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A Flexible Distributed Simulation Environment for Cyber-Physical Systems Using ZeroMQ

Annika Ofenloch and Fabian Greif
Institute of Space Systems – German Aerospace Center (DLR), 28359 Bremen, Germany
Abstract—Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are becoming increasingly complex. Their development and evaluation are carried out by several teams at different sites, while the time and budget is limited. Costly delays can occur, when the interplay of subsystems is to be tested and certain hardware components are not continuously present on site. Before CPS can be put into operation, they must be tested for functionality, reliability and safety. Possible errors must be detected and corrected at an early stage, both in software and hardware. Therefore, simulators are increasingly used in the development, verification and test phase. By replacing parts of the CPS with a simulated variant, hardware and software components can be developed in parallel at different locations by various organizations. The aim of this paper is to present a distributed event-based simulation environment for CPS that is reusable across various organizations and easily expandable. The simulation is carried out with software models, which simulate the functional behavior of the CPS to be tested. Simulation models or interface adapters for hardware components can be developed using defined software interfaces, regardless of the chosen platform or programming language. They can be integrated into the simulation environment with minimal effort and executed on distributed computer systems, while the communication takes place via ZeroMQ. The simulation environment is particularly suitable for systems that require low latency to guarantee real-time performance.


Index Terms—Distributed Simulation, ZeroMQ, simulation environment, cyber-physical systems, co-simulation


Cite: Annika Ofenloch and Fabian Greif, "A Flexible Distributed Simulation Environment for Cyber-Physical Systems Using ZeroMQ, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 333-337, 2018. Doi: 10.12720/jcm.13.6. 333-337.
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