Simulation Modeling using Protégé


Henrik Eriksson, Magnus Morin, Joakim Ekberg, Johan Jenvald, Toomas Timpka


Running a computer-based simulation is often a matter of developing a simulation model and executing it in a simulation engine. A transparent separation of the model from the simulation code clarifies the problem and supports model modifications (e.g., for running alternative version of the model). It is possible to use ontology-based models to specify the vocabulary for the simulation as well as other relevant concepts and relationships in the model. Such ontology-based models work well for discrete-event simulation, but can be less suitable for mathematically-oriented simulation based on equations. The ontology-based models, however, often require additional processing before it is possible to use them in a simulation engine. It is possible to use Protégé as a platform for managing ontology-based models for simulation.

We have used Protégé in combination with a custom-developed Protégé extension to support modeling for infectious-disease outbreak simulation. The extension assists users in navigating the model and in generating XML-based specifications for the simulation engine. An important advantage of this approach is that it is possible to modify the model at the Protégé level and that users can develop new models by bringing together model components, such as disease, community, and intervention submodels.