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Simulation Modeling of Emergency Response Facility Based on Software Product Line Technology



Guodong Shao, Yung-Tsun T. Lee


The development of a simulation model has always been a challenging task; it is time-consuming and requires expertise. Furthermore, most customized simulation models need to be developed from scratch. This paper proposes a more effective, reusable solution. The approach is to develop a Software Product Line (SPL) architecture that explicitly captures the commonality and variability in the family of similar simulation systems. First responders and incident management personnel need better training resources to prepare for possible catastrophic events, including natural disasters and man-made attacks. Live exercises are often very expensive to organize and conduct. With modeling and simulation technology, simulation-based exercise and training models could be developed. These exercise and training models support incident management training and operational activities in a variety of scenarios based on different physical conditions, constraints, available technologies, and capacities of the responder?s facilities. Each emergency responder has an objective, scope, and policy to provide emergency-response support for the incidents. Specific simulation-based exercise and training models are useful to serve different training purposes. The SPL technology enables the simulation system to easily adapt to multiple contexts and allows the simulation system to reconfigure quickly. SPL models can be developed at different levels of scope and depth to suit the emergency responder?s needs. By reusing the system requirement analysis, software architectures and design, the simulation modelers do not have to re-develop the simulation model from scratch. Thus, the development time is shorter, the development cost is lower, and the quality is easily maintained. This paper focuses on the application of SPL technology to simulation systems of emergency facilities, such as hospital emergency rooms, on-site emergency triage stations, decontamination stations, first-aid stations, or ambulances. The paper also introduces a prototype of the SPL member system ? a hospital emergency room simulation system that has been developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The detailed modeling of a family of emergency response facility simulation models is performed based on the Product Line UML-based Software engineering (PLUS) method.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7444
Report Number


Emergency response, simulation, Software Product Line (SPL), software reuse, United Modeling Language (UML)


Shao, G. and Lee, Y. (2007), Simulation Modeling of Emergency Response Facility Based on Software Product Line Technology, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed February 29, 2024)
Created September 1, 2007, Updated November 10, 2018