Extending Explicitly Modelled Simulation Debugging Environments with Dynamic Structure

AbstractThe widespread adoption of Modelling and Simulation (Mu0026S) techniques hinges on the availability of toolssupporting each phase in the Mu0026S-based workflow. This includes tasks such as specifying, implementing,experimenting with, as well as debugging simulation models. We have previously developed a techniquewhere advanced debugging environments are generated from an explicit behavioural model of the userinterface and the simulator. These models are extracted from the code of existing modelling environmentsand simulators, and instrumented with debugging operations. This technique can be reused for a large familyof modelling formalisms, but was not yet considered for dynamic-structure formalisms; debugging models inthese formalisms is challenging, as entities can appear and disappear during simulation. In this paper, we adaptand apply our approach to accommodate dynamic-structure formalisms. To this end, we present a modular,reusable approach, which includes an architecture and a workflow. We observe that to effectively debugdynamic-structure models, domain-specific visualizations developed by the modeller should be (re)used fordebugging tasks. To demonstrate our technique, we use Dynamic-Structure DEVS (DSDEVS) (a formalism thatincludes the characteristics of discrete-event and agent-based modelling paradigms) and an implementation ofits simulation semantics in the PythonPDEVS tool as a running example. We apply our technique on NetLogo,a popular multi-agent simulation tool, to demonstrate the generality of our approach.Additional Key Words and Phrases: Debugging, Dynamic-Structure Formalisms, Visual Modelling and ExperimentationInterfaces

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