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de Sousa, Luís
da Silva, Alberto Rodrigues
da Silva, Alberto Rodrigues
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55th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "World Renaissance: Changing roles for people and places", 25-28 August 2015, Lisbon, Portugal
Techniques such as cellular automata and agent-based modelling have long been used to capture and simulate the temporal dynamics of spatial information. Tools commonly employed to implement spatial simulation models include code libraries and pre-compiled models; the former require advanced programming skills while the latter impose relevant constraints on application scope. Previous attempts to produce domain specific languages in the field have invariably resulted in new textual programming languages (e.g. SELES, NetLogo, Ocelet) that are platform specific and in some cases with weak GIS support and interoperability. The Domain Specific Language for Spatial Simulation Sce narios (DSL3S) is a Domain Specific Language (DSL) for spatial simulation in the GIS context. It tries to ease the development of simulation models through a Model-Driven Development (MDD) approach, whereby models are developed through the arrangement of graphical elements and their relationships, dispensing formal programming knowledge. These graphical models can then be translated into ready to run simulations through the application of a code generation infrastructure. This language has been implemented using the Model Driven Development (MDD) tools distributed with the Eclipse IDE. Model-Driven Development for Spatial Simulation Scenarios (MDD3S) is the resulting code generation infrastructure, that produces ready to run simulations from DSL3S models. The MDD3S framework currently relies on MASON, a modern Java library for spatial simulation. This option also guarantees interoperability with geographic data, namely through the GeoMASON extension. This framework was developed using the Eclipse MDD ad-ons Papyrus, for UML modelling, and Acceleo, for code generation. Both the DSL3S UML profile, the MDD3S framework and the example models presently in the public domain. This article reviews previous DSLs attempted in the field, noting the differences to DSL3S. It briefly describes the abstract syntax of the language and MDD3S, its implementation prototype, detailing the tools on which it relies. The usage of DSL3S is exemplified through a set of use cases that portrait its application to common spatial simulation scenarios. The MDD approach has proved to raise the level of abstraction at which development takes place, thus simplifying the communication between programmers and analysts, and other stakeholders lacking programming skills (Mohagheghi et al., 2013). MDD should also be applicable to other fields of simulation, allowing the development of complex models from a relatively simple graphical constructs. It may also be the foundation for a standard language in simulation, as the successful examples of SysML and ModelicaML in the field of Systems Engineering attest to.
Domain Specific Language
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