Programmability and Performance of Parallel ECS-based Simulation of Multi-Agent Exploration Models

Alessandro Pellegrini and Francesco Quaglia

Published in: Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Agent-Based Simulations
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While the traditional objective of parallel/distributed simulation techniques has been mainly in improving performance and making very large models tractable, more recent research trends targeted complementary aspects, such as the “ease of programming”. Along this line, a recent proposal called Event and Cross State (ECS) synchronization, stands as a solution allowing to break the traditional programming rules proper of Parallel Discrete Event Simulation (PDES) systems, where the application code processing a specific event is only allowed to access the state (namely the memory image) of the target simulation object. In fact with ECS, the programmer is allowed to write ANSI-C event-handlers capable of accessing (in either read or write mode) the state of whichever simulation object included in the simulation model. Correct concurrent execution of events, e.g., on top of multi-core machines, is guaranteed by ECS with no intervention by the programmer, who is in practice exposed to a sequential-style programming model where events are processed one at a time, and have the ability to access the current memory image of the whole simulation model, namely the collection of the states of any involved object. This can strongly simplify the development of specific models, e.g., by avoiding the need for passing state information across concurrent objects in the form of events. In this article we investigate on both programmability and performance aspects related to developing/supporting a multi-agent exploration model on top of the ROOT-Sim PDES platform, which supports ECS.

BibTeX Entry:

author = {Pellegrini, Alessandro and Quaglia, Francesco},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Parallel and Distributed Agent-Based Simulations},
title = {Programmability and Performance of Parallel {ECS}-based Simulation of Multi-Agent Exploration Models},
year = {2014},
month = aug,
pages = {395--406},
publisher = {LNCS, Springer-Verlag},
series = {PADABS},
doi = {10.1007/978-3-319-14325-5_34},
location = {Porto, Portugal}