Distributed Individual-Based Environmental Simulation.
In: IFIP TC5 WG5.11 internatinal symposium on environmental software systems (ISESS '97), , 28 April-2 May 1997, , British Columbia, Canada.
This paper describes the development and construction of a distributed model allowing the simulation of a large population. Particular attention will be paid to allowing the modelling of an individual's behaviour, communication and interaction with a shared environment. Individual based modelling is not a new concept, nor is the idea of distributed simulations, the system detailed here offers a means of combining these two paradigms into one large-scale modelling environment. A key concept in this system is that each individual being modelled is implemented as a separate process. This atomisation of the model allows the simulation a greater flexibility, individuals can be rapidly developed and the simulation can be spread over a wide number of machines of varying architectures. In an attempt to produce a flexible, extensible, individual based model of a large number of individual subjects the client-server paradigm has been employed. Combining the individual-based modelling techniques with a client-server network architecture has been found to be quite straightforward with the added bonus of having communication between individuals included for free. The idea of considering the problem as one of interaction between an individual and the environment means that the problems normally associated with distributed simulations, those of continuity of world-views for different clients and of communication between clients, are easily solved. Although this system has been developed originally to allow simulations of the Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla Gorilla Beringe) population, the modelling methods employed have meant that almost any entity can be simulated with very little change to the basic simulation processes.
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