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A Framework for Component Based Modelling and Simulation using BOMs and Semantic Web Technology
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Electronic, Computer and Software Systems, ECS.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Modelling and Simulation (M&S) is a multi-disciplinary field that is widely used in various domains. It provides a means to study complex systems before actual physical prototyping and helps lowering, amongst others, manufacturing and training costs. However, as M&S gains more popularity, the demand on reducing time and resource costs associated with development and validation of simulation models has also increased. Composing simulation models of reusable and validated simulation components is one approach for addressing the above demand. This approach, which is still an open research issue in M&S, requires a composition process that is able to support a modeller with discovery and identification of components as well as giving feedback on feasibility of a composition. Combining components in order to build new simulations raise the non-trivial issue of composability.

Composability has been defined as the capability to select and assemble reusable simulation components in various combinations into simulation systems to meet user requirements. There are three main types of composability, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic. Syntactic composability is concerned with the compatibility of implementation details, such as parameter passing mechanisms, external data accesses, and timing mechanisms. It is the question of whether a set of components can be combined. Semantic composability, on the other hand, is concerned with the validity of the composition, and whether the composed simulation is meaningful. Pragmatic composability is yet another type which is concerned with the context of the simulation, and whether the composed simulation meets the intended purpose of the modeller. Of these three types syntactic composability is easiest to accomplish and some significant progresses on this issue have been reported in the literature. Semantic and pragmatic composability are much harder to achieve and has inspired many researchers to conduct both theoretical and experimental research.

The Base Object Model (BOM) is a new concept identified within M&S community as a potential facilitator for providing reusable model components for the rapid construction and modification of simulations. Although BOMs exhibit good capabilities for reuse and composability they lack the required semantic information for semantic matching and composition. There is little support for defining concepts and terms in order to avoid ambiguity, and there is no method for matching behaviour of conceptual models (i.e., state machines of the components), which is required for reasoning about the validity of BOM compositions.

In this work we have developed a framework for component-based model development that supports both syntactic and semantic composability of simulation models by extending the BOM concept using ontologies, Semantic Web and Web Services technologies, and developing a rule-based method for reasoning about BOM compositions. The issue of pragmatic composability has not been the focus of this work, and it has only been partly addressed. The framework utilises intelligent agents to perform discovery and composition of components, according to the modeller needs. It includes a collaborative environment, a semantic distributed repository and an execution environment to support model development and execution process.

The basic assumption of this work is that semantic composability should be achieved at conceptual level. Through precise definition and specification of components’ semantic and syntax one can capture the basic requirements for matching and semantically meaningful composition of those components. This requires a common methodology for specification of simulation components. The specification methodology consists of meta-models describing simulation components at different levels. In order to enable automatic matching of meta-models they are formalized and structured using Semantic Web technology in OWL (Web Ontology Language). Hence, the models are based on ontologies to avoid misunderstanding and to provide unambiguous definitions as a basis for reasoning about syntactic and semantic validity of compositions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , xii, 84 p.
Series
Trita-ICT-ECS AVH, ISSN 1653-6363 ; 08:05
Keyword [en]
Computer science
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4770ISBN: 978-91-7178-957-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4770DiVA: diva2:13864
Public defence
2008-05-23, Sal D, KTH-Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Parallel and distributed simulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Parallel and distributed simulation
2003 (English)In: Applied system simulation: methodologies and applications / [ed] Mohammad Salameh Obaidat,Georgios I. Papadimitriou, Kluwer , 2003, 457-486 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kluwer, 2003
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8509 (URN)1-4020-7603-7 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved
2. Some Ownership Management Issues in Distributed Simulation Using HLA/RTI
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Some Ownership Management Issues in Distributed Simulation Using HLA/RTI
2001 (English)In: Parallel and Distributed Computing Practices, ISSN 1097-2803, Vol. 4, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To study the High Level Architecture (HLA) and the services that are provided by the Runtime Infrastructure (RTI), in particular Object Management and Ownership Management, we have developed a distributed air traffic controller simulator. In our simulation model, each airport is represented by a federate and controls a number of aircraft. The control of the aircraft is transferred among airports as the aircraft fly to different airports. In this paper we discuss two different approaches that we have used to facilitate the exchange of ownership of aircraft attributes among federates, namely the pull and the negotiated push method. We present a comparison of the two methods and also discuss the problems associated with each method and our approach to resolving them. These problems include the oscillation effect, which causes aircraft attributes to be pulled back and forth between federates, and the pending attribute acquisition requests, which result in loss of aircraft (or unattended aircraft attributes). We have experienced that in such scenarios, the push method is more efficient and accurate. We also present our experiences and observations from our experimentation with the RTI. We have noticed some shortcomings in the current RTI interface specification that we will discuss in the paper.

