stephenbrooks.orgMuon1 Distributed Particle Accelerator DesignFAQ & Help
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FAQ & Help

- - - [Help File] - - -

    // Muon1 Package (Version 4.4x)

This program simulates the pion-to-muon decay channel (grey cylinders surrounding a straight blue path) of the RAL Neutrino Factory front end design, in combination with either a magnet chicane and muon linac or a phase-rotation system.  A muon 'cooling ring' will appear in version 5.

To install as a screensaver, simply run muon1.scr in your Muon1 directory

The file config.txt allows you to change the resolution that the graphical version runs at and the priority level that the background version uses (where "Background" is the lowest).  You can also change the number of threads the program uses for its calculations: this is for multicore machines and you should set the number of threads to the number of processors you have (or double that number if you have hyperthreading).  For automatic configuration of the program for computers with and without permanent internet connections, run the files config_net/nonet.bat, which will change the relevant settings in config.txt for you.

The program muon1_background.exe will run the simulation without any display, so you can use Windows as normal while it is running.  To terminate it, use the task manager to end the task "muon1_background".  To set this program to run on startup, place a shortcut to it in your Start Menu's StartUp directory.

The program muon1viewresults.exe shows a histogram of the results in the current results.txt file.

    // Migrating to New Versions

When extracting a new version, it is highly recommended to use a clean directory.  However, certain files are normally OK to transfer across - these are:

results.dat    Archived results
results.txt    Unsent results
config.txt    Configuration settings
user.txt    Username identification
sendlog.log    Log of servers used to send results

    // Submitting Results

The program does this itself!  (New in version 4.04 and above).  It may ask you to specify a username to begin with, or inform you periodically if there is a new version of the software available from the website.  The background version will produce an FTP console window for a few seconds while it uploads results.  The screen on graphical version may go blank for a few seconds while it attempts to send results, but after that should carry on normally.  The program can detect if you are connected to the internet, so if it fails to send the results file, it will try again the next time it finishes one.
If you do not want the program to upload results auotmatically, use config.txt to specify this, and run the file "manualsend.bat" when you have accumulated more than 100K of results (or when you wish to upgrade to a new version and submit remaining results).

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- - - [Muon1 Frequently Asked Questions] - - -

    // General Questions

Can I run more than one instance of this program?  Can I run the graphical and background versions at the same time?  There is a danger of corrupting your results file if you run multiple instances of this program in the same directory.  If you make two separate installations, you may run both of these simultaneously without causing a problem.  Having said this, running the graphical version for a short time while the background version is still going is very unlikely to do any harm.

What are the minimum system requirements for running this program?  You must have DirectX 5 or above installed if you are using the graphical version.  RAM requirements are moderate (the program uses about 40–80 MB).  High processor speed is recommended but the program will just run slower without it.  If you have trouble with the graphics display, check that the 'config.txt' file has the resolution set to a value your system can cope with.

The program appears to be running at normal priority - how can I set it to run only in the spare CPU cycles?  Open the file 'config.txt' and set the priority of the background version to 'B' for background or idle priority, the lowest possible.  There has been some confusion over this because setting it to 'L' for "low" priority actually means it occupies the normal prioity class, just one point below the other applications you run, which is higher than the 'B' setting by about 7 points.

Can you Alt-Tab out of the graphical version?  Yes, since version 3.05 when I fixed this part of my graphics library.

The keys don't work in the graphical version!  Because there is a lot of calculation to be done, there is often a long pause between frames of the simulation, the keystrokes only being detected after each frame, so it can take a long time for them to take effect.  Also, your keystroke will not be detected unless you are actually holding the key down when the program moves from one frame to the next.  If you use P to pause the simulation, the keys will respond much faster as only the graphics has to be calculated.

Do you have a forum set up?  Yes, it's here.

How long do you expect this project to run?  There are many options to be evaluated and optimised for this part of the design - it is quite an active area of research, so I could see this program being run in various forms until 2019 or beyond.  There may however be pauses while either I modify the code or I'm waiting for someone else to tell me about a new design option.

Are you (we) going to work on any other parts of the design?  Yes, that is quite possible.  Version 4.4x is already optimising two different options.  After those, I could consider alternative designs that use different sequences of sections, as well as testing something called a 'muon cooling ring', which would go on the end.  The target area around the rod pion source could also be investigated further, with optimisations involving more realistic designs being a possibility there.

    // Operating System Issues

I've got Windows NT/2000.  Can I run Muon1 as a service?  If you want to install this program as a service (so it will automatically start and can run even when the 'login' screen is displayed), you can use this advice from Microsoft, or a free program called FireDaemon.  You need to start 'muon1.exe' with parameters '-b' so it will run invisibly.  If you don't like either of those, there is an alternative way of setting up Muon1 as a service at that page (you don't necessarily have to join team [TA] though).

Is there a Linux version?  No.  Currently the best way to run the latest version of Muon1 under Linux is to use Wine (try it!  Apparently it's not slow and with some care you can even get the graphics to work).

