Geographically distributed enterprise simulation system

Heidi R. Ammerlahn, Michael E. Goldsby, Michael M. Johnson, David M. Nicol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sandia National Laboratories has the role of system integrator in the US Department of Energy's Nuclear Weapons Complex (NWC) and the responsibility for maintaining the nuclear stockpile. Maintenance is a complex task that involves a great number of geographically distributed functions, and a variety of analysis tools and models are used to plan operations, assess capabilities and guide political decisions. We are developing a framework for modeling the NWC unde interactive human control. The framework consists of a simulation system whose users and components are distributed across the entire United States. The purpose of the system is to support decisions about questions ranging from low-level operational matters involving only a sub-component of the complex to high-level policy issues requiring simulation of the entire complex. The system integrates multiple domain-specific legacy models and policy models and allows simulation at varying levels of detail. To provide such a framework, we have had to address a number of technical problems, whose solution is the focus of this paper. The three most fundamental problems are to provide geographically distributed, synchronized human participation in the simulation; to provide distributed ownership and security in such a way that the facility hosting a domain-specific model retains all rights to provide or deny a user access to its information; and to integrate legacy models written in a variety of tools or languages and executed on different platforms. Key features of our approach are the use of the Java language and the coordination of the simulation through a new parallel discrete-event simulation system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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