Egg wrote:
> * The basic sequence of interaction is:  1, store some death rates.  2,
> infer some parameters from them.  3, run some simulations.  4, infer
> some more parameters from those simulations.  5, display it all in a
> couple of different ways.
>
> Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has done anything that they liked
> with a situation like this, and could share a pattern or two.  The
> closest design problem might be analysing and simulating genetic
> sequences, if that matters.

I don't know how long it takes for your simulation to execute, but I
run simulations (aerospace) which can take anywhere from under a minute
to days on end. In my case the simulation itself is C++, but we've
implemented a lot of utilities in ruby -- input parameter permutation,
queue execution, post-process, and automated post process, plot
generation and packaging). Even if your core sim is in ruby, I think it
is often worth splitting up the actual simulation core from your pre
and post analysis tools.

If your organization doesn't mind you opening ports and running
webservers, a wiki is nice to post simulation data to, and it's easy to
annotate the output pages with notes. I'll mention RuWiki as a blatant
plug for the wiki that I started and Austin Zeigler has really picked
up and carried along (Project page at
http://rubyforge.org/projects/ruwiki/ and demo at
http://ruwiki.rubyforge.org/). RuWiki may actually be nice for you as
it has a fairly simple file system backend for which you could directly
write simulation output pages. I'm sure many other wiki's both in Ruby
and other languages would give you a nice ranges of choices.

Depending on how simple the inputs for your simulation are, you could
even try a fitnesse style operation, where the inputs are entered into
a wiki page and the server will come along and execute the scenario. If
your simulation model is anything like mine in complexity though, this
isn't really a feasable option though...

HTH

- alan