Aubron-Bülles ID: 16156 Posts: 17
07 Nov 2014 12:13 PM

Same here - I have taks which take 22s+ hrs to complete which I can't possibly manage in 2 hrs (obviously). Upgrading to the latest BOINC engine doesn't help. This has been going on for some months now - and where I was able to get tens of thousands of points (i.e. tasks done) I am now at a meagre 1 point a day ...

Luca Nicosia ID: 639885 Posts: 2
07 Nov 2014 06:58 PM

I don't care too much about getting points, but I'd like to make sure that the effort is not wasted.

I see some nice features in CE, and the idea to have a possibility to win a prize is also nice, but if:

1) I can't select which research I'm contributing to

2) Jobs are not finished

3) The same computing time could be given to BOINC and give some real help with completing work units

then I am switching back to old BOINC and detach CE connections.

I'll wait for some feedback for another couple of days on this scheduler issue, then we'll see.


Rytis Slatkevičius ID: 195 Posts: 56
07 Nov 2014 08:20 PM

What we do here is very different from what you are used to in BOINC, and sometimes it is not possible to make the client behave the way we would like it to behave.


What we run nowadays has a very short "shelf life". We need the tasks to go out and finish as soon as possible, thus we're setting low deadlines initially. However, we make the clients connect to our servers very often (even as often as every minute if we need that!). The servers then compute the state of the whole system (outstanding work, work in progress and available resources) and makes scheduling decisions. That is why you will sometimes see work being cancelled by the server even before it gets chance to get started by the client. We also maintain deadlines on the server side, but sadly there is currently no way to update the client so that you know the deafline has changed. We don't really care about client-side deadlines, and we'll accept work if it's still valuable (and otherwise the server will tell the client to stop and take another task as soon as it knows it should be done.


What you see is a tip of the iceberg, and sadly the client makes waters murky so you can't see how big it is below water. But we always value your work, and we'll make use of it if we can.

Rytis Slatkevičius ID: 195 Posts: 56
07 Nov 2014 08:21 PM

P.S. regarding the points issue - we're working on it, you should see your points very soon.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles ID: 16156 Posts: 17
13 Nov 2014 04:39 PM

Hi Rytis,


thanks very much for your answer - but I am still trying to get my head around the changes which - as far as I can see it - happened in the last couple of months.


When I joined CE I was able to directly see - via the points system - that I was working on tasks and making progress. This may only be a psychological issue but as motivation to do something decent is the only reason to stay (and that is pure psychology) what has happened and why was it decided to put out tasks which cannot be accomplished by your average machine anymore? Because that is what I am seeing.

I used to have three computers running BOINC (my desktop pc, a laptop, a notebook) because I could see _something_ happen.

Right now my only option is to drop out - obviously, because I cannot help this project anymore with my desktop pc.

Any suggestions otherwise?


Rytis Slatkevičius ID: 195 Posts: 56
14 Nov 2014 10:52 AM

I am aware that we had an issue with the points system, therefore you did not see some of your accumulated points in your account. I am quite certain that we have it fixed, and you should be able to see the points accrued in your account. Please let me know if you don't.

As for the issue of sending taks that your computers cannot run - that should not be the case. I believe your cause for concern is the deadlines - and as stated above, we only use the deadlines on the client side to make it start particular tasks earlier than others. The real deadline is maintained on the server side, but sadly, the client currently lacks facilities to display that deadline instead of the one generated when the task is sent to your host, creating false image of running past the deadline. Again, please let me know if your observations are different - maybe I am looking into this from a wrong perspective.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles ID: 16156 Posts: 17
14 Nov 2014 11:21 AM

Rytis, your answers are very much appreciated, indeed.

I think I do understand what you are trying to say (server vs. client-side deadlines) but this still looks very pitiful:


Well, let's hope for the best. I'd really love to support CE and hope it'll work out fine!

Marcel Aubron-Bülles ID: 16156 Posts: 17
16 Nov 2014 02:55 AM

I thought about our exchange and maybe there is a misunderstanding.

I hope this question will make clear what my issue is here (I don't care much for the points except for them being my counting mechanism):

If a task set for me to run in x days/hrs time is not completed by me in the time set will this task not be finished by me - meaning that the time computing I have spent on this task (without finishing it) is in vain?

The tasks I have received in recent months have never really gone past the 4% finishing mark with me before a new task was set. I have just seen that the last three tasks, set for a nov 15 deadline didn't go past 2,5% and have been replaced by three new tasks which I will not be able to finish as I can't have my computer running 100% on CE alone for 24 hrs straight (which would be necessary to actually accomplish it.)

That is - do I need to finish a set task to be of help?

Rytis Slatkevičius ID: 195 Posts: 56
17 Nov 2014 09:06 AM

Most often, we accept intermittent results, so your computation is not wasted even if the server cancels your task and sends you a new one. There are some clients that require the task to be finished, but we monitor such tasks as it is also in our best interest not to waste computation time, and try to make sure that the computers that cannot finish it don't even receive it.

So overall, if your computer is running tasks, it is a pretty good chance we actually chose the tasks for you based on your computers availability, as we don't want the computation to be wasted.

Rytis Slatkevičius ID: 195 Posts: 56
18 Nov 2014 08:56 AM

Marcel, I believe we fixed the statistics issue and your chart should look much nicer now :)

Marcel Aubron-Bülles ID: 16156 Posts: 17
21 Nov 2014 01:37 PM

You have, indeed :)

Thanks very much for your time, it is truly appreciated. Glad I am back on track with helping CE :)