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Complex System simulations

The NDFS-II has been mainly designed to support research in pervasive environment. The design has however been done in a generic way as a data transport architecture allowing transport of any kind of data. We recently used the data flow in complex system simulations. A complex system is a system where there are multiple interactions between many actors or entities. The properties of a complex system are not completely explained by an understanding of its actors. Simulations are therefore required to observe and try to understand such systems.

Complex systems share some common characteristics with multimodal applications. They don’t require sensors but need huge computational power. Parallelizing or distributing such applications on a cluster of computers enables faster simulation and also allows increasing the simulation size.

We simulated an Ant Colony Optimization using the data flow system. The idea is to use the collective intelligence of digital ants to find the shortest path in a graph between two nodes. By distributing the process among several computers, we sped up the runtime application of the simulation by a factor almost equals to the number of computers involved in the simulation.

The sources of this simulation are provided with the NDFS-II. The non-distributed version of the simulation has been developed in Java, so the Java wrapper of NDFS-II was used. The simulation is mainly composed of a central client node synchronizing and fusing the results of an arbitrary number of sub-processing client nodes. These sub-processing nodes have been programmed in Java, but we also have a C++ version. In our simulations, we indifferently use the Java or C++ version together, depending on the Java availability on the architectures involved.

Created on 2008-06-18 by Antoine Fillinger - Last updated on 2008-11-23 by Antoine Fillinger