This week I continued with my search for academic papers which discussed simulations of biological processes, as well as papers that described benchmarking techniques for simulations – especially cloud based simulations. The continued research into these areas provided me with a much deeper understanding of the complexities of the task ahead and I am now starting to form some good ideas about how to scope out my project in a way that is achievable, whilst at the same time providing genuinely useful insight into the field.
Now that a lot of the academic research groundwork has been done, I decided it was time to begin some ‘primary source’ technological research to help but my reading into context. I set up SpatialOS on my PC and followed the two available tutorials. The first gave an overview of the online interface (“Inspector” & “Console”) for interacting with the system. This provided me with a good introductory understanding of how the SpatialOS functions and how systems can be designed to make full use of the platform. The second tutorial series guided me through the implementation of a new feature in an existing example unity project, cover how the Improbable API is used from within Unity. This gave me a much deeper understanding of how the system should be used and will provide valuable reference material for creating my own project from scratch.
Currently it is my intention to create three separate applications: one using Unity, one using Unreal Engine and the third using the more ‘bare-bones’ C++ FALCOR research framework created by Nvidia. This will allow me to do preliminary performance testing on the plugin implementations so I can decide on the best environment to construct the model simulation with which to perform more detailed performance analysis. I am hoping that a game engine will not hinder the performance in a meaningful way so that I can expand my game engine knowledge concurrently. However, I suspect that there will be noticeable limitations with the existing implementations requiring a more limited development environment, such as FALCOR, to be used.