D-Mason on the Cloud: An Experience with Amazon Web Services
D-Mason framework is a parallel version of the Mason library for writing and running Agent-based simulations – a class of models that, by simulating the behavior of multiple agents, aims to emulate and/or predict complex phenomena. D-Mason has been conceived to harness the amount of unused computing power available in common installations like educational laboratory. Then the focus moved to dedicated installation, such as massively parallel machines or supercomputing centers. In this paper, D-Mason takes another step forward and now it can be used on a cloud environment.
The goal of the paper is twofold. Firstly, we are going to present D-Mason on the cloud – a D-Mason extension that, starting from an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) abstraction, and exploiting Amazon Web Services and StarCluster, provides a SIMulation-as-a-Service (SIMaaS) abstraction that simplifies the process of setting up and running distributed simulations in the cloud. Secondly, an additional goal of the paper is to assess computational and economic efficiency of running distributed multi-agent simulations on the Amazon Web Services EC2 instances. The computational speed and costs of an EC2 cluster will be compared against an on-site HPC cluster.
KeywordsAgent-Based simulation Models Cloud computing D-Mason Parallel computing Distributed systems High performance computing
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