[stats-dev] GUIDs and machine level stats tracking

Jim C. Nasby decibel at distributed.net
Tue Aug 3 17:05:22 EDT 2004

What benefit does using a GUID over a numeric identifier offer? If we
utilized numeric IDs participants would be able to use them without
hitting our website to be assigned one.

As for aggregation we probably have no choice in the matter; the only
reasonable way to do ranking is to aggregate at the participant level.
This is why we use email_rank and don't just hit email_contrib directly.

Other than that, the proposal looks fine. I don't want to work on this
until after we have a working GUID system, though.

On Thu, Jul 29, 2004 at 04:47:33PM -0500, Ben Gavin wrote:
> Hi,
>   Decibel asked that I put together this summary of my thoughts on the
> email->GUID transition and specifically on my ideas for machine-level
> statistics tracking.  The scenario I am proposing looks like such:
> [UserAuth]
> Participant Info <--- Participant GUIDs
> The participant GUID table contains the GUID and an optional "friendly
> identifier" which would be displayed by the stats system, in place of
> the GUID.  There may also be a field which indicates the user's
> "primary GUID" which could be used for "phase 1" bits to allow mapping
> of the stats email to a specific participant GUID.  I don't believe
> that participants should be able to enter GUIDs into the system, nor
> edit existing GUID entries assigned to the participant.  It may be
> useful for them to be able to "inactivate" a GUID to indicate that
> work will no longer be arriving from that GUID and it should no longer
> be displayed in the stats system [or maybe displayed in a different
> area].
> I envision that the user would be able to sign up through the new
> user-auth system, and request that they be assigned an additional GUID
> [they would be assigned one at first when they sign up, and this would
> be marked internally as their primary GUID].  They could then use that
> GUID on a machine or group of machines to track stats for that
> particular machine/group.
> Then as part of the statsproc process, the current GUID->participant
> table would be retrieved and used to aggregate the statistics for the
> participant at a team level [if they belong to a team].  The only
> screen where the individual, machine-level GUID stats display would be
> the participant summary screen [although maybe we could provide a
> "tree view" type listing for the team??].  This would be part of the
> "my.distributed.net" as well as the individual team participant pages.
> >From a performance standpoint, we could choose to either
> batch-aggregate the stats for a particular participant during
> statsproc [basically storing aggregated entries for both the main
> participant and machine-level], or choose to just do the aggregation
> on the fly.  I would prefer that we setup proper indexing on the
> email_contrib table and just do the aggregation on the fly until such
> point as performance necessitates doing it  as part of statsproc.
> I believe this would be a very useful addition to the new stats
> system, and is already heavily used on the GIMPS project.  It seems to
> work very well, and allows people to track whether a given machine or
> group of machines is underperforming, or to better troubleshoot why
> their output isn't what it should be.  Especially in cases where
> installing/maintaining a personal proxy is not desired/possible. 
> Utilizing this approach also has the benefit of not requiring client
> changes, you simply plug in the GUID you've been assigned [or another
> that you've requested] and you're off.
> Thanks!
> Ben [TheJet]
> -- 
> ----------------------------------------
> Benjamin Gavin
> virtual.olympus software
> ben at virtual-olympus.com
> ----------------------------------------
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Jim C. Nasby, Database Consultant           decibel at distributed.net
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