Design Issues in General Purpose, Parallel Simulation Languages
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This paper addresses the topic of designing general purpose, parallel simulation languages. We discuss how parallel simulation languages differ from general purpose programming languages. Our thesis is that the issues of distribution, performance, unusual implementation mechanism, and the desire for determinism are the dominant considerations in designing a simulation language today. We then discuss the separate roles that special and general purpose simulation languages play. Next we use the two languages, Sim++ and CPS, to illustrate these issues. Then we discuss eight design considerations: process versus event oriented-view, basic program structure, I/O, making implementation cost explicit to the programmer, providing dynamic facilities, memory management, the semantics of false messages in time warp, and program development methodology considerations. A number of conclusions are drawn from our experiences in language design.