Simantics Platform

Details about Simantics platform, the software architecture, and its applications

Continuous development project

Originally an internal strategic development project at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

A high level simulation platform

for simulation component integration and highly efficient complex system modelling.

A simulation software development philosophy

The open and really extendable structure offers a natural framework for cumulating all the bigger and smaller efforts made for software and method development.

Simantics Architecture

In Simantics, typical server-client architecture is used. The core component of Simantics is the semantic database server. This triplestore implementation is responsible for data management and all the semantics in the system. The client software application, Simantics Workbench, is built on the Eclipse platform, and contains all the graphical tools for modelling, visualisation, and other operations. The simulation functionality of Simantics platform is in plug-ins. Plug-ins are external computational tools, such as solvers and other analysis software applications.

Currently the work is in progress to tightly integrate Apros® and Balas® process simulation software applications into Simantics platform. In addition, integration of OpenFOAM CFD solvers and OpenModelica environment has been started and other integration projects are under planning. The fourth component in the architecture is the Simantics Databoard, which addresses real-time data management and communication issues. These components combined with advanced features, such as semantic data management, version control, user authentication, and many more, form a solid foundation for large-scale computational solutions.

Semantic Ontology Based Modelling

The big challenge in computer based modelling and simulations is how to manage the modelling and simulation data independently from the data format. Even inside one modelling domain exchanging models can be really difficult. There have been several efforts to create general open formats for data exchange, with better or worse success.

The approach in Simantics is different. The open platform offers several tools for connecting different modelling and simulations tools. The client software platform has a plug-in connection mechanism to enable simple and straight forward integration. The modelling data management inside the platform, the semantic ontology core, is the key feature for format independent data handling. The semantic graph and ontologies allow simple but powerfully expressive way to describe all the features in the platform as well as all the modelling and simulation data. This allows almost arbitrary connections between data fragments and enables relatively easy domain integration.

Simantics platform can be used for integrating simulation solvers and different engineering design systems. In addition, it is a good starting point for new modelling and simulation software development