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How Does UCEF Work?

The technical approach relies on three key ideas:

  1. The integration of state-of-the-art tools from multiple domains;
  2. The use of well-established standards for federated communications; and
  3. The definition of the components of an experiment in a granular form that allows experiments to be composed of well-defined and tested parts.

UCEF utilizes a method of uniformly wrapping federates into a federation. UCEF employs a standardized communications protocol, IEEE Standard 1516 High Level Architecture (HLA), to facilitate communication and information exchange between the various simulators, emulators, and hardware from multiple researchers and companies.

UCEF integrates state-of-the-art tools, including the following:

  • programming languages (e.g., java, cpp);
  • communications co-simulation (e.g., OMNeT++);
  • simulation platforms (e.g., MATLAB, LabVIEW, GridLAB-D)
  • hardware-in-the-loop; and
  • others.

Additional tools will be added in the coming months and years.


Lightweight Adaptation for Federation
The left third of the graphic is labeled “Best of Breed heterogeneous Simulators/Emulators/HL Testbeds”, and it shows four differently shaped puzzle pieces that are not connected.  The pieces are labeled “GirdLAB-D”, “MATLAB”, “OMNeT++”, and “Opal-RT”.  The right third of the graphic is labeled “Light-Integration Wrappers + Common Experiment Orchestration Bus”, and it shows the four puzzle pieces now connected with each other by way of a box labeled “HLA* Bus”.  Between the left and right sides of the graphic is an arrow pointing from left to right, and it is labeled “Develop Light Weight HLA Wrappers”.   At the bottom right of the graphic is a web address that provides more information about the meaning of “HLA”, and the address is
Created April 5, 2018, Updated June 27, 2023