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Parent - - By bob (Gold) [us] Date 2011-03-27 16:56
I don't know where you get that info from.  Counter-examples.  Belle used an FPGA implementation in 1980, and it was _perfectly_ deterministic.  Deep thought did the same until they went to _multiple_ "FPGA-like chips" and started to do a parallel search, that certainly introduces non-determinism.  One could certainly do an FPGA implementation based on the old Belle approach, that would be fast as all hell.  The FPGA maintains board state, and has just a few external operations you can do, like "generate moves", "make a move", "unmake a move", and  a somewhat "restricted" evaluation.  Things like SEE don't fit a finite-state-machine very well because it has a variable run-time depending on position, which is not good for a synchronous piece of hardware.

If one went to the deep thought level using FPGA, it would still be deterministic if it did not do a parallel search.  And parallel search on a single FPGA is not something anyone would want to think of, since an FPGA is basically a finite-state machine...  But since you can do all of the search and stuff in the hardware there is a speed gain.  There is also a significant speed loss since one can't do SEE, nor things like "killer moves" and "hash move" or even a hash table for that matter. 

I think that this is a solution without a viable problem today.  The only way to make an FPGA useful is to use a bunch of them so that their raw speed dominates the significant efficiency losses they have to deal with...

Hsu's dissertation gives lots of insight into the problem(s).
Parent - - By Carl Bicknell (*****) [gb] Date 2011-04-11 14:49
Bob are you saying one FPGA card is no better than a decent CPU for chess? I thought Vas tested one about a year ago and he was impressed, can't seem to find the reference though.
Parent - By bob (Gold) [us] Date 2011-04-11 15:33 Edited 2011-04-11 15:37
That is my speculation, yes.  On a decent dual 6-core nehalem box at the last CCT I saw speeds of 30M-50M nodes per second.  For a single CPU, you have two choices.  You can take a single FPGA and let it be the "chess board" giving you a very fast Make/Unmake/Evaluate as Ken Thompson did in Belle prior to the 1980 version.  Or you can do as he did later, and implement the entire search in the FPGA.  That is problematic for lots of reasons.  It is a finite state machine.  Variable length operations are not good.  And you can't access a large RAM memory efficiently which wrecks hashing.  The first FPGA search, 1980 belle, searched at 160K nodes per second.  We beat Ken searching around 10-20K nodes per second.  And we did a lot of comparisons since we were good friends, and we discovered that his huge gain in speed came at a big cost.  No hash tables.  No killer moves.  All he could do for move ordering was MVV/LVA for captures, and that was it.  We actually found problem solutions faster than Belle, even though we were running at 1/16th to 1/8th the speed.  And in endgames it got _much_ worse since we had hashing and he did not.

The real gains come from multiple FPGA cards, ala Hsu and hydra, where you take those very inefficient searches done in the FPGA, and run 'em in parallel from a more usual software search, except the software search stops at some remaining depth (8, 10, would vary by program) and hands that position off to one of the many FPGA cards and says "give me a score for this branch".  There is a lot lost in terms of efficiency.  But not as much as a pure FPGA solution because the software part of the search can still do all the move ordering tricks.  And we all know that move ordering near the root is _much_ more important than move ordering out near the tips where the FPGAs would be searching.

It is pretty easy to be impressed until you get over the "what kind of speed can I see" and get to the "what do I have to give up to get that kind of speed?"  And when you start listing killer moves, SEE, hash tables you begin to get a sinking feeling.  Somewhat akin to a new Indy car showing up that has a motor that turns 30K rpm.  But so little torque that you have to gear it to the point it has a 150mph top speed.  Then that 30K doesn't look so hot.  Sounds impressive when it goes by, like a Honda S2000 winding out, but it doesn't go anywhere.

That's my take.  If I had one per CPU, I would certainly take the make/unmake/evaluate/generate/etc operations and move 'em out to the FPGA as I would gain a ton in terms of speed, without giving up hashing and the good things that make us efficient today.  That's no good for multiple CPUs if you only have one FPGA, as you would need one FPGA per cpu so that each could have its own board.
Parent - - By Carl Bicknell (*****) [gb] Date 2011-04-11 14:47
But Lukas, isn't one of the issues with IDeA the need to have the same, reproducible, analysis each time? Wouldn't introducing something non-deterministic to an IDeA project make the tree it produces slightly less dependable? Maybe not...

