GE Systems simulation language 

for Dynamic Systems Analyzer

Jet Engine Div. of General Electric 1962

IBM 704/7090

Related languages
DYNASAR => CSSL   Incorporated some features of

  • Marvin, I. E., and Durand, H. P., "Jet Engine Control Representation Study," Jet Engine Division, General Electric Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, Air Force Technical Documentary Report ASD-TDR-63-650, July 1963 view details
  • Sansom, Harnett, Warshawsky, "MIDAS - How It Works and How It's Worked" view details Extract: Introduction
    The possibility of using a digital computer to obtain check solutions for the analog was recognized by many people at the dawn of our 15 year old history. Unfortunately several problems existed then, mainly at the digital end, which made this impracticable. Digital computers of that day were terribly slow, of small capacity and painfully primitive in their programming methods. It was usually the case when a digital check solution was sought for an incoming analog problem, that it was several months after the problem had been solved on the analog computer and the results turned over to the customer before the digital check solution made its appearance. The fact that the two solutions hardly ever agreed was another deterrent to the employment of this system. As we all know, digital computers have made tremendous strides in speed, capacity and programmability. In the area of programming ?and throughout this pa per - we're talking of scientific problems expressible as differential equations; the main effort has been in the construction of languages such as Fortran. Algol, etc. to permit entering the problem in a quasi-mathematical form, with the machine taking over the job of converting these to the individual serial elemental steps. While the progress along this line has been truly awe-inspiring to an analog man (usually all engineer), the resulting language has become quite foreign to him so that if he wishes to avail himself of the digital computer he must normally enjoy an interpreter in the form of a digital programmer (usually a mathematician). This means that he must describe his engineering problem in the required form, detail, and with sufficient technical insight to have the digital programmer develop a workable program on the first try. This doesn't happen very often and it is the consensus of opinion among computing facility managers that a major source of the difficulty lies in the fact that the engineer does not always realize the full mathematical implications of his problem. For example, ill specifying that a displacement is limited, he might not state what happens to the velocity. This can lead to all sorts of errors as an analog programmer would know. It is, of course, possible for an analog programmer to learn to program a digital computer by studying Fortran. This has been attempted here at Wright-Patterson AF Base with little success, mainly because, unless used very often, the knowledge is lost so that each time a considerable relearning period is required. Some computing facilities have even embarked on cross-training programs so that each type of programmer knows the other's methods. While this has much to 1,ecommend it, it is often impracticable.
    In March of 1963, Mr. Roger Gaskill of Martin-Orlando explained to us the operation of DAS (Digital Analog Simulator), a block diagram type of digital program which he intended for use by control system engineers who did not have ready access to an analog computer. We immediately recognized in this type of program the possibility of achieving our long-sought goal of a means to obtain digital check solutions to our analog problems by having the analog programmer program the digital computer himself! We found that our analog engineers became quite proficient in the use of DAS after about one hour's training and were obtaining digital solutions that checked those of the analog.
    At this point several limitations of this entire method should be acknowledged. First, the idea that obtaining agreement between the digital and analog solutions is very worthwhile is based mainly on an intuitive approach. After all both solutions could be wrong since the same programming error could be made in both. Secondly, the validity of the mathematical model is not checked, merely the computed solution. Finally, it might be argued that the necessity of the analog man communicating the problem to his digital counterpart has the value of making him think clearly and organize his work well. This is lost if he programs the digital computer himself. In spite of these limitations we thought it wise to pursue this idea.
    Although DAS triggered our activity in the field of analog-type digital programs, several others preceded it. A partial list of these and other such programs would include:
    DEPI     California Institute of Technology
    DYSAC    University of Wisconsin
    DIDAS    Lockheed-Georgia
    PARTNER  Honeywell Aeronautical Division
    DYNASAR  General Electric, Jet Engine Division

