The DEVS Formalism

Rhys Goldstein, Gabriel Wainer, Azam Khan

Formal Languages for Computer Simulation: Transdisciplinary Models and Applications (IGI Global Publishing)


The DEVS formalism is a set of conventions introduced in 1976 for the specification of discrete event simulation models. This chapter explains the core concepts of DEVS by applying the formalism to a single ongoing example. First, the example is introduced as a set of informal requirements from which a formal specification is to be developed. Readers are then presented with alternative sets of modeling conventions which, lacking the DEVS formalism’s approach to representing state, prove inadequate for the example. The chapter exploits the DEVS formalism’s support for modular model design, as the system in the example is specified first in parts and later as a combination of those parts. The concept of legitimacy is demonstrated on various model specifications, and the relationship between DEVS and both object-oriented programming and parallel computing is discussed.


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