A quantitative model for assessing visual simulation software architecture
Harder, Robert W.
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The U.S. military is the largest single user of simulation in the world, and our visual simulations can be software intensive systems with a lifespan of many years. Managers of these simulations need tools to help them make better decisions at the architectural level. Currently, no such quantitative models with supporting metrics exist for this purpose. There are properties that are held as positive characteristics in visual simulation architectures. Visual simulation architectures can be distinguished from one another based on three characteristics: (1) openness, as defined by the use of standards, licensing, and support of innovation; (2) reuse, as defined by the potential of being used in subsequent projects; and (3) agility, as defined by the ease with which software can be integrated, reconfigured, or repurposed. In this research, we propose quantifiable models to measure openness, reuse, and agility, and claim that the models adequately distinguish visual simulation frameworks from one another. Furthermore, we claim that these models can enhance military acquisition decisions. The results show that application of the metrics offers a level of granularity that is useful in identifying key differences in simulation frameworks that could have profound downstream implications.
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