Also, what are your estimations of the latest FPGA cards and chess re:speedup over the best CPUs out there atm?
Parent - - By Vempele (Silver) [fi] Date 2011-04-11 14:52

> isn't one of the issues with IDeA the need to have the same, reproducible, analysis each time?

Parent - By Carl Bicknell (*****) [gb] Date 2011-04-11 14:56

>> isn't one of the issues with IDeA the need to have the same, reproducible, analysis each time?
> No.

Well there are SOME advantages to it Vempele. I had to re-do some analysis recently due to the endless power cuts I get at my home and it was nice to see things progressing pretty much like they did the time before.
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2010-12-30 20:43
I guess it comes down to 1 Euro/hour per 4 Cluster cores (I think it's the minimum necessary to overtake the top software on my machine) for a light package, to overtake the high end 12cores around, one would need to pay 3 Euro/hour, assuming the software powering the cluster is much stronger than Rybka 4.

For comparison, my bimonthly electric bill is around 180 pesos (11 Euro) and includes everything. It's going to be interesting to see if the Cluster flies or flops, but it feels as if it wasn't an offer directed to the Rybka Forum population.
Parent - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 08:47
my electricity is free hehe
Parent - - By Hannibal (**) Date 2010-12-30 22:11 Edited 2010-12-30 22:24
You must be the "glass half-empty" type.  When scaling from 100 to the full 296 core cluster, you can be sure that there is going to be a discount, let's say 50% off. This come to $425,000.  Let's then account for the Rybka Cluster graphic that is easily worth $100,000 in itself just to be able to look at and the real expense drops to $325,000.  Now the price is easily within reach of someone willing to mortgage their house and sell their kidney. :)
Parent - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 05:47
gaard, well that makes all the difference doesn't it. It might as well be a trillion dollars to me.
Parent - - By Androcles (**) [fr] Date 2010-12-30 22:54 Edited 2010-12-30 22:56
The purpose could be exaclty this as one has ALWAYS to ponder the perverse use of what he is introducing (especially for new laws), so, I'm envisionning here the following perverse scenario.

Some deep pocket fan would DIE to please his candidate world chess champion.
So, he will offer 1 full year of total Rybka rental for his champ to prepare against his opponent for $1M USD.
And the perverse effect is that in doing so, he is actually HIJACKING the system.
Due to the early reservation scheme, the opponent team is fully prevented to use the same facility :twisted::twisted::twisted:
Parent - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 06:52
this is funny indeed sign me up!
Parent - - By Lukas Cimiotti (Bronze) [de] Date 2010-12-31 07:22
I'd love to get such an offer :grin:
Parent - - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 08:40
lol Lukas would make 2 clusters and tie them together if someone paid him $1 million US
Parent - By Lukas Cimiotti (Bronze) [de] Date 2010-12-31 08:52
Yes - of course :smile:
Parent - By oudheusa (*****) [nl] Date 2010-12-31 11:56
it won't work. as we saw in the last match between Anand and Topalov, computer prepared variations have limited value for human GM's. and a strong GM analyzing on a 6/12CPU machine with the best available engines is probably still as strong as the cluster in preparing lines.
Parent - - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 04:23 Edited 2010-12-31 04:29
I did the math too!

595/100x296x365x1.3295= $854,653/yr for rental of 296 cores or another more marketable way to put it

just over  2 1/2 cents per second for a year.
Parent - - By Nelson Hernandez (Gold) [us] Date 2011-01-02 20:38
Well then, if we can get cluster use down to seconds maybe we can strike a deal.  I might be able to swing ten seconds, for example.
Parent - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2011-01-02 21:14
I'd like to see the match Rybka Cluster 60 v Rybka Cluster 236, perhaps the strength added by the other 236 cores isn't significant.
Parent - - By Vempele (Silver) [fi] Date 2011-01-02 22:44
You'd rent the whole cluster for ten seconds just to screw with everybody else's analysis?
Parent - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2011-01-03 00:29
for 10 seconds every other hour :)
Parent - - By Kapaun (****) [de] Date 2011-01-02 20:36
I'm wondering who is ever going to buy into that - me certainly not. Maybe Majd. Well, we will see...
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2011-01-02 21:15

> Maybe Majd.

