Friday, May 06, 2005

The Ultimate Simulator

This will be my first blog. I found this service after reading an article in Fortune magazine describing the war between Google and Bill Gates.

Yesterday I talked with two friends about the possibility to use peer-to-peer (P2P) computing for protein folding simulation. The idea was simple: connect large number of volunteer computers in a P2P fashion, and each node is responsible to model one atom in a protein molecule. As the simulation goes, each node would constantly discover neighboring atoms within a pre-specified radius and would communicate the most recent coordinates with those neighbors within the "interaction sphere".

One friend expressed concern about the potentially large amount of communication required to keep the various nodes synchronized, while the other friend thought the idea was "very interesting."

I, on the other hand, was just pondering on the intriguing possibility: if protein folding were to be simulated in the most parallel fashion, how much more can you get than each atom is simulated by ONE processor? And if such thing does work, wouldn't it be in effect, the ultimate simulator?

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