Today at the re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon introduced AWS SimSpace Weaver, a computing service that allows developers to run city-sized simulations in the cloud. The service is designed to free simulator developers from the limitations of their own hardware.
Amazon’s proposed solution is designed, for example, for city managers simulating a natural disaster to test emergency response systems, as well as the impact of sports games on traffic flow. These are complex situations with many moving parts that won’t need real life simulation to get insights. Other benefits of running in the cloud include the ability for multiple external parties to view the model remotely and interact with them in real time.
“Modeling these events requires modeling hundreds of thousands of independent dynamic objects to represent people and vehicles,” Marcia Villalba, AWS Principal Developer , notes in a blog post. “Each object has its own set of behaviors that need to be considered as it moves through the world and interacts with other objects. Simulating this at real scale requires more CPU and memory than you can have in a single instance.”
The system works by dividing space into instances and partitions, creating something like what you see above. The SimSpace Weaver data replication system manages the memory and network to transfer objects between partitions. The company notes that SimSpace Weaver itself is not a simulator. Instead, it creates a framework upon which an instance simulator can be built, effectively weaving (hence the name) multiple instances into a single experience.
Unity and Unreal Engine 5 developers can access the system through SimSpace Weaver plugins. It is available starting today in select AWS Regions. There is no license fee , instead the price depends on the number of instances that the developer integrates into the simulation.