Rhys Goldstein is a simulation expert in the Complex Systems group at Autodesk Research. His work helps communities of researchers and practitioners collaborate in the development of next-generation simulation-based design tools. At the 2018 Winter Simulation Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, Rhys chaired a session on modeling formalisms. A formalism is a way of representing a system using generic elements like nodes and links.
The Winter Simulation Conference is a premier international forum for disseminating recent advances in the field of system simulation. In addition to a technical program, the conference provides a central meeting place for simulation practitioners, researchers, and vendors working in all disciplines in industry, service, government, military and academic sectors. Simulation has been found to be useful for a range of scientific, engineering, and business applications over the past 50 years. Simulation has been employed to help noble causes too over the recent past but such efforts have received limited attention. The 2018 conference highlighted applications of simulation for noble causes in addition to continuing to report leading developments and applications in other fields. The track sessions featured uses of simulation in efforts for analyzing and addressing issues facing humanity including, but not limited to, reducing poverty and world hunger, social causes, social problems, improving the natural environment, and disaster response.
Rhys also presented a paper introducing a new modeling formalism called Symmetric DEVS, which allows various types of simulations to be combined. The paper establishes the theory underlying the Complex Systems group's open source simulation framework: SyDEVS.
Autodesk makes software for people who make things. Whether it's a high-performance car, towering skyscraper, smartphone, or blockbuster film, each of these "things" has to be designed in context, because everything exists in the context of something else:
- a car has to fit in a garage and travel on a roadway,
- a skyscraper exists amid a city's urban plan,
- a smartphone is practically an extension of the human body, and
- a film is part of a theater experience.
For this reason, things are designed as part of systems. Autodesk Research's work on systems helps inform Autodesk in the development of its design and make tools.
Formalisms are alive in the lab.