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A window on the world of O.R.?
The “invisibility cloak” of science fiction is now fact, albeit with limitations. O.R. could claim to have had the power of invisibility for years, though not by desire; what we want is the opposite - a high-visibility jacket! Indeed, part of the mission of the OR Society is to help make our presence more visible. But perception involves both the observed and the observer. And all of us have open and hidden parts.

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Ruth Kaufman, Inside OR February 2013

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Posted on 06 July 2012


Wolfram expands into system modelling

Wolfram Research launches a new entrant in the simulation software market place as they unveil their SystemModeler

Wolfram Research's new SystemModeler can, apparently, model physical systems across a wide array of industries. The launch of the application will allow Wolfram Research to expand beyond its scientific and engineering number-crunching software, Mathematica and the Wolfram Alpha intelligent information assistant. 

SystemModeler allows for the rapid modelling of physical systems, using a modelling palette and a library of physical and logical components. In addition to providing a static model of the system being designed, the new application can simulate how a system runs, using time-lapse visualisations.

Company founder Stephen Wolfram has admitted that system-modelling software is a mature field, with plenty of products to choose from. But he believes SystemModeler is different from its competitors, because of its ability to cover a wide range of fields and domains of practice. “In the past, products tended either to be specific to a particular application domain (like electric circuits or hydraulics), or were based on rigid low-level component models such as procedural blocks. What SystemModeler does is to use a fully symbolic representation of everything, which immediately allows both arbitrary domains to be covered, and much more flexible models for components to be used.”

The software draws elements from Wolfram's 2011 acquisition of MathCore Engineering AB, which sold its own modelling and simulation software system, called MathModelica. SystemModeler is integrated with Wolfram's Mathematica software, as well as with its Modelica modelling language.