The Simian concept: Parallel Discrete Event Simulation with interpreted languages and just-in-time compilation

Abstract

We introduce Simian, a family of open-source Parallel Discrete Event Simulation (PDES) engines written using Lua and Python. Simian reaps the benefits of interpreted languages-ease of use, fast development time, enhanced readability and a high degree of portability on different platforms-and, through the optional use of Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation, achieves high performance comparable with the state-of-the-art PDES engines implemented using compiled languages such as C or C++. This paper describes the main design concepts of Simian, and presents a benchmark performance study, comparing four Simian implementations (written in Python and Lua, with and without using JIT) against a traditionally compiled simulator, MiniSSF, written in C++. Our experiments show that Simian in Lua with JIT outperforms MiniSSF, sometimes by a factor of three under high computational workloads.

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