He said he's not interested.
Parent - - By Kapaun (****) [de] Date 2011-01-02 21:42
Hmmm... That shrinks the target audience dramatically...
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2011-01-02 22:18
Indeed, NATIONAL12 is someone who could actually afford to rent the cluster, but he' s definitively not interested either.

So it was speculated it's a service aimed to the top 10 GMs, or something.
Parent - By Kapaun (****) [de] Date 2011-01-03 10:19
They would certainly like to use it - but what about the costing/gaining ratio? And if they were willing to pay a few hundred bucks for some cluster days - would something like 5000,- cover Vas' expenses over the year? I guess it would be easier to sell 50 more engines by increasing service and ELO...
Parent - - By Quapsel (****) [de] Date 2011-01-03 19:09

> I'm wondering who is ever going to buy into that

We all are free not to spend money in ClusterRybka.
But nobody should try to convince others not to spend money in ClusterRybka!

Some Postings here look like such a try!
And I think, this is not fair!

Parent - - By Felix Kling (Gold) [de] Date 2011-01-03 22:35
there are always jealous people around ;)
Parent - By Quapsel (****) [de] Date 2011-01-10 07:15 Edited 2011-01-10 07:22
Some months ago I said, that I would be ill-humoured, if Vas gives me a R4, which is not as good as she could be, because he wants to earn more money with a better and stronger RybkaCluster.

Today I do not know whether I really should think so.

Maybe it's much more interesting to have a look at a large Engine-Cluster and at reports written about it and at discussions about experiences with it, than simply to have a R4 with maybe 30 ELO more.
Let's have a look at things which will come.
Spend money if you want to do it.
Or be an interested but provident spectator and maybe a discussion partner, when first reports are posted here.
(I hope, that there will no be a closed elitist (and fee required?) Forum for ClusterRybka users with verifyable at least 100 or 1000 ClusterRybka-CoreHours)

Let's have a look.
And enjoy changes in computer chess.

Parent - - By stephanie (**) Date 2010-12-30 21:18
LoL, April Fools coming too early?!!! :lol::lol::lol:
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2010-12-30 21:20
This is for real, we've seen this coming since Nelson's interview to Vas, where it was mentioned it could cost $100/hour to rent the whole thing, it'd actually cost $98.
Parent - - By stephanie (**) Date 2010-12-30 21:31
Well goodluck to anyone renting that "Rybka Cluster 100" or even the 40 package, (am laughing now really). But anyway I'll be honored if someone i played pays $100 an hour and I make sure that game last for ages just for the lulz :grin:
Parent - - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 04:32 Edited 2010-12-31 04:43
The kind of people they are hoping to rent the 40 and 100 packages aren't the typical players like you and me obviously. Their demographic is the top 10 GMs in the world. One, who would actually monetarily benefit from the $$$ they put into the cluster rental and two of course who could easily afford such rates in the first place. You have  a #3 type I guess, the rich computer chess enthusiast who wants a new toy to play with for 5 mins until he gets bored with it and tosses it in his sock drawer with his rolexes and diamond jewelry. He might even play a cluster game while sitting in his stretched Ferrari Limo. Go ahead look it up they actually exist! LOL.
Parent - By Linus (***) [at] Date 2010-12-31 05:28

> stretched Ferrari Limo

Blasphemy!  :grin:
Parent - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 05:57
a "free" $2 espresso with every  cluster purchase :) LOL!!!!!!!!!!
Parent - - By mdraith (**) [de] Date 2010-12-30 21:28

> LoL, April Fools coming too early?!!! :lol::lol::lol:

That's not very nice. :lol:

Hydra had a similar approach and the project was abandoned. Cray Blitz and Deep Blue also were dedicated chess machines. Someday some UCI engine will emerge from nowhere and it will be stronger than any cluster around.
Parent - - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 05:10 Edited 2010-12-31 07:04
Actually by 2015 highends will be running @ 128-256 cores equaling Lukas's hardware.

Ill just wait a few more years and buy my own "cluster strength" desktop then for $2000 or less. Good time to buy since we will be at the heels of the theoretical core efficiency of the cpu t i.e. adding more cores beyond this is traded off for heat dissipation. speedup = NIL Although superconducting cores could change all of this!
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) [pl] Date 2010-12-31 07:47
Please note that the current pricing scheme is for hardware which exists today.

If in the future CPUs have more cores (which they surely will), then we'll remap everything. We'll also automatically remap existing (pre-paid) reservations in such a case, as mentioned in the announcement.

