Animating a Network Simulation

Ward Cunningham

I've converted an old pascal program that I wrote in college to java and have now refactored it using Intellij. The project started out as just practice with Intellij but has turned out to be a lot more fun than that. The program is a simulation of a nation-wide radio network. The simulation works as I remember, only much much faster. So fast, in fact, that I've added a real-time animation of the traffic flowing through the network, including a graphic traceroute to/from where ever I wave the mouse. Here is a screen shot of this operation in progress.

I've blurred the gif (the usa map) so that my data stands out against it, and also so that it doesn't have weird resampling artifacts when I resize the window. I've managed to write my viewer app so that it can also be an applet. Unfortunately the old pascal program (now java) isn't so well behaved, yet.

This display is a clone of one Joe Pruett wrote for this application while he was still in high school. That version rendered the data on a Metheus frame buffer and then triggered a single frame exposure on super-8 movie film. The results of any experiments would be available a week later when the film was returned from the processing lab.

Historical Document
from 1977