[erlang-questions] discrete event simulation
Fri Nov 18 16:33:09 CET 2011
First of all, sorry for the shameless plug(s)!
I believe we are doing something along the lines of what you described: we
developed a large-scale concurrent (parallel and distributed) generic
discrete synchronous (time-stepped) simulation engine in Erlang, named
Sim-Diasca. We used it then on high-performance clusters, notably for the
CLEVER project (http://www.cleveronline.org/).
Since 2010 we have been releasing it as free software (LGPL), see
Compared to other approaches (ex: C++ augmented of a middleware), I would
say that using Erlang looks a lot more like a non-issue. Regarding the OO
issue you mentioned, we relied on WOOPER
(http://ceylan.sourceforge.net/main/documentation/wooper/) to fully cover
our needs. We may have in the future a chance of comparing this
Erlang-based approach with a high-end C++ one, and I am fully confident
that, at least cost-wise, Erlang will easily win that match.
I think one can also find at least some PhD theses mentioning other works
in that field, notably an asynchronous (optimistic) simulator that was
developed, still in Erlang, some time ago.
So, yes, even if it is probably not expected to become a mainstream use of
Erlang, I believe this language happens to be very suitable to such
Not wanting to hijack more this list, so maybe for any further exchanges
on that topic we could move off-list? As for me, I would be glad to share
experiences and thoughts about the use of Erlang for such simulations.
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Re: [erlang-questions] discrete event simulation
Sorry for the late response, I flagged this e-mail for responding to,
but accidentally also archived it.
I am doing research in discrete distributed simulation and have read the
paper that you are referring to. I have not found any other references to
using Erlang for simulation work. I think this is because not one really
ran with the research and produced more papers. There may be industrial
applications that have been built, but since those tend to be internal
projects and not outward facing products there isn't much press on them
:-) The mainline languages that are used for simulation tend to be OO
based, so you see a lot of discussion of using Java and C++, but almost
nothing for other languages.
I don't feel that there is a significant advantage in using something like
C++, because Erlang/OTP allows for the encapsulation that OO is being used
for. Also to be quite honest when it comes to large distributed
simulations I suspect that modern Erlang would beat the pants off more
traditional languages wrt to engineering costs and performance, since
doing large scale threading and concurrency in most OO languages is a
pain. I am looking at doing a comparison of implementing in C++ and Erlang
for distributed simulation, but I don't have a lot of spare time to work
On 13 October 2011 09:36, Floris van Manen <> wrote:
While googling around for (simple) erlang implementations of discrete
i come across a single paper about the subject.
"Discrete Event Simulation in Erlang" by A. Ermedahl (1995)
Does it mean that is a non issue, or an ultimate example of write once use
for ever ?
Is there more information available ?
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