Subject: Re: [boost] Is there interest in a Simulation library?
From: Damian Vicino (damian.vicino_at_[hidden])
Date: 2013-10-01 09:32:16
Following our first request for interest message about a Simulation Library and the (positive) feedback we received, you will will find hereafter:
* More details about the simulation formalism
* Some hints about implementation details
* A few links to relevant pages
* Replies to your questions
So, about the formalism:
We plan to implement DEVS ( Discrete Events Simulation) formalism.
- The theory behind DEVS dates back from the 70s, and many simulators used in science today use this formalism. 
- There has been over 30 years of studies for distributed algorithms for implementing DEVS simulators. 
- The formalism is general purpose and it has been used in several fields including aeronautics, networking, forest fire spreading, cellular studies.
- The simulator implementation is independent from the model to simulate. 
- The models can compose in other models, it has a hierarchical composition feature.
- Transformations have been proposed from almost any other Simulation paradigm to DEVS, but not the other way around, so other formalisms can be use as sub-models in a DEVS simulation using DEVS as an integrator.
How we make it general enough:
Even though the DEVS formalism is general about models and use cases, there are several ways of implementing a good Simulator running those models.
Using different algorithms for the simulator can change performance, scalability and precision in the results. A classification of the Simulation algorithms has been proposed in 2003 .
We propose to implement the different algorithms as âsimulation enginesâ to be selected at coding time.
An oversimplified example of use:
devs<parallel_engine> pdev; // the parallel devs engine
devsmodel mod; //some model already implemented
simulation sim(mod, pdev); //a simulation gather together a simulator engine and a model
sim.runUntil(10000s); //run the first 10000 seconds of simulation.
A few implementation details:
- We want to support any type of messages between models (eg. some simulators have constraints to use only ints or strings for messages).
- Composition of models should be allowed to be dynamic, so we can reuse already compiled sub-models in different ways with no re-compile time. Suppose the use in a network simulator, changing the network topology should not need a rebuild of the whole simulation.
- Logging for models debug, run and results. We think boost::log2 may be a good option for this.
- It would be nice to provide the implementation of the adaptors needed to run other paradigm simulations into DEVS (to compose multi-paradigm simulators), we already got some of them working in our previous simulator CD++ .
Replies to specific questions:
[Q] Marco Guazzone: â¦ So I will be very happy to share the code with you and possibly to join the effortsâ¦.
[A] Thanks for jumping in. Your simulator has been released under GPL3 so we can not use the code into Boost (similar to our previous simulator CD++). That is why we are starting from the scratch in ours. Anyway, I will check out the code base for ideas and you are welcome to participate.
[Q]Klaim - JoÃ«l Lamotte: â¦. In my experience, most of these simulation implementations have to be written in a very specific wayâ¦.
[A] If you can separate the Models from the Simulator in your work (which is good in case you want to prove things in paper), then having the possibility to swap the simulator can provide you with measurable improves under low effort.
Suppose you got your model running in a simulator optimized for one multicore pc and then you get access to a big cloud to solve a problem. You may be able, changing just a few lines of code, to make your simulation optimized for cloud. Also, I plan to parametrize the engines so they are more adaptable, as the engine proposed by Peschlow-Martini which is used in Moose simulator.
[Q] Niall Douglas: â¦ if it is (a) highly multithreadable (b) highly scalable (iii) highly configurable, I might just be persuadedâ¦.
[A] We hope to cover those 3.
-- Damian Vicino, PhD Candidate UniversitÃ© Nice Sophia Antipolis & Carleton University Dr. Olivier Dalle, MaÃ®tre de ConfÃ©rences, UniversitÃ© Nice Sophia Antipolis Pr. Gabriel Wainer, Carleton University ----- Original Message ----- > From: "Damian Vicino" <damian.vicino_at_[hidden]> > To: boost_at_[hidden] > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2013 1:37:32 PM > Subject: Re: [boost] Is there interest in a Simulation library? > > Hi, > Thanks you everyone for the quick replies. > The replies come up a lot faster than what I expected. > I will try to write a document for next week explaining what we are > planning to do for the library. > I hope the document will reply all your questions and work as an > starting point for the discussion of the architecture and > implementation details. > BTW, if someone going to the Open World Forum next week, we can meet > and have some discussion in person too. > Best regards, > Damian > > -- > DamiÃ¡n Vicino, PhD student UNS/Carleton > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique > > > > ----- Original Message ----- > > From: "sguazt" <marco.guazzone_at_[hidden]> > > To: boost_at_[hidden] > > Sent: Friday, September 27, 2013 9:59:42 AM > > Subject: Re: [boost] Is there interest in a Simulation library? > > > > On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 6:40 PM, Damian Vicino > > <damian.vicino_at_[hidden]>wrote: > > > > > > > > Dear All, > > > > > > > > > > > > Following the on-going efforts on development and standardization > > > of C++, > > > especially > > > application-oriented libraries, we are soliciting expression of > > > interest > > > within the C++ > > > community for a new Boost library for building Discrete-Event > > > simulators. > > > > > > > > > We plan to build this new library on the latest features of the > > > C++11 > > > standard, for possible inclusion in a future version of the C++ > > > standard. > > > > > > > > > This work is based on our experience in building C++-based > > > simulators for > > > over > > > 20 years, exploring various optimization and algorithms, and > > > leading to a > > > significant > > > number of reseach publications. Writing a new version of a > > > simulation > > > library based > > > on the latest features of the C++ language has started as new > > > joint > > > research project > > > of University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, UMR CNRS 7172 (FR), INRIA > > > Sophia > > > Antipolis (FR), and Carleton University (CAN). Of course, anyone > > > interested in > > > joined this effort is more than welcome! > > > > > > > > > > > Hello, > > > > I'm very interested. > > > > I and my research group used discrete-event simulation (DES) for > > years for > > our research. > > > > We also developed a generic C++ DES library. You can find it at: > > > > https://github.com/sguazt/dcsxx-des > > > > It provides different output analysis (currently, independent > > replications > > and batch means methods) and different output statistics (mean, > > quantiles, > > ...). > > One of the goal of the library, in addition to be generic, is to > > allow > > flexibility in event registration for user applications. To do so > > we > > provide a minimal set of events (e.g., begin/end simulation, ...) > > and > > other > > event can be easily added to the engine by mean of event > > subscription. > > We use Boost.Signals2 to handle event triggers and subscriptions. > > The event queue can have different implementations (e.g., priority > > queue or > > a simple list), which is useful in case you have particular needs > > of > > event > > management (e.g., event rescheduling, event cancellation, ...) > > > > Unfortunately I'm the only maintainer of that library, so progress > > and > > improvements are very slow (currently, the development is idle > > since > > I'm > > doing research on real testbeds). > > The architecture of that library was not perfect and I think there > > are a > > lot that can be improved > > > > So I will be very happy to share the code with you and possibly to > > join the > > efforts. > > > > > > Can you provide more details? > > > > Best, > > > > -- > > Marco Guazzone, Ph.D. > > Department of Computer Science (University of Torino, Italy) > > Department of Science and Technological Innovation (University of > > Piemonte > > Orientale, Italy) > > web: http://people.unipmn.it/sguazt > > > > _______________________________________________ > > Unsubscribe & other changes: > > http://lists.boost.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/boost > > >