Web-based simulation Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web-based_simulation

Web-based simulation (WBS) is the invocation of computer simulation services over the World Wide Web, specifically through a web browser.[1][2][3][4] Increasingly, the web is being looked upon as an environment for providing modeling and simulation applications, and as such, is an emerging area of investigation within the simulation community.[4][5][6]


Web-based simulation is used in several contexts:

  • In e-learning, various principles can quickly be illustrated to students by means of interactive computer animations, for example during lecture demonstrations and computer exercises.
  • In distance learning, web-based simulation may provide an alternative to installing expensive simulation software on the student computer, or an alternative to expensive laboratory equipment.
  • In software engineering, web-based emulation allows application development and testing on one platform for other target platforms, for example for various mobile operating systems[7] or mobile web browsers, without the need of target hardware or locally installed emulation software.
  • In online computer games, 3D environments can be simulated, and old home computers and video game consoles can be emulated, allowing the user to play old computer games in the web browser.
  • In medical education, nurse education and allied health education (like sonographer training), web-based simulations can be used for learning and practicing clinical healthcare procedures. Web-based procedural simulations emphasize the cognitive elements such as the steps of the procedure, the decisions, the tools/devices to be used, and the correct anatomical location.

Client-side vs server-side approaches[edit]

Web-based simulation can take place either on the server side or on the client side. In server-side simulation, the numerical calculations and visualization (generation of plots and other computer graphics) is carried out on the web server, while the interactive graphical user interface (GUI) often partly is provided by the client-side, for example using server-side scripting such as PHP or CGI scripts, interactive services based on Ajax or a conventional application software remotely accessed through a VNC Java applet.

In client-side simulation, the simulation program is downloaded from the server side but completely executed on the client side, for example using Java applets, Flash animations, JavaScript, or some mathematical software viewer plug-in. Server-side simulation is not scalable for many simultaneous users, but places fewer demands on the user computer performance and web-browser plug-ins than client-side simulation.

The term on-line simulation sometimes refers to server-side web-based simulation, sometimes to symbiotic simulation, i.e. a simulation that interacts in real-time with a physical system.

The upcoming cloud-computing technologies can be used for new server-side simulation approaches. For instance, there are[example needed] multi-agent-simulation applications which are deployed on cloud-computing instances and act independently. This allows simulations to be highly scalable.[clarification needed]

Existing tools[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Byrne, James; Heavey, Cathal; Byrne, P.J. (March 2010). "A review of Web-based simulation and supporting tools". Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory. Elsevier. 18 (3): 253–276. doi:10.1016/j.simpat.2009.09.013.
  2. ^ Page, E.; Griffen, S. P. (1998). "Providing Conceptual Framework Support for Distributed Web-Based Simulation within the High Level Architecture.". Proceedings of the SPIE Conference on Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science II, Orlando, Florida, USA. CiteSeerX
  3. ^ Page, E.; Opper, J. M. (2000). "Investigating the Application of Web-Based Simulation Principles within the Architecture for a Next-Generation Computer Generated Forces Model." (PDF). Future Generation Computer Systems 19: 159-169.
  4. ^ a b Byrne, James; Heavey, Cathal; Byrne, P.J. (2006). "SIMCT: An Application of Web Based Simulation.". Proceedings of the 2006 Operational Research Society (UK) 3rd Simulation Workshop (SW06), 28-29th March, Royal Leamington Spa, UK.
  5. ^ Guru, A.; Savory, P.; Williams, R. (2000). "A Web-based Interface for Storing and Executing Simulation Models.". Proceedings of the 2000 Winter Simulation Conference, Orlando, Florida.
  6. ^ Harrell, C. R.; Hicks, D. A. (1998). "Simulation Software Component Architecture for Simulation-based Enterprise Applications." (PDF). Proceedings of the 1998 Winter Simulation Conference, Washington D.C., USA.
  7. ^ Mobile Web and App Development Testing and Emulation Tools, Specky boy design magazine, April 12, 2010
  8. ^ "Index - FreeFem++-js 17.1". www.ljll.math.upmc.fr. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  9. ^ "FreeFem++". freefem.org. Retrieved 2018-12-01.

External links[edit]