[RC5] Number of Participants Stats

Nathan Taylor nataylor at nmt.edu
Wed Nov 19 16:48:47 EST 1997

On Wed, 19 Nov 1997, Seth Dillingham wrote:

> If there is a way of determining what the 'average machine' is, based on 
> kkeys/sec, we could get a rough estimate of the number of computers 
> involved that way.

It's not that easy when we're talking about such wildly varying numbers.
My P-90 does about 100Kkeys/sec.  A PII-300 does about 6 times that.  So
if the P-90 is found to be "average" then a PII-300 will count as six
machines.  Or, lets say a PPro-233 only crunches part time, doing 50KKeys
overall (which is all the stats include, not how long each block took).
Well, it'd only count as .5 machines.

In the end, because (I believe) there are more slower machines than faster
machines out there, you method would under estimate the total number of
machines involved.  Not by several orders of magnitude, mind you, but by a
significant percentage.

The only true way to measure haw many machines are participating is by
handing out serial numbers.  The first time a client is run, the keyserver
hands it a unique serial number that the client subsequently returns
attached to each block.  Of course, this wouldn't solve the problem of
someone running the client, deleting it, and then starting up again with a
new client.  This method would OVER estimate the number of machines.

Well, I've come to the conclusion there isn't a way to solve this problem.
Time to drown my troubles in some coffee...

Nathan Taylor
EMRTC Publications

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