A 'conservative' approach to parallelizing the Sharks World simulation

David M. Nicol, Scott E. Riffe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The authors describe how they parallelized a benchmark problem for parallel simulation, the Shark's World. The solution obtained is conservative, in the sense that no state information is saved and no rollbacks occur. Knowledge and exploitation of lookahead in the simulation model can lead to excellent performance. The search for lookahead in Sharks World led to a completely different solution approach. The advantages of the approach are manifold: on a serial workstation problems are solved over 20 times faster than with the usual discrete-event approach; the approach is easily parallelized and achieves high speedups. Also, excellent performance achieved by exploiting lookahead can be easily thwarted by relatively minor changes in problem specification. Any modification to the model rules that affects lookahead exploitation may require a great deal of modification to the solution approach. This fundamental problem will be suffered by any conservative synchronization method whose performance depends on lookahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication90 Winter Simulation Conf.
PublisherPubl by IEEE
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)0911801723
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes
Event1990 Winter Simulation Conference Proceedings - New Orleans, LA, USA
Duration: Dec 9 1990Dec 12 1990

Publication series

NameWinter Simulation Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0275-0708


Other1990 Winter Simulation Conference Proceedings
CityNew Orleans, LA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Applied Mathematics


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