The Axes of Scale: A framework for the concept of synthetic environment scalability

The synthetic environments being developed by Improbable enhance defense and national security organizations’ abilities to train, plan, analyze, and decide in support of their missions. These solutions often have requirements for high resolution entities in extremely high numbers.

Standards such as Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) and High Level Architecture (HLA), have been the go-to solutions for simulation interoperability since their creation in the 1990s.

Unfortunately, they are not structured in a way that allows the full application of new technology that can increase the performance and scalability of today’s synthetic environments.

For the modeling and simulation community to leverage modern methods such as cloud-based deployments and horizontal scaling, new approaches are required.

To address this challenge, the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization (SISO) created a Scalability Study Group with the following goals:

  • Develop a common understanding of the problem of scalability among distributed simulation applications.
  • Evaluate a proposed application programming interface (API) design to determine whether it can serve as a starting point for a SISO standards development effort.
  • Evaluate potential alternatives that may be presented to the Study Group to determine if another design would be a better starting point.
  • Help refine and develop the API concept and initial interface drafts with the goal of building their maturity before kicking off a formal SISO Product Development Group

In pursuit of these goals, Byron Harder, model engineer at Improbable U.S. Defense and National Security, gave the below presentation during the 2022 Simulation Innovation Workshop (SIW) which describes the four axes of simulation scale: extent, depth, breadth, and replication.

Watch the video below to get definitions, related concepts, challenges to implementation, and potential solutions for each of the main axes of synthetic environment scalability.

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