    // Commandline Switches

I want to do something complicated with the client.  What commandline switches can I use?  If you type the command 'muon1 -?', it will print a summary of the switches available with that version.  Some switches (e.g. dividing the number of particles by 10) will 'invalidate' the results from the point of view of the project, in which case you will still get results printed to results.txt and results.dat; they will just not have checksums on them and will be harmlessly removed if you send them by accident.

    // Manual Seeding of Designs

How do I make Muon1 run a particular genome I have designed?  Create a file called 'queue.txt' in the Muon1 directory (or 'queuecli.txt' or 'queuegfx.txt' if you are running commandline or graphical modes respectively), write in it your genome/design line (the one with the parameters pa=123;pb=456; etc.) followed by a line of the form TEST <LatticeName> for the lattice you want it to be used with.  If the file already exists, you can insert these two lines at the top of it and in either case it will be the next simulation to be run by Muon1.

    // Calculation Statistics

When are the statistics on this page updated?  An FTP task scheduled to run once an hour on my office computer at work.  This is usually able to be kept on all the time, but sometimes something will cause it to stop and then it will take until I next get back there to fix it.

What are these "Mpts"?  This is currently the unit I measure calculation in.  The Muon1 simulation (up to v4.4x) moves the particles forward in timesteps of 0.01 ns and Mpts stands for Mega(106)-particle-timesteps.
In other words, if 20`000 particles were calculated for 10 ns (1`000 timesteps), that would be 20`000`000 particle-timesteps, or 20 Mpts.
In the team stats you may see larger units such as Gpts and Tpts standing for Giga(109)- and Tera(1012)-particle-timesteps.  The reason I use these instead of just counting simulation runs is that the lower-yield simulations take less time to finish due to having fewer particles retained.

What is the muon transmission figure?  People who have run the most simulations may not necessarily be those who have found the most efficient accelerator designs (though they are more likely to be).  So, for interest, I also list each user's best muon efficiency (up to v4.4x expressed as a percentage), which may be compared, for example, to see if people running without sample files are getting higher or lower results on their own.

    // The Results File

When does the client save its results?  At the end of each simulation, the result is saved to results.txt and results.dat.  By default it also saves files called auto*.dat every 4 minutes during an active simulation, so if you quit the program you will lose the calculation for only the last few minutes.

Is it possible to damage the results file?  This is very unlikely unless you edit it manually.  If you have manually merged two files for some reason, make sure there are no extra carriage-returns/blank lines inserted in the file.

How do I add comments to the results file?  Write something after the [v4.xx] indicator, after the line which says how many particles have been simulated.  The remainder of this line is not read by the program, so you can put comments there.  However you must not add extra lines to the file, as that could mess things up completely.

    // Sample Results Files

What?  Sometimes I produce files called this.  They contain a selection of results, including many of the best ones, from the current stage of the project.  If you add them to your database, Muon1 will be able to use this information to produce better designs.

How do I use the sample file?  Decompress it if necessary and either use it to replace your results.dat, or edit your results.dat in WordPad and append the new results (being careful not to merge lines).  The latter option will mean Muon1 can use your old results as well as the downloaded ones, so is a better choice.

Why doesn't this file just contain the top 100 results?  The very best results at any one time in the project can be quite similar.  It is better for the algorithm not to be swamped by repeats of the same good result, which can drown out other possibilities that still need to be explored.

    // Version Information

How are the 'patch' files for new version downloads used?  These are a very simple way to avoid re-downloading large data files for minor upgrades.  If your version is at least as new as the version the patch is 'from', you can just extract the patch archive over your current installation and it will only overwrite the files that have changed (switch Muon1 off before doing this, though).

I have an older version than the one on this page.  Can I still return results?  All versions below 4.04 now are obsolete because the new version sends its results automatically (i.e. not via e-mail).  I do not accept results via e-mail.  The newest lattice files, which will be downloaded to your client via the web if you have that option active, typically need the latest version to run on.

I've just upgraded from one version to another - can I still work on my old results file?  Probably...  some versions are just cosmetic changes but others optimise a genuinely new sort of calculation.  You can check with the version history to see which of these is the case.  If you do keep an old results.dat file, it may mis-guide the optimiser a bit, but your results will be valid calculations still.

    // Utilities

How do I use the Muon1Bench.exe program?  Put the program in your Muon1 directory (same place as muon1.exe) and simply start and leave it running while Muon1 is working.  It will produce a file BenchCSV.log which has three columns: one logging the time in seconds, the second showing the number of new Mpts Muon1 has produced and the third showing a running estimate of the speed in units of kpts/sec (1000 kpts = 1 Mpts).  Once you've run it for a day or so (enough for the estimate to be stable), post your results to the benchmarking thread in the forum.
On multi-core machines you can either start one client with auto threads (this is the simplest method) and run the benchmark program alongside for a couple of days.  Or you can create as many Muon1 directories as you have cores, each set to 1 thread with their own copy of the benchmark program and add the resulting numbers together.  This ends up being slightly faster in the present version (v4.43d) of Muon1 as running single-threaded simulations in parallel leaves fewer spare CPU cycles than running a single (faster) multi-threaded simulation.

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