Development of a multi-player WebSim in BT
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This report investigates the development of multi-player WebSims using the Powersim Metro technology. A WebSim is a simulation of some phenomenon that can be played as a game on the Internet or Intranet. The WebSim front-end is the user interface to a simulation model that has been developed with a system dynamics modeling tool like Powersim Constructor. The WebSim front-end is an interactive interface that allows a user to enter inputs to the underlying simulation model and start the simulation. The user can see the results of the simulation in form of time-graphs or time-tables. WebSims can be single-player or multi-player games. This report is concerned with multi-player WebSims. The two main issues that this report covers are: · What is the process for development of a multi-player WebSim; · How robust this technology is regarding working on different computerplatforms and browsers; To answer these two questions, I have developed a multi-player WebSim called "OrgSim" and tested it in a number of configurations. This development was done as a collaboration with the Business Modelling Team at BT Laboratories, UK. In OrgSim four players can participate in the game and compete with each other. OrgSim consists of two windows. One is a wizard window and the other one is the main window where the user will play. The wizard window collects some information from the user. Powersim Metro Session Manager allows for running several sessions of OrgSim. Therefore in the wizard window the user has the option to either create a new session or to join an existing running session. After gathering the other needed information in the wizard window (like the user's name and the session name), the main window is shown to the user. In the main window the user will commence the play. The main window consists of several tab panels which time-graphs, time-tables, sliders, buttons, text boxes, labels and etc are placed on these tab panels. Objects like time-graphs and time-tables are used to show the results of the simulation and objects like text boxes and sliders enter the user inputs. The main conclusions drawn from the research are as follows: · Using Powersim Metro to develop a multi-player WebSim is not a complicated process and rather it follows a well defined process; · Although Powersim Metro facilitates the development of a multi-player Websim, but considerable care and some ingenuity are needed in the development process; · The challenge in developing a multi-player Websim (like OrgSim) lies primarily in implementing the WebSim front-end rather than in usage of the Powersim Metro tools; · In general the multi-player simulator OrgSim works and is reasonably robust. However, some robustness and reliability problems remain which would require further development to address; · OrgSim runs on both browsers IE 4.01 (or later versions) and NC 4.08 (or later versions); · OrgSim front-end has an interactive interface that provides the player with both input and output facilities (input objects like text boxes and sliders to enter the inputs and output objects like time-graphs and time-table to show the results). OrgSim also provides a simple communication between the players ("hurry up" messages can be sent between the players); · OrgSim has some undesired features that the cause for some of these features are not known for certain and further investigation and research are needed to clarify the problems.
Masteroppgave i informasjons- og kommunikasjonsteknologi 1999 - Høgskolen i Agder, Grimstad
PublisherHøgskolen i Agder
Agder University College