20190314, 16:58  #1 
Sep 2016
2^{3}×43 Posts 
Google Cloud Compute 31.4 Trillion Digits of Pi
Repost a gazillion times. But I had to drop it here.
Blogs: Stats:
Hardware: Google Cloud Platform

20190314, 20:15  #2  
Undefined
"The unspeakable one"
Jun 2006
My evil lair
2·23·137 Posts 
Quote:
Last fiddled with by retina on 20190314 at 20:15 

20190314, 20:36  #3  
Sep 2016
2^{3}·43 Posts 
Quote:
OTOH, some people on HN calculated it to be $170k USD. I'll just say that both figures are very high. And there's a lot of room to optimize it down should someone decide to replicate or beat it in the future via a cloud. It can be done in under $20k, if you custombuilt something specifically for such a computation. 

20190314, 21:16  #4  
Undefined
"The unspeakable one"
Jun 2006
My evil lair
2×23×137 Posts 
Quote:


20190315, 00:03  #5  
Sep 2003
5×11×47 Posts 
Quote:
News media are already picking up the story (USA Today, BBC, Washington Post, etc). Not unlike what happens when we discover a new Mersenne prime and issue a press release. Except the public cares more about pi. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like kind of a hohum result. No new "thing" was discovered. 

20190320, 14:15  #6 
Romulan Interpreter
"name field"
Jun 2011
Thailand
2^{4}×613 Posts 

20190320, 19:55  #7 
Aug 2006
3×1,993 Posts 
Let me say, when the corporations of the world decide that the best way to get advertising is to lend a bit of their big iron toward pure mathematics to get some wordofmouth for their latest thing, I'm all for it. They could have just as easily put the money into a teenage model, and where's the fun in that?
Edit: but next time, let's convince them to chase down zeta zeros, we could use an update. Last fiddled with by CRGreathouse on 20190320 at 19:55 
20190320, 21:35  #8 
6809 > 6502
"""""""""""""""""""
Aug 2003
101×103 Posts
3^{4}·5^{3} Posts 
How much TF work would that done or LL on 100M digit numbers?

20190321, 01:12  #9  
Sep 2016
158_{16} Posts 
Quote:
Obviously, they don't attempt something like this unless there's a reasonable probability of success to be worth the resource investment. It's not just about the hardware time, more importantly, it's the human resources of coordinating the whole thing. Google may have spent 6 figures of GCP time on this Pi computation, but I'm pretty sure they've spent much more than that on employee time  considering the number of levels of management and VPs this had to go through on their side. So it's not as simple as to just throw a dude's code on the cloud and let it run for half a year. Emma spent a considerable amount of time working out the right configuration to do this. She also had to deal with a lot of people in the company to make it happen. And since Google's reputation is at stake as well, I was told afterwards that they did independent crosschecking with other sources before they could even trust me and the program. All of this carries a high implicit cost.  Pi and SHAttered were easy to see as a high probability of success. ycruncher has done this 5 times already so it's tried and proven. SHAttered would've been easy to see once they had their algorithm and could draw a probability graph of hitting the collision given X amount of computing resources. For something like finding the next Mersenne prime, it's a lot more uncertain. Let's put aside the lower amount of publicity generated by something like a new Mersenne prime compared to Pi or SHAttered and look at the practicality of it. We seem to be hitting a lot more Mersenne primes than we should. And there are notoriously large gaps at the smaller sizes. So it's really uncertain if you would be able to find a prime by throwing a ton of resources at it. Likewise, Google probably doesn't want the public to know about the failed projects. So if they threw a ton of resources into GIMPS, they'd either have to do it in secret (maintaining their own version of the database), or they'd collaborate with the GIMPS database and it would be apparent what's going on including if they fail to find a prime. One thing that would top both Pi and SHAttered is actually finding a nontrivial Zeta function zero off the critical line. But not a lot of people believe that's likely to happen. Last fiddled with by Mysticial on 20190321 at 01:14 

20190321, 05:04  #10  
Aug 2006
3·1,993 Posts 
Quote:


20190321, 05:06  #11  
Aug 2006
3·1,993 Posts 
Quote:


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