July 2015


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MASON Multiagent Simulation Toolkit <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 2 Jul 2015 14:25:03 -0400
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MASON Multiagent Simulation Toolkit <[log in to unmask]>
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Sean Luke <[log in to unmask]>
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The problem here is that graphical interface libraries like to be in control of your main loop, but you're running an evolutionary computation system which is probably going to be in control of the main loop.  So a few resources and ideas.

First, note that if you've followed the rules regarding properly serializable stuff, and you have no writeable shared or static variables,  you can probably easily copy the entire runtime state of a MASON simulation using the ec/util/ file found in the ECJ toolkit (  Just checkpoint into it, and then checkpoint out of it, and now you've got another SimState.  You could probably use this to run stuff in the background, then occasionally "clone" a simulation to use in the foreground while stuff is still running in the background.

Second, if you weren't using an evolutionary computation facility, but rather were just running N simulations in a row with occasional visualization, you could easily hack something up to not display anything in the GUI (just closing the windows) then occasionally pop up a display.

Here's what I'd do.  Let's say your model is of the class MyModel and your visualization is of the class MyModelWithUI.  Do your evolutionary computation loop, then when you want to view a simulation representing a current solution, let's say that the simulation you want to see is called mymodel.  Then you could say:

// copy it so we can still do things with mm in the background
// (if that matters to you)
	MyModel mm = (MyModel)(DataPipe.copy(mymodel));

// display
	MyModelWithUI mmwi = new MyModelWithUI(mysim);
	Console c = new Console(mmwi);

... then continue evolving in a separate thread in the background.


On Jul 2, 2015, at 2:03 PM, Sadat Chowdhury <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Ernesto,
> I have considered checkpointing — and that option is out. I really want a bit more control over the controller mechanism itself: I want to be able to  detach and re-attach the model (and/or view) at will.
> Checkpointing mechanism allows me to take snapshopts of my model and view it separately. It’s intended to allow one to view a stored snapshot of the model, in case there are accidental failures or models that have run on different platforms— and that’s all good — but not what I’m looking for. 
> -Sadat.
>> On Jul 2, 2015, at 12:47 PM, Ernesto Carrella <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I think what you are asking for is "checkpointing" which is implemented and well described in the MASON manual (section 4.2.1 and the tutorial too) although it requires every object to be serializable.
>> There might be other ways of storing java objects obviously but this is native so it might be worth a try.
>> On Thu, Jul 2, 2015 at 5:43 PM Sadat Chowdhury <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I probably asked this before.
>> My model is an evolutionary system that evolves agents towards some goal. When I evolve each successive generation, I have to run N number of simulations —  basically evaluating a population of N genotypes (N is usually 512). By the time I get to the 100th generation, I would have run 100N simulations.
>> I want to visualize the behavior of these agents (in the View) — but I want to just observe one simulation, every N simultions. In other words, I want to visualize simulation number 1, simulation number N+1, simulation number 2N+1, and so on… (it doesn’t have to be the first one, neccessarily, it could be just any one from that set of N simulations).
>> Translated in the model-view-controller lingo:  I want the controller to stop observing the model and rendering the view at certain points while keeping the model running as usual. The reason for this should be obvious: the model runs much much faster without graphics rendering — and I want to observe the progress much more efficiently by peeking into the model, periodically.
>> Certain options are out: I don’t want to serialize and re-animate with a separate “player” — I want to observe real-time.
>> I am more than willing to get under the hood of MASON and directly work on the source (e.g. — all at my own risk, of course. What would be nice is some idea on where I can momentarily “detach” the view and “re-attach” it again.