Prof. Theodoropoulos, member of the steering committee at SIMUTools 2015 and Professor at the Durham University, United Kingdom, explains how the challenges that Modelling and Simulation research will be facing new research in data-driven simulations. In his work, he links Big Data analytics, scalable data infrastructures and multi-scale, hybrid, distributed and agent based simulations.
The SIMUTools 2015 Conference that recently took place in Athens, Greece was very successful in providing new perspectives on the simulation field and sharing cutting-edge research results. In particular, how info-symbiotic simulation has a strategic importance within Large-scale Dynamic Data and Large-scale Big Computing – as the Keynote speaker Dr Frederica Darema revealed. A dedicated session to I/O and Storage systems addressed an increasingly challenging problem for large-scale, data-centric simulations. Finally, a session on VR tools for Education/Training included very interesting serious games systems for medical applications and an exciting hands-on experience with access to the latest technologies in the field.
Read full interview below. Read more on SIMUTools 2015 and previous conferences.
SIMUTools arrived at this 8th edition. What do you think was the most innovative issue presented at this year’s edition?
SIMUTools 2015 took place in Athens, Greece on 24-26 August and it was a great success with a full three day programme of exciting sessions. A splendid and insightful Keynote speech by Dr Frederica Darema provided a new perspective of info-symbiotic simulation and its strategic importance within Large-scale Dynamic Data and Large-scale Big Computing. Another interesting aspect of this year’s conference was a session dedicated on I/O and Storage systems, an increasingly challenging problem for large-scale, data-centric simulations. Finally I would like to highlight the session on VR tools for Education/Training which included some very interesting serious games systems for medical applications and an exciting hands-on experience with access to the latest technologies in the field.
What is, in your opinion, the added value of SIMUTools 2015, in connection with the advancements in its field of research?
Following the success of the previous editions, SIMUTools 2015 received a large number of submissions, confirming its status as a leading conference in the simulation area. A rigorous reviewing and selection process led to an exciting programme of a total of 16 technical sessions addressing and proposing innovative solutions to challenges covering the entire spectrum of the field of simulation, modelling and analysis, from systems and software to applications and practices. A distinctive feature of SIMUTools is its interdisciplinary focus that allows cross fertilization of ideas in a wide range of application domains bringing together academic and industry researchers together with practitioners from both the simulation community and the different user communities
What are the main challenges Modelling and Simulation research will face in the near future?
As the physical and virtual worlds merge, it is becoming increasingly viable to envision ultra-large complex socio-technical systems where devices, models, services, data and humans are entangled within large scale, ubiquitous, component-based, collaborative intelligent cyber-infrastructures. Such systems are at the very core of the digital economy and will have a transformational impact on business, industry and society while their analysis introduces enormous technological and methodological challenges. Mainstream Data analytics approaches are inadequate to capture the complexity of such systems rendering simulation the next frontier in the analytics arena. This emerging generation of Big Data Prescriptive Analytics will have at its core large scale Model – Data ecosystems, an intermingling of what-if simulation and data analytics engines that would enable holistic analysis of such complex socio-technical systems-of-systems. The realisation of this paradigm will require new research in data-driven simulations linking Big Data analytics, scalable data infrastructures and multi-scale, hybrid, distributed and agent based simulations. Exascale computing can make such simulations feasible at the scale required, however new research is needed to develop energy-efficient, data-centric simulation engines for exascale systems.