A Software Architecture for Simulation and Visualisation based on the Functional Mock-up Interface and Web Technologies
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This paper presents a software architecture for a collaborative virtual environment (CVE) for simulation and visualisation based on the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) for co-simulation and web technologies. FMI has been chosen in order to have a standardised and independent interface to models created in different modelling tools. The user interface has been implemented using web technologies, which enables a very high degree of flexibility. The Web Graphics Library (WebGL) is used for interactive 3D visualisations, enabling native cross-platform rendering directly in the browser without the need of installing any additional plug-ins. Employing the bidirectional communication capabilities of the WebSocket protocol, multiple users can interact with the same simulation models simultaneously. A software prototype has been developed in order to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed architecture. As a case study, we have considered virtual prototyping of marine cranes, to illustrate the use on real world problems.