Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) Option

Distributed simulation is the execution of a scenario by simulations running on multiple host computers. Each simulation is usually responsible for simulating the behavior of one or more players (“entities”) in the scenario. The simulations exchange entity state and entity interaction data using a computer network and an agreed-upon communications protocol.

FLAMES® supports distributed simulation by providing built-in, customizable support for the Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) (described below) and the High Level Architecture (HLA) standards. Because each standard is supported independently, FLAMES can participate in a DIS and an HLA exercise simultaneously. FLAMES also has other capabilities that support interactive and analytical simulation.

Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS)

The Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) protocol is an IEEE standard protocol that allows dissimilar simulations to exchange information over a network as they each execute their respective scenarios. Many simulations are designed to support some or all of the DIS protocol, thereby allowing interoperability between them. Multiple simulations executing concurrently and exchanging data using the DIS protocol are often referred to as a DIS exercise.

The FLAMES DIS option allows FLAMES-based simulations to communicate with other simulations in a DIS exercise using the DIS protocol. Various windows in FORGE™ allow the specification of DIS exercise parameters and the supplemental, DIS-related attribute data required for each player in the scenario. With DIS enabled, FLAMES will automatically communicate with other properly configured simulations during scenario execution.

The IEEE DIS standard provides the specification for many types of Protocol Data Units (PDUs), the basic unit of data exchange in a DIS exercise. Various versions of the DIS standard define different types of PDUs or define given types of PDUs differently. To allow FLAMES to support multiple versions of DIS and to provide support for customized PDUs, FLAMES is designed to be completely independent of the specific format and version of PDUs. PDU-specific processing is performed outside of FLAMES in PDU processors that are each written for a specific type of PDU.

The DIS option is bundled with several PDU processors that provide support for multiple DIS versions and the most commonly used PDUs. As a result, FLAMES can participate in many DIS exercises right off the shelf without any software development.

The DIS option includes the source code to all of the bundled PDU processors and everything you need to customize the processors and add support for additional PDUs.


The DIS option is enabled without a runtime license in a FLAMES Runtime Suite application if the application is executing with only the bundled components loaded. Therefore, you can try it out using the free copy of the Runtime Suite. If custom component plug-ins are loaded, a runtime license to the DIS option is required to enable the option. Runtime licenses must be purchased separately. In addition, ALL of the custom component plug-ins loaded by the application must have been developed on computers that were licensed for the DIS development option.

A DIS option development license is required in order to create custom component plug-ins using the FLAMES Development Suite that support the option. Development licenses must be purchased separately. As stated above, the functionality of the DIS option is enabled in an application only if ALL of the component plug-ins loaded by the application were developed on computers that were licensed for the DIS development option.