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1. Description

TaskFarmer is a perl-based script that calls NQS utilities to carry out a list of non-synchronous jobs on a heterogeneous network of machines. The code is specifically built with a Beowulf cluster in mind, but this code will work on any network of machines satisfying minimum communication requirements (see 8 BELOW). Typical applications would be: parameter studies, asynchronous searches, Monte-Carlo simulations, genetic-algorithm solutions, game-theoretic searches, etc.

The package is written assuming that each compute node might have its own local hard disk and directory structure: we will denote the uppermost directory on each node as the scratch directory. The code assumes that all nodes have the same name for such a directory.

A somewhat similar software package is CONDOR. What makes taskmaster different? It is specifically taylored for scientific computing (it is designed by computational scientists), it is very easy to install and use, it is very robust, you do not need super-user authority, it is free. Also, it is much simpler, but by the same token, does less.