One Million Processes

Rudolph van Graan rvg@REDACTED
Wed Oct 1 08:54:24 CEST 2003

Hi Vance,

One idea I have toying with for a while has been a highway ["road"] 
simulator. The concept is to model each car on the road as a separate 
process which interacts with the few cars around it according to set 
rules. For example:

	1. If the car in front breaks, you must break
	2. The driver has a reaction time
	3. Cars can change lanes etc etc

The goal is to determine how specific incidents influence the general 
flow [an accident or someone driving slow in the fast lane] etc. I am 
sure one can model this mathematically, but I wanted to have something 
that is based on a real model and that can be used to understand why 
gridlocks occur and what triggers them. I've noticed several patterns 
in traffic flow and would like to test these ideas.  One of these is 
the concept of a memory effect. An accident, even after being cleared 
up, causes a slowdown in the general area where it occurred for hours 
at a time, even if there is no actual cause left.

I think erlang is a good tool for the job, as it will allow you to 
model each car independently and it suits the massive concurrency model 
quite well.




On Tuesday, Sep 30, 2003, at 21:03 Africa/Johannesburg, Vance Shipley 

> I would like to put together an application for the
> sole purpose of achieving one million processes doing
> something productive.  With current limits on the number
> of processes which a node can support this will require
> several nodes.
> I am building a platform to host a number of Sun CP1500
> Sparc boards in a single chassis.  I'll have at least a
> half a dozen available.  These will all be independent,
> diskless clients.  I would like to also keep the distributed
> system it comprises up and running continuosly.  Forever.
> I'm soliciting suggestions on an application to create.
> The goal is to demonstrate massive concurrency.  One thing
> I played around with this year was implementing the digraph
> module with every vertice as a process.  It becomes a living
> database.  Another obvious choice is the game of life.  I'd
> prefer something a little more impressive though.
> If anyone has any other interesting things they could do with
> an Erlang/OTP cluster I can make it available.
> 	-Vance

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