Simulating continuous models with discrete events

Paul Boughton
Maplesoft is releasing Maplesim 4.5, the latest version of its high-performance physical modelling and simulation tool. Based on advanced symbolic computation technology, Maplesim is an engineering software tool for design, modelling, and high-performance simulation, including real-time and hardware-in-the-loop applications. Unlike traditional, numeric-based modelling tools, the symbolic approach of Maplesim exposes and provides access to the model equations.
The latest release includes enhanced support for Modelica, an open standard for describing physical models and components that forms the basis of many components in Maplesim. With Maplesim 4.5, engineers can now access new collections of components using the Modelica import feature, seamlessly including third-party Modelica libraries and their own custom Modelica components in their Maplesim models. Libraries, components, and models based on the electrical, 1-D mechanical, signals, and thermal heat flow domains from the Modelica 3.1 Standard Library can be easily imported into Maplesim and included with standard Maplesim components and models. Other enhancements include the ability to convert older Maplesim models to use Modelica 3.1, the latest version of the Modelica Standard Library, so that these models can take advantage of recent improvements.
Maplesim 4.5 includes an improved simulation engine that can readily simulate continuous models with discrete events. The enhanced engine handles a much larger class of these systems than earlier versions, and shows significant performance improvements for existing hybrid discrete/continuous models. With the improved engine, Maplesim can now handle models that include hundreds of events. Models with discrete events will often run 10 times faster than in Maplesim 4, with some models running over 100 times faster. The improved simulation engine also results in reduced formulation times for large continuous models, shortening the time the engine requires to prepare the model for simulation.
Dr Laurent Bernardin, chief scientist and executive vice president of research and development at Maplesoft, comments: "With the expanded support for Modelica in Maplesim 4.5, and its increased capacity for modelling continuous systems with discrete events, engineers and researchers can apply Maplesim's time-saving techniques to even more of their design problems, while educators can introduce students to an even wider variety of realistic examples. Maplesim helps engineers deal effectively with the increasingly complex designs found in advanced engineering projects, and helps students prepare to meet these challenges."
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