Parent - - By mikal (**) [us] Date 2010-12-30 21:56

>A Rybka Cluster 100 consists of 100 physical cores and can be rented for 595 Euro (incl. VAT) per day, or 500 Euro (without VAT) per day for customers outside the EU or businesses outside Germany. The minimum continuous Rybka Cluster 100 rental time is 2 days.

How is this pricing divided? What percent goes into renting the engine and renting the real hardware itself? And I bet this is gonna be more expensive, what about internet bandwidth connecting to those servers, how much $$ you charge per GB a month on those servers not mentioning how reliable is the uptime? And what OS does those servers use? Of course you have to pay for license of those if it is Windows, even Amazon charges linux that is they don't let you install from iso for free.
Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) [pl] Date 2010-12-31 07:49
The list prices cover all of the expenses at our end.

You'll still need a client computer, a chess graphical user interface, electricity to run your client computer, and an internet connection.

Parent - - By mikal (**) [us] Date 2010-12-31 09:35
So one can just flood the server traffic with 1 terabyte of bandwidth because it is free? I really think you should mention how much % of the cost goes into the software and to the hardware,software licenses and other cost to be more transparent to your customers.

For example, you need to buy one of this:

For each of your nodes, so if you have 50 nodes it can cost you 33k for the OS license alone. So what % of the renting scheme goes into this?
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) [pl] Date 2010-12-31 17:44
We do have some costs. Maybe later we'll put some details on our Rybka Cluster web site about what exactly is being rented. This would be up to Lukas.

The cluster input and output is very sparse text, it's almost impossible to have a bandwidth problem on either end.

Parent - By tomgdrums (****) Date 2010-12-30 22:13
I wish you well with this but I do think you need to take better care of your older customers a bit better.

It has become obvious that Rybka is no longer intended to be used or enjoyed by the normal chess playing folk.
Parent - By PauloH [pt] Date 2010-12-30 23:27

These prices are absolutely ridiculous, I wonder who will be renting your cluster.
Furthermore, there's no evidence the Rybka program running on the cluster is anything different from current version available, which by the way, has been relegated to the 2nd place in strength, substantially behind the 1st.

Good luck anyway.
Parent - - By yanquis1972 (****) [us] Date 2010-12-31 01:13
jeez, i just saw this. last i saw rybka was looking at deals w/ both chessok & chessbase for server h/w. i had no idea we'd be renting directly from one doctor's personal hardware, much less at a minimum of 40 cores.

this is insane vas. i sincerely think you have lost the plot entirely. you're relying on psychos & sheiks. it's a sad day for computer chess.
Parent - - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) [pl] Date 2010-12-31 07:53
The current rental options are just the starting point. We do realize that they are suitable for maybe 0.1% of the chess engine using population. I'll be happy with one good new user in the next month. Cheaper and more flexible options will be added later.

Parent - By Geomusic (*****) Date 2010-12-31 08:50
we or at least I understand you are just laying the groundwork here Vas. You can't be expected to go live @ 100% full bore in 1 cpu incriments all at once that is a lot of server overhead.
Parent - By Linus (***) [at] Date 2010-12-31 10:42

> The current rental options are just the starting point. We do realize that they are
> suitable for maybe 0.1% of the chess engine using population. I'll be happy with
> one good new user in the next month. Cheaper and more flexible options will be added later.
> Vas.

Yes. With a little luck you will soon have renting options for 0.5% of the chess engine
using population, while 99.5% of the chess engine using population are still waiting for a
R4 bugfix.
Parent - - By Uly (Gold) [mx] Date 2010-12-31 01:17
George Tsavdaris is posing these interesting questions (assuming more accessible packages will be offered in the future, such as renting a single core):

"If one has Deep Rybka 4 and a single CPU PC then what is the advantage he has from rental Rybka with 1 core?

I mean is rental Rybka stronger from Rybka 4 and by how much?"

So the main question is, if one has a Quad or a 12core, what strength improvement would one be getting by renting 4 or 12 cores?
Parent - By Vasik Rajlich (Silver) [pl] Date 2010-12-31 07:56
That's the big question, isn't it? :smile:

The current announcement is intentionally minimalistic. Felix is also putting together a web site and we'll add this information there, together with installation instructions, pictures, etc. Probably, this will be February-ish rather than January-ish.

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