INDUSTRY NEWS

Maplesoft founds physical modelling think-tank

21 January 2008



Maplesoft has announced the founding of the Physical Modeling Consortium, a forum in which organisations can share ideas and advance the development of Rapid Plant Modelling methodology based on symbolic computation. As the founder and organiser, Maplesoft has brought together leading companies in the automotive sector to discuss and explore shared challenges and new ideas. 

The inaugural meeting of the consortium was held in California in conjunction with the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Symposium on Advances in Automotive Control.  At this meeting, Toyota presented its vision for the future development in Rapid Plant Modeling methodology based on symbolic computation, and Maplesoft presented research and development in support of this vision. Attendees included representatives from major players in the auto industry, including OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, consultancies, and academic researchers. More than 25 organisations participated in the initial meeting, and several others have expressed interest in future meetings. Subsequent meetings of the Physical Modeling Consortium will take place in February 2008 in Berlin, Germany, and in July 2008 in Seoul, Korea. 

Over the past 15 years, the automotive industry has succeeded in addressing the need for fast and effective design, simulation, and development of control systems through off-the-shelf software tools.  Companies such as Toyota have led the adoption of such tools and the concept of Model-Based Design.  However, today, automotive industry leaders  recognise the need for a new set of software tools and methods to address the parallel problem of physical modelling (or ‘plant’ modelling). ‘Symbolic computation techniques offer a natural paradigm for physical modelling, and provide model simplification capabilities that deliver the fastest possible execution speed and are critical for today's complex systems,’ said Laurent Bernardin, chief scientist and vice president of Research and Development at Maplesoft.  ‘Using mathematical solving tools such as Maple, engineers can arrive at concise and computationally efficient models.  These tools can substantially ease the modelling process of automotive systems.  We see companies increasingly using these tools to address their most challenging problems.’

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