Parallel Discrete Event Simulation - Past, Present and Future

Presented on 22 Jul at SIMULTECH 2015

Keynote Lecturer: Richard Fujimoto

Abstract: The parallel discrete event simulation field emerged in the 1970s around the problem of distributing the execution of a discrete event simulation program across multiple processors while still obtaining the same results as a sequential execution. The field has since evolved and addressed many challenges to speeding up and scaling simulation programs, and remains an active area of research to this day. Many impressive successes have been reported in the literature. Today, issues such as the “power wall” facing modern processors and new developments such as massively parallel supercomputers and cloud computing platforms make the technology more important than ever before. Further, broader technology trends such as “big data” and the Internet of Things present new challenges and opportunities.
I will give a retrospective view of the parallel discrete event simulation field dating back to its origins in solving the so-called synchronization problem. I will describe important advances and successes that illustrate the potential offered by this technology. Key impediments that have prevented the technology from achieving more widespread adoption by the general modeling and simulation community are discussed as well as important research challenges that remain.