The introduction of ICT in techno-socio-economic systems, such as Smart Grids, traffic management, food supply chains and others, transforms the role of simulation as a scientific method for studying these complex systems. The scientific focus and challenge in simulations move from understanding system complexity to actually prototyping online and distributed regulatory mechanisms for supporting system operations. Existing simulation tools are not designed to address the challenges of this new reality, however, simulation is all about capturing reality at an adequate level of detail. This paper fills this gap by introducing a Java-based distributed simulation framework for inter-connected and inter-dependent techno-socio-economic system: SFINA, the Simulation Framework for Intelligent Network Adaptations. Three layers outline the design approach of SFINA: (i) integration of domain knowledge and dynamics that govern various techno-socio-economic systems, (ii) system modeling with dynamic flow networks represented by temporal directed weighted graphs and (iii) simulation of generic regulation models, policies and mechanisms applicable in several domains. SFINA aims at minimizing the fragmentation and discrepancies between different simulation communities by allowing the interoperability of SFINA with several other existing domain backends. The coupling of three such backends with SFINA is illustrated in the domain of Smart Grids and disaster mitigation. It is shown that the same model of cascading failures in Smart Grids is developed once and evaluated with both MATPOWER and InterPSS backends without changing a single line of application code. Similarly, application code developed in SFINA is reused for the evaluation of mitigation strategies in a backend that simulates the flows of a disaster spread. Results provide a proof-of-concept for the high modularity and reconfigurability of SFINA and puts the foundations of a new generation of simulation tools that prototype and validate online decentralized regulation in techno-socio-economic systems.
SFINA – Simulation Framework for Intelligent Network Adaptations
Evangelos Pournaras, Ben-Elias Brandt, Manish Thapa, Dinesh Acharya, Jose Espejo-Uribe, Mark Ballandies, Dirk Helbing
Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory
Volume 72, March 2017, Pages 34–50