QMachine is a novel Web service that leverages ordinary browsers to execute distributed workflows. The service has three essential components: an API server, a Web server, and a website. In the video below, project lead Sean Wilkinson from the University of Alabama at Birmingham demonstrates several use cases for this innovative technology, including a real-world example for sequence analysis.
Wilkinson explains how an array X of URLs that point to FASTA files (hosted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information) are passed to the remote volunteer workers, which download the files, and in doing so parallelize the bandwidth as well as the computation. Each element is processed separately using a map function, and the result is sent back to the submitter machine’s developer console.