National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8510 (URN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved
3. Automatic SOM Compatibility Check & FOM Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Automatic SOM Compatibility Check & FOM Development
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the 7th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications, 2003, 60-67 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The High Level Architecture (HLA) is widely used in defense applications as a common framework for modeling and simulation. The Federation Development and Execution Process (FEDEP) is a generalized process to build HLA federations from scratch. However simulation model design, implementation, testing and execution defined in the FEDEP are time consuming and expensive. The Model Construction Environment (MCE) is introduced in this paper as a web-based system to enhance the efficiency of the federation development by reusing the existing Simulation Object Models (SOM) to build new Federation Object Models (FOM). To ensure the compatibility of the SOMs in a FOM, a Matching Algorithm is defined and tested. An Extensible Elements scheme is designed to help shape the characteristics of the FOM/SOMs. This study can contribute to more cost-efficient methodologies for the development and execution of simulation models.

National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8511 (URN)000186890800008 ()0-7695-2036-7 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved
4. NetSim: A Network-based Environment for Modelling and Simulation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>NetSim: A Network-based Environment for Modelling and Simulation
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of SimSafe Conference, 2004Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Modelling and Simulation (M&S) is a powerful tool that is used to support training and analysis of military operations, development of military concepts and gradually, it is becoming an integral part of modern C3I systems. As the web has evolved, new ways of carrying out modelling and simulation and realizing C3I systems have emerged. These achievements address some of the research issues considered vital for future development of the M&S/C3I domain. Firstly, web related technologies provide means of overcoming the interoperability barriers, for example through standardized data exchange formats (such as XML), platform independent software (for example Java) and shared knowledge of a domain (semantics). Secondly, networked environments offer ways of setting up virtual organisations, sharing common goals and interests, to efficiently collaborate in problem solving. Finally, computer networks promote efficient sharing of resources, which for example could increase the reuse of existing models or utilize idle processing capacity of computers.

At the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) there is ongoing research, targeting the role of network/web based technologies in M&S, to support defence communities in their work. Our vision comprises an environment supporting the entire M&S-process, including conceptualization, scenario definition, design, development and execution. All these tasks should be maintained by a framework for collaboration, which lets users; developers, analysts, administrators etc, jointly work on a project. During the first phase of this research focus has been on efficient resource sharing and means of collaboration. Through experimental research and implementation of a prototype (NetSim), methods and techniques have been identified to form a framework for collaborative work, resource management and distributed execution.

Following current trends within development of networked applications, decentralized (Peer-to-Peer) solutions were of primary focus when implementing the prototype. Based on the open source Peer-to-Peer platform JXTA, two distinct components of our envisioned system were implemented, namely; a decentralized resource management system deploying a network of workstation for execution of HLA federations and a collaborative environment for joint modelling of federations. Our results show that the utilization of Peer-to-Peer concepts for resource sharing and collaboration are favourable in terms of scalability, robustness and fault tolerance. The technology allows formation of virtual organisations without the need of intermediate resources like centralized and powerful servers. However, some aspects of our implementation temporarily rely on central control, thereby diminishing the benefits of the Peer-to-Peer paradigm. Future research will therefore address distributed algorithms for synchronisation of collaborative work and a more flexible and extendable approach to resource management. Furthermore, as many studies have pointed out before, one of the great challenges of any type of Peer-to-Peer system is discovery and matching of resources. This is an area that deserves great attention when planning for the next generation C3I/M&S tools.

National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8512 (URN)
Conference
NATO Modeling and Simulation Group, Symposium on C3I and M&S Interoperability, Antalya, Turkey, October 2003.
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-12-22Bibliographically approved
5. Building a CSCW infrastructure utilizing an M&S architecture and XML
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building a CSCW infrastructure utilizing an M&S architecture and XML
2005 (English)In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743, E-ISSN 1611-3349, Vol. 3675, 1-13 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

CSCW applications provide virtual spaces for human-human cooperation. Within Modelling and-Simulation (M&S), CSCW support is highly beneficial but, as in most single-user applications, not natively provided. External support, such as infrastructures for creating or adapting applications for collaborative work, is generally missing in the CSCW community. At the Swedish Defence Research Agency we study the possibilities of defence CSCW, for the primary intention of collaborative M&S. Since most of our M&S, complies with the HLA (a distributed simulation architecture), HLA appeared as a candidate for building a CSCW infrastructure upon. Thus We have designed and developed a prototype of a CSCW infrastructure, based on a combination of HLA and XML. The goal is to provide a foundation for developing CSCW applications, and for adapting existing applications to collaborative work. This paper presents the design and development, and experiments conducted for verifying utilization of HLA and XML for the purpose.

