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The Impact of Programming Paradigms on the Efficiency of an Individual-based Simulation Model

Barnes, David J. and Hopkins, Tim (2001) The Impact of Programming Paradigms on the Efficiency of an Individual-based Simulation Model. Technical report. university of kent, UKC, Canterbury, Kent, UK. (KAR id:13519)


Individual-based models are a popular technique for simulating a wide range of ecological systems. However, to be successful, they must not only deliver an accurate representation of the system they are seeking to model, but must do so using viable amounts of computing resource. Models involving very large numbers of individuals will tend to have large memory requirements, while the need to vary parameter settings over multiple runs means that processor requirements must be kept within reasonable bounds. In order to address the issue of resource requirements, we assess the impact of using different programming paradigms for the implementation of an individual-based models. We do this by looking in detail at a number of implementations of a simulation of the spread of Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus. The model considers explicitly each individual plant and aphid, therefore it requires special care to reduce the amount of storage used whilst still producing a computationally efficient code. We present implementations of the model in both imperative and object-oriented programming languages, particularly noting aspects relating to ease of implementation and run-time performance. Finally, we attempt to quantify the cost of some of the decisions made in terms of their memory and processor time requirements.

Item Type: Reports and Papers (Technical report)
Uncontrolled keywords: Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus; Programming Languages; Java; C++; Fortran 95.
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: David Barnes
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2008 17:58 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Barnes, David J..

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Hopkins, Tim.

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