SIW Pre-read: MAK’s February 2023 Simulation Standards Activity Update
by Matt Figueroa
MAK Technologies is known for its continuous work within the Modeling and Simulation community and as part of groups like SISO (Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization) to improve the standards and protocols that our customers and programs rely on. With SIW around the corner, we wanted to highlight some recent standards activity that MAK has been involved in...
The Simulation-Scalability Study Group released an M&S Community survey
MAK launched the Simulation Scalability Study Group at SISO in 2021 after developing our own scalability framework called Legion. The purpose of this group is to evaluate the scalability frameworks that are currently available to see if any can serve as the basis for a new interoperability standard. The group has recently released a survey to gather input from the M&S community to evaluate scalability needs and requirements. The survey will be available until February 10th – take the survey and let your voice be heard! We will share survey results following SIW.
The WebLVC 1.0 standard has passed balloting!
Back in 2013, MAK started the process to create a new standard, WebLVC, for sharing simulation data with web-based applications. The WebLVC 1.0 standard officially passed balloting in December 2022 and is now available for the SISO community! We expect to see more details on the SISO website soon.
RPR FOM 3 is coming soon…
RPR FOM 3 is nearing completion and we plan to ballot the standard in Q2 of 2023 – this means we will release a final draft in Q1. We are planning to release draft 6 of the FOM (Federation Object Model) and GRIM (Guidance, Rationale, and Interoperability Modalities) around SIW. Aaron Dubois, MAK’s Director of Simulation Products (and the Editor of the GRIM and Vice Chair of the RPR FOM Product Development Group (PDG)), is co-writing an SIW paper titled "Overview and Migration Advice for the New RPR FOM 3."
Fine-tuning HLA 4
HLA 4 is building on the success of HLA 1516-2010 (also known as HLA Evolved) by adding new features for increased flexibility, modernization, and security. While the OMT and Interface Specification are mostly unchanged from HLA Evolved, some new features include: attribute and datatype merging (to allow federates to extend existing FOM classes), directed interactions, a federate protocol (to allow connecting to a Local RTI component via network messages rather than direct API calls), and security (allowing the RTI to check credentials before authorizing federates to connect, or create or join federations). The development of these changes was mostly completed in 2022 and presented in previous SIWs. This past year has focused on completing the incorporation of those changes into the standards documents and including some changes made for compatibility with modern compilers in the interface specification. For the C++ API, C++14 was selected as the baseline for the C++ API, auto_ptr has been replaced with unique_ptr, and dynamic exception specification has been removed. For Java, Java 11 has been selected as the baseline for the Java API.
DIS 8 and beyond
This DIS Product Development Group is currently working on the new DIS 8 version, which refactors the PDU (Protocol Data Unit) structures from DIS 6 and DIS 7. The purpose of the refactor is to make PDUs more extensible and flexible through extension records. These extension records will be documented in a separate SISO document so that DIS users can share their extensions to the rest of the M&S community. The first draft of this standard is now out and ready to review for DIS PDG members.
C2SIM is on Github and VR-Forces is at CWIX
Doug Reece, a Principal Engineer on MAK’s VR-Forces team, is the Vice Chair of the C2SIM PDG, and Chair of the associated Product Support Group (PSG). This year the PSG established a Github site for tracking C2SIM Standard change requests and questions. The group discussed the representation problems that arose, like specifying ordering for related objects in the ontology, how to define different task organization, how entities can be added to the C2 structure after the simulation starts, and more. The PSG is working through these issues to develop solutions. Many of the issues came from CWIX 2022, the biggest interoperability event in NATO, and the proposed solutions will be tested in CWIX 2023.
Speaking of CWIX, several folks at MAK (Doug Reece, Doug Wood, and myself) assisted in the configuration of MAK’s VR-Forces Computer Generated Forces (CGF) application for CWIX 2022. VR-Forces demonstrated simulation-C2 interoperability through C2SIM, using a C2SIM-CGF interface developed at George Mason University C4I Center.