Keyword
Computer applications, Computer supported cooperative work, Electronic communities, Program compilers, XML, CSCW applications, CSCW community, Simulation architecture
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8513 (URN)10.1007/11555223_1 (DOI)000233549700001 ()2-s2.0-33646018668 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
6. A framework for fault-tolerance in HLA-based distributed simulations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A framework for fault-tolerance in HLA-based distributed simulations
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2005 Winter Simulation Conference, 2005, 1182-1189 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The widespread use of simulation in future military systems depends, among others, on the degree of reuse and availability of simulation models. Simulation support in such systems must also cope with failure in software or hardware. Research in fault-tolerant distributed simulation, especially in the context of the High Level Architecture (HLA), has been quite sparse. Nor does the HLA standard itself cover fault-tolerance extensively. This paper describes a framework, named Distributed Resource Management System (DRMS), for robust execution of federations. The implementation of the framework is based on Web Services and Semantic Web technology, and provides fundamental services and a consistent mechanism for description of resources managed by the environment. To evaluate the proposed framework, a federation has been developed that utilizes time-warp mechanism for synchronization. In this paper, we describe our approach to fault tolerance and give an example to illustrate how DRMS behaves when it faces faulty federates.

Keyword
Computer architecture, Computer simulation, Computer software, Distributed computer systems, Military operations, Robustness (control systems), Semantics, World Wide Web, Distributed Resource Management System (DRMS), High Level Architecture (HLA), Semantic Web technology, Time-warp mechanism
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8514 (URN)10.1109/WSC.2005.1574375 (DOI)000236253401068 ()2-s2.0-33751568837 (Scopus ID)0-7803-9519-0 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-11-11Bibliographically approved
7. Simulation Model Composition using BOMs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Simulation Model Composition using BOMs
2006 (English)In: 10th IEEE International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real Time Applications, 2006, 242-249 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Base Object Model, BOM, is a new standard for defining reusable and composable simulation components. The introduction of BOMs into the simulation community opens zip the possibility of component based simulation development approach that is faster and more efficient than today's simulation creation process. In this paper we describe a process that has been developed at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) with the aim to speed up and improve the development of simulation models. This process utilizes the BOM concept coupled with Ontologies in simulation development, and employs SRML (Simulation Reference Markup Language) as a means to define a component based simulation on a high-level. We will present out, experimental results and findings based on our implementation of the proposed process. Our experience indicates that including ontological information in BOMs will further increase their usability.

Series
IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real-Time Applications, ISSN 1550-6525
Keyword
Computer simulation, Computer simulation languages, Markup languages, Resource consuming processes, Simulation components, Simulation Reference Markup Languages
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8515 (URN)10.1109/DS-RT.2006.34 (DOI)000241698500029 ()2-s2.0-34547441315 (Scopus ID)0-7695-2697-7 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved
8. SDR: a semantic based Distributed Repository for Simulation Models and Resources
Open this publication in new window or tab >>SDR: a semantic based Distributed Repository for Simulation Models and Resources
2007 (English)In: AMS 2007: First Asia International Conference on Modelling & Simulation Asia Modelling Symposium, 2007, 171-176 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Recent advances in Internet, Peer-to-Peer and Grid technologies have made collaboration and resource sharing across organizational boundaries more feasible. Today, it is essential for many organizations to be able to discover share and manage distributed resources in a transparent, meaningful and secure way. A fundamental problem is locating, matching and composing resources or services of interest. In this paper we describe our initial work designing and developing a semantic based distributed repository for secure sharing of simulation models, components and related resources such as computer resources. We propose an overlay architecture which combines advances in Semantic Web, Peer-to-Peer and Grid techniques. In our project at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) we had a need for a repository of simulation related resources and having identified our requirements we found that there was no suitable of-the-shelf system available. We describe the design, tools and a prototype implementation of this system - the Semantic based Distributed Repository (SDR) and conclude with our experiences and some raised issues. We argue that although some of the used techniques still are a bit immature and need further improvements a system like the SDR has a lot of potential and can also be used in other domains than modeling and simulation.

