Large Scale Distributed Simulation of MAS via HLA

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HLA_RePast on the Grid

The DS-Grid e-Science Project

In the Spring of 2003, the e-Science Core Programme issued a call for high quality proposals for international projects (referred to as “Sister Projects”) to establish synergistic links between individual UK e-Science projects and leading Grid/e-Science projects from around the globe. DS-Grid was one of only four such projects that received funding (e-Science Sister Project GR/S82862/01).

The vision of the DS-Grid project was a “Grid plug-and-play distributed simulation system”, a distributed collaborative simulation environment where researchers with different domain knowledge and expertise, at different locations, develop, modify, assemble and execute distributed simulation components over the Grid. While HLA enables the construction of large-scale distributed simulations using existing and possibly distributed simulation components, Grid technologies enable collaboration and the use of distributed computing resources, while also facilitating access to geographically distributed data sets.

As part of the project, HLA_RePast was ported onto Globus Toolkit v3 and experiments were conducted in WAN environments, where different HLA_RePast Federates executed in different countries, including across UK and Singapore. This was the first time ever such a cross-continental HLA infrastructure for MAS simulations was set up and the first time a RePast simulation was partitioned across 2 continents.

The project was underpinned by the organisation of two conferences:

  1. International Workshop on Distributed Simulation on the Grid, in conjunction with CCGRID 2006, Singapore, 16-19 May 2006 - pages 62-69
  2. The Challenges of working with Grids for Simulations, Birds of a Feather Session, e-Science All Hands Meeting 2006, UK, 20 September 2006.