Unleash Your Models with System Modeler 5.1
Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram System Modeler trial. We are excited to announce the latest installment in the Wolfram System Modeler series, Version 5.1, where our primary focus has been on pushing the scope of use for models of systems beyond the initial stages of development.
Since 2012, System Modeler has been used in a wide variety of fields with an even larger number of goals—such as optimizing the fuel consumption of a car, finding the optimal dosage of a drug for liver disease and maximizing the lifetime of a battery system. The Version 5.1 update expands System Modeler beyond its previous usage horizons to include a whole host of options, such as:
- Exporting models in a form that includes a full simulation engine, which makes them usable in a wide variety of tools
- Providing the right interface for your models so that they are easy for others to explore and analyze
- Sharing models with millions of users with the simulation core now included in the Wolfram Language
Standardized Simulators, Usable Anywhere
With System Modeler 5, there were two standardized ways of exporting a System Modeler model: either as Modelica code or using the Functional Mock-up Interface (FMI) for model exchange. In System Modeler 5.1, we are adding a new, powerful export option, with FMI for co-simulation. While the previous two standards required the importing software to have its own simulation engine, with co-simulation, you are instead exporting a standalone simulator that has the System Modeler simulation engine built in.
The FMI standard is supported by a wide variety of different tools. This opens up many new use cases, such as:
- An engineer integrating the model with hardware, for hardware-in-the-loop simulation
- A game designer using the exported model to drive behaviors in a game engine
- A project manager using the model as an advanced simulator in e.g. Excel to calculate the return of investment for a power plant
See how the integration with Excel works in the following video:
Ready Your Models for Exploration, Analysis and Deployment
Whether your models are being simulated by yourself or by others—or whether you are building models for exploration, analysis or deployment—the ability to change or even completely switch configurations in your models is important. It is what allows you to do things like tweak shape parameters to perform optimal cam design, explore fundamental processes in the human body or use different control schemes in a connected system. However, all these possibilities for arranging parameters, variables and configurations can feel daunting.
That is why, with System Modeler 5.1, we are making it easier to add, document and organize parameters. This makes it possible to quickly set up models that can easily be used, explored and configured by others.
Find out more about the new model development improvements in the following video:
Share Models with Millions of Wolfram Language Users
With System Modeler 5.1 and Wolfram Language 11.3, the full simulation core of System Modeler is available to all Wolfram Language users. The system modeling functionality in the Wolfram Language makes it very easy to accomplish tasks such as:
- Analyzing problems in and the performance of systems, e.g. vibration analysis of a printing press
- Designing and optimizing aspects of a system, e.g. design of an aircraft autopilot
- Exploring and investigating different scenarios, e.g. studying the spread of sickle cell anemia
System Modeler is a great tool to create models of any complexity, and the Wolfram Language is equally great for exploration, analysis and optimization of models. Since this is a natural division of labor, we’ve also made it easy to switch between the two views of models. In fact, System Modeler and the Wolfram Language use a shared state. When you update a model in one of them, you will see that change directly reflected in the other.
System Modeler users have had a Wolfram Language interface since System Modeler 3. Based on what we’ve learned from our users since then, we have completely redesigned the system modeling functionality in Wolfram Language 11.3 and System Modeler 5.1. The functionality has been streamlined, improved and now integrated permanently in the Wolfram Language. This means that you can now share your models with millions of Wolfram Language users whether they have System Modeler or not.
One potential use of this is creating a virtual lab, where students can try out different hypotheses using interactive interfaces and learn from them. Let’s illustrate this with an example from biology, where the students can explore the spread of genes for sickle cell anemia in a population. Suppose their professor has created the following model:
The professor can embed the model in a Wolfram Language notebook and then add explanations, questions and interactive interfaces using the Manipulate function. This can then be delivered to students as standalone notebooks with interfaces like this:
With this, students can interact with the simulations to try different scenarios, set up experiments and instantly see if their results match their hypotheses.
We have made a complete version of this virtual lab available. You can download it to test for yourself. You don’t even need a copy of System Modeler to run it—just the latest version of a desktop Wolfram Language product such as Mathematica 11.3. Of course, you can always download an unrestricted 30-day trial of System Modeler 5.1 and modify the included models to your own liking, or create your very own models for exploration, teaching or advanced analysis.
To share your models with other Wolfram Language and System Modeler users, please join the Wolfram Community.