Journal of Grid Computing

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 429–441 | Cite as

Subdividing Long-Running, Variable-Length Analyses Into Short, Fixed-Length BOINC Workunits

  • Adam L. Bazinet
  • Michael P. Cummings
Open Access


We describe a scheme for subdividing long-running, variable-length analyses into short, fixed-length boinc workunits using phylogenetic analyses as an example. Fixed-length workunits decrease variance in analysis runtime, improve overall system throughput, and make boinc a more useful resource for analyses that require a relatively fast turnaround time, such as the phylogenetic analyses submitted by users of the garli web service at Additionally, we explain why these changes will benefit volunteers who contribute their processing power to boinc projects, such as the Lattice boinc Project ( Our results, which demonstrate the advantages of relatively short workunits, should be of general interest to anyone who develops and deploys an application on the boinc platform.


BOINC Volunteer computing Grid computing Scheduling Checkpointing GARLI Phylogenetics Maximum likelihood 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomolecular Sciences BuildingUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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