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Friday, August 12, 2016

User Friendly and Visual Simulation Language

In the MIT News,  Faster and friendlier ... and thus more easily testable and maintainable, is always of interest.  Note the direct link to the visualization of the model.   Technical here, but I look forward to an applicable system.

MIT News (08/10/16) Larry Hardesty

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Adobe, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Toronto, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas have developed a programming language called Simit. Simit can accelerate computer simulations by a factor of 200 or reduce their required code by 90 percent, according to a paper the researchers presented last month at the ACM SIGGRAPH 2016 conference in Anaheim, CA. 

"The story of this paper is that the trade-off between concise code and good performance is false," says MIT graduate student Fredrik Kjolstad. "It's not necessary, at least for the problems that this applies to. But it applies to a large class of problems." Simit requires the programmer to describe the translation between the graphical description of a system and the matrix description, but following that the coder can use the language of linear algebra to program the simulation. 

During the simulation, Simit does not have to translate graphs into matrices and vice versa, instead converting instructions issued in the language of linear algebra into the language of graphs, keeping the runtime efficiency of hand-coded simulations. Kjolstad notes Simit-written programs can run on either conventional microprocessors or on graphics processing units with no underlying code revisions. 

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