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Next: Applications. Up: Potentials and Possibilities Previous: True (or Altruistic) Volunteer

Forced Volunteer Computing

 Interestingly, forced volunteer systems are possible as well. These are systems where the participants are not autonomous (they do not have a choice about joining the computation), and not anonymous (they are known to the computation's administrators) An example of a forced volunteer system would be one where administrators run a background process on all company computers to allow them to be used for parallel computation whenever their users are idle.

Forced volunteer systems cannot match true volunteer systems in potential size and power, but they are more down-to-earth and feasible. For example, forced volunteer networks are not as prone to sabotage as true volunteer networks are. The use of encryption and firewalls can prevent attacks from external sources. Internal saboteurs may still be a problem, but these can be traced and controlled more easily (and punished more severely) than in true volunteer systems. In general forced volunteer systems are more manageable and more secure than true volunteer systems.


Luis Sarmenta