National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8516 (URN)10.1109/AMS.2007.87 (DOI)000247397200031 ()2-s2.0-84963940165 (Scopus ID)0-7695-2845-7 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2011-08-11Bibliographically approved
9. A rule-based approach to syntactic and semantic composition of BOMs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A rule-based approach to syntactic and semantic composition of BOMs
Show others...
2007 (English)In: 11th IEEE International Symposium on Distrubuted Simulation and Real Time Applications, 2007, 145-155 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Creating simulation models via composition of predefined and reusable components is an efficient way of reducing costs and time associated with the simulation model development process. However, in order to successfully compose models one has to solve the issues of syntactic and semantic composability of components. HLA is the most widely used architecture for distributed simulations today. It provides a simulation environment and standards for specifying simulation parts and interactions between simulation parts. But it provides little support for semantic composability. The Base Object Model (BOM) standard is an attempt to ease reusability and composition of simulation models. However, BOMs do not contain sufficient information for defining concepts and terms in order to avoid ambiguity, and provide no methods for matching conceptual models (state machines).

In this paper, we present our approach for enhancement of the semantic contents of BOMs and propose a three-layer model for syntactic and semantic matching of BOMs. The semantic enhancement includes ontologies for entities, event and interactions in each component. We also present an OWL-S description for each component including the state machines. The three-layer model, consists of syntactic matching, static semantic matching and dynamic semantic matching utilising a set of rules for reasoning about the compositions. We also describe our discovery and matching rules, which have been implemented in the Jess inference engine. In order to test our approach we have defined some simulation scenarios and implemented BOMs as building blocks for development of those scenarios, one of which has been presented in this paper. Our result shows that the three-layer model is promising and can improve and simplify composition of BOM-based components.

Series
IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Distributed Simulation and Real-Time Applications, ISSN 1550-6525
Keyword
Chemical analysis, Dielectric relaxation, Flow interactions, Information theory, Ontology, Semantics, Standards, Structure (composition), Syntactics, Technical presentations, XML, And real time, Building blocks, Composability, Conceptual modelling, Distributed simulations, Dynamic semantic, In order, International symposium, Matching rules, object modelling, Reducing costs, Reusable components, Rule-based approaches, Semantic composition, Semantic contents, Semantic matching, Set of rules, simulation environments, simulation modelling, State-machines, Syntactic matching, Three-layer models
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8517 (URN)10.1109/DS-RT.2007.10 (DOI)000251799200019 ()2-s2.0-46449118857 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved
10. An Agent-based Environment for Simulation Model Composition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Agent-based Environment for Simulation Model Composition
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of the 22nd ACM/IEEE/SCS Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation PADS, 2008, 175-184 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As Modelling and Simulation gains more popularity, the demand on reducing time and resource costs associated with development and validation of simulation models has also increased. Composing simulation models of reusable and validated simulation components is one approach for addressing the above demand. This approach requires a composition process that is able to support a modeller with discovery and identification of components as well as giving feedback on feasibility of a composition.

Software agents are programs that can with some degree of autonomy perform tasks on behalf of a user or another program. In a Multi Agent System (MAS) autonomous agents interact and collaborate with each other in order to solve complex problems that are beyond the individual capabilities or knowledge of each agent, thus providing modularity and scalability. The objective of this work has been to develop a Multi Agent System for discovery and composition of BOM (Base Object Model) based simulation models, which provides the flexibility and adaptability to test and assess, amongst others different discovery and composition methods and techniques.

The MAS that we developed is based on the JACK (TM) Intelligent Agents and executes a rule-based process for discovery and composition of BOMB. Our preliminary results indicate its feasibility, portability, adaptability and flexibility.

Series
Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Simulation, ISSN 1087-4097
Keyword
Agents, Artificial intelligence, Autonomous agents, Chlorine compounds, Computer networks, Electric power transmission networks, Financial data processing, Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, Intelligent agents, Distributed simulations, Simulation modelling
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8518 (URN)10.1109/PADS.2008.18 (DOI)000257570100027 ()2-s2.0-50849123418 (Scopus ID)978-0-7695-3159-5 (ISBN)
Note
QC 20100830Available from: 2008-05-26 Created: 2008-05-26 Last updated: 2010-08-30Bibliographically approved

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