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Creating a simulation environment for designers -- Autodesk’s DesignDEVS

Copyright 2020 Maryam Maleki

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People

  1. From SFU

  2. Maryam Maleki

  3. Rob Woodbury

  4. From Autodesk

  5. Rhys Goldstein

  6. Simon Breslav

  7. Azam Khan


Papers

  1. Designing DEVS Visual Interfaces for End-User Programmers,

  2. SIMULATION 2015

  3. Download pdf


DesignDEVS is a software application for developing and testing computer simulations. It was developed by Autodesk Research to help communities of researchers and practitioners collaborate effectively on simulation projects.

In a collaboration between Simon Fraser University and Autodesk Research and funded by NSERC Engage, we researched and designed a visual interface for DesignDEVS. The goal of this ongoing project is to make simulations part of the design process. Currently, the barriers to learning and using a simulation software is too high for a non-programmer to easily integrate the simulations with the design workflow. With the increasing popularity of visual programming CAD system such as Grasshopper and Dynamo, we decided to explore a visual interface to represent the DEVS model of simulations.

My role in this project was to conduct user interviews and audit existing simulation systems to discover their usability issues and propose techniques and guidelines from the literature to overcome those issues. I then designed a new visual interface for DEVS, through an iterative process of designing, evaluating within the team, and redesigning, followed by presentations to DEVS experts and DEVS users for external evaluation.  

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