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Research Papers

Fairness in Agent Based Simulation Frameworks

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Welch2

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409; Raytheon IIS, Garland, TX 75042larry_d_welch@raytheon.com

S. Ekwaro-Osire

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409

2

Corresponding author.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 10(1), 011002 (Feb 12, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3290764 History: Received October 06, 2008; Revised July 25, 2009; Published February 12, 2010; Online February 12, 2010

An agent based simulation engine should be able to provide a fair playing field for its agents. This paper analyzes fairness in the sequencing of agent thread execution within a Java framework that implements a multithreaded, time stepping, agent based simulation engine. The results illustrate why a multithreaded agent based simulation framework using the Java Virtual Machine for concurrency must supplement standard Java thread scheduling with techniques that enable fairness in agent execution order. The “uniform specific notification” pattern is introduced as one technique for producing fairer, uniformly distributed order for initial execution of Java agent threads at each simulation step.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

In prototyped simulation, a generic framework underlies the simulation of a school lockdown

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Figure 2

Interaction of clock and agent threads in prototype

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Figure 3

Combined histogram of 50 agent threads with execution order defined by Java’s thread scheduler

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Figure 4

Combined histogram of 50 agent threads illustrating uniform probability of execution

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Figure 5

Custom Java code for uniform notification pattern

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