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Researchers in Taiwan to Use Volunteer Computing to Visualize Earthquakes.

AlphaGalileo : E-Science Talk (03/28/11)

Researchers in Taiwan have set up Shakemovie@home in an attempt to reduce the amount of time it takes to create animations that simulate the motion of earthquakes. Shake movies take several hours to create because intensive calculations need to be performed on the models of earthquakes as well as the earth’s structure. However, with Shakemovie@home, researchers at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Academia Sinica will only use the computers of volunteers to retrieve essential functions that depend on the earth’s model. Researchers will compute, save, and store these elements, called Green’s functions, in advance, and retrieve them as they are needed. The retrieval process will be farmed out to volunteer computers. Researchers will be able to make a new shake movie in just minutes because they will not have to calculate Green’s functions every time. “By distributing this task to volunteers, to computers at home, we can get a better and faster way of making shake movies,” says Academia Sinica professor Li Zhao. “Now we have shake movies in a few hours, but with volunteer computing we could have it in minutes.”

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