Our first post in this blog it is going to be about a topic of discussion in which the Simware team has been working for the last decade: simplifying the use of distributed simulation technologies.
During discussions with colleagues and friends within the Simulation and Training community, they bring up the many technical difficulties of implementing interoperability into simulation platforms.
Simulation&Training is associated with high end technology and, therefore, people translate concepts and applications that they use to manage other high-tech domains such as Business IT software, social media or mobile applications. In these high-tech domains, people are unfamiliar with the technical details of the devices and systems they are using and they are not concerned about how to connect them. For example how they connect their smartphone to a 4G antenna to place a call to a friend or how to connect to the google maps server and the GPS constellation in order to navigate to their business meeting on time or avoiding traffic jams.
The situation is very different when we are in the S&T domain and attempt to perform tasks much less complex than using a server in the cloud to navigate to a location. For example, even in the simplest case, as the federation of two virtual simulators in a LAN network, we can have several problems that prevent a seamless connection:
All above issues are solved with expensive services and specific pieces of software as the gateways. At the end, even the simplest case of federation requires a dedicated budget and at least a few weeks, if not months, of services to customize and integrate everything.
In conclusion, there is a gap between the marketing promise of the providers of distributed simulation solutions and the ability to deliver on that promise. Right now, only way to provide the Whole Product to the customer is by augmenting and complete the distributed simulations products with many other services and products, as the gateways, customization services for the simulators, etc. In fact the LVC Architectural Roadmap study reckoned that about 50% of the costs of interoperability are related to solve integration issues (to know more download LVCAR report at http://www.msco.mil)
Why we are living this situation? Why is so difficult to do distributed simulation and leverage the network in the simulators? LVCAR report also provides the answer: there are so many protocols, technologies and architectures and very few convergence points between all of them. Even when the features provided by all of them are very similar, their implementation and interfaces are very different. One way to solve the issues is by promoting a new architecture that replace all others, but a more pragmatic approach (in fact the approach already employed by many others industries, as Telcos or business IT) is to provide a common platform to all the different standards and protocols, providing a truly convergence between them. This is the approach we are using in our Simware platform and it is also the foundation for the Layered Simulation Architecture, that it is a nominating standard at SISO.
Do you agree with our analysis of the situation and our vision to move forward. Please share with us your thoughts commenting this post.
Posted by Jose-Maria Lopez. General Manager in Simware Solutions.
About the Blog
This Blog is supported by Simware Team. We are the team in charge of developing the product and supporting its users.