    Almost all of these - with the possible exception of PARTNER (Proof of Analog Results Through a Numerical Equivalent Routine) - had as their prime purpose the avoidance of the analog computer. They merely wished to borrow the beautifully simple programming techniques of the electronic differential analyzer and apply them to the digital computer.
    While DAS proved to be very useful to us, certain basic modifications were felt to be necessary to tailor it better to our needs. Principal among these modifications was a rather sophisticated integration routine to replace the simple fixed interval rectangular type of DAS. Other important changes were made but the change in the integration scheme and our wish to acknowledge our debt to DAS, led us to the choice of the name MIDAS, an acronym meaning Modified Integration Digital Analog Simulator. In this paper a brief description of the method of using MIDAS will be given, followed by a summary of our experience in using it in a large analog facility for about 18 months.

          in [AFIPS JCC 26] Proceedings of the 1964 Fall Joint Computer Conference FJCC 1964 view details
  • Lucke, VIRGIL, H. "Dynasar - Analysis methods developed for the dynamic system analyzer" 1965 Joint Automatic Control Conference, pp780?786 view details
          in [AFIPS JCC 26] Proceedings of the 1964 Fall Joint Computer Conference FJCC 1964 view details
  • Lubin, John Francis and Teichroew, Daniel "Computer simulation—discussion of the technique and comparison of languages" pp723-741 view details
          in [ACM] CACM 9(10) October 1966 view details
  • Strauss, Jon C.; Augustin, D.C.; Fineberg, M.S.; Johnson, B.B.; Linebarger, Robert M.; Sansom, F. J.: "The SCI Continuous System Simulation Language (CSSL)" pp281-303 view details
          in Simulation 9(12) December 1967 view details
  • Sammet, Jean E., "Roster of Programming Languages 1972" 87 view details
          in Computers & Automation 21(6B), 30 Aug 1972 view details
  • Stock, Marylene and Stock, Karl F. "Bibliography of Programming Languages: Books, User Manuals and Articles from PLANKALKUL to PL/I" Verlag Dokumentation, Pullach/Munchen 1973 195 view details Abstract: PREFACE  AND  INTRODUCTION
    The exact number of all the programming languages still in use, and those which are no longer used, is unknown. Zemanek calls the abundance of programming languages and their many dialects a "language Babel". When a new programming language is developed, only its name is known at first and it takes a while before publications about it appear. For some languages, the only relevant literature stays inside the individual companies; some are reported on in papers and magazines; and only a few, such as ALGOL, BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PL/1, become known to a wider public through various text- and handbooks. The situation surrounding the application of these languages in many computer centers is a similar one.

    There are differing opinions on the concept "programming languages". What is called a programming language by some may be termed a program, a processor, or a generator by others. Since there are no sharp borderlines in the field of programming languages, works were considered here which deal with machine languages, assemblers, autocoders, syntax and compilers, processors and generators, as well as with general higher programming languages.

    The bibliography contains some 2,700 titles of books, magazines and essays for around 300 programming languages. However, as shown by the "Overview of Existing Programming Languages", there are more than 300 such languages. The "Overview" lists a total of 676 programming languages, but this is certainly incomplete. One author ' has already announced the "next 700 programming languages"; it is to be hoped the many users may be spared such a great variety for reasons of compatibility. The graphic representations (illustrations 1 & 2) show the development and proportion of the most widely-used programming languages, as measured by the number of publications listed here and by the number of computer manufacturers and software firms who have implemented the language in question. The illustrations show FORTRAN to be in the lead at the present time. PL/1 is advancing rapidly, although PL/1 compilers are not yet seen very often outside of IBM.

    Some experts believe PL/1 will replace even the widely-used languages such as FORTRAN, COBOL, and ALGOL.4) If this does occur, it will surely take some time - as shown by the chronological diagram (illustration 2) .

    It would be desirable from the user's point of view to reduce this language confusion down to the most advantageous languages. Those languages still maintained should incorporate the special facets and advantages of the otherwise superfluous languages. Obviously such demands are not in the interests of computer production firms, especially when one considers that a FORTRAN program can be executed on nearly all third-generation computers.

    The titles in this bibliography are organized alphabetically according to programming language, and within a language chronologically and again alphabetