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RAMSES Simulation Server

1 - What Is RASS?

RASS is based on the Batch Dialog Machine, nicknamed BDM (Thöny et al. 1994, 1995 PDF). It runs always just in the so-called batch mode of the ordinary, interactive Dialog Machine (see also the module DMMaster). Otherwise the BDM is no different from its interactive companion. In particular, the BDM offers exactly the same interfaces and modules as the interactive Dialog Machine.

Generally, RASS can do everything the RAMSES software can do. All interfaces are identical. However, any program is run only in a so-called batch mode. No user interaction is supported. Yet, interactive programs can still be executed easily!

This is possible because of the following: If an interactive dialog targeted to a user is encountered, the Dialog Machine tries to answer that question by the default answer. In most cases this suffices to execute Dialog Machine programs written for interactive usage of any complexity (another advantage of the Dialog Machine).

With this technique you can run interactive programs also on a Unix machine without any user attendance. Results are normally written to output text files. For instance lengthy simulations can be run using RASS. Once finished, inspect and analyze the results. e.g. with the aid of the interactive Post Analysis offered by RAMSES on the Mac Classic platform (Fischlin 1991 PDF).

Note, since all definition modules of RASS are identical to those offered by the entire RAMSES package a program developed under RAMSES can easily be ported and run successfully as well as correctly under RASS in a batch mode. This offers great advantages for research.

2 - Availability

RASS is freeware (courtesy ETH Zurich).

Download it for:

For information on the needed Modula-2 development environments for these two computer platforms see here.

There is currently also RMSP1 available, a variant of RASS-OSX. RMSP1 is based on the same libraries as RASS-OSX. The main difference is that RMSP1 is installed in the usual, user-friendly manner Mac OS X users are accustomed to. Moreover, RMSP1 contains means to generate an application with a simple user interface (making use of the iHook software). For more information see RMSP1 Read Me:   html   pdf PDF.

RASS has been designed for maximum portability. Thus it is relatively easy to get RASS running on other platforms, e.g. IBM PC or Mac Classic. However, the interactive Dialog Machine offers to switch into the batch mode anytime (see module DMMaster), such that there is little need for RASS on other platforms than Unix hosts.

3 - How To Use RASS?

The RASS release comes with an install script and requires a minimum of effort for an installation. See the README.RASS-OSX and README.RASS-Sun.

Note, the Modula-2 development environment installations need to be done only once and are completely independent from the installation of RASS.

To get started as a RASS end user with RASS-OSX or RASS-Sun see here. To get started with RMSP1 see here.

For older RASS versions you can download a User's Guide PDF. The latest RASS versions contain online help available by the command RASSHelp. See the RASS-OSX Help and RASS-Sun Help.

4 - Authors

Early versions of RASS have been developped by Jürg Thöny, Andreas Fischlin and Dimitrios Gyalistras. Later versions were developped by Andreas Fischlin and Dimitrios Gyalistras.

5 - Cited References

Fischlin, A. (1991). Interactive Modeling and Simulation of Environmental Systems on Working Stations. In: Möller, D.P.F. & Richter, O. (eds.), Analysis of dynamic systems in medicine, biology, and ecology. Informatik-Fachberichte 275: 131-145. PDF

Thöny, J., Fischlin, A. & Gyalistras, D. (1994). RASS: Towards bridging the gap between interactive and off-line simulations. In: Halin, J., Karplus, W. & Rimane, R. (eds.), CISS - First Joint Conference of International Simulation Societies Proceedings, Society for Computer Simulation International, San Diego, pp. 99-103.

Thöny, J., Fischlin, A. & Gyalistras, D. (1995). Introducing RASS - The RAMSES Simulation Server. Systems Ecology Report No. 21, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 32 pp. PDF

See also the Systems Ecology Publications and Reports. Last modified 28/05/11 [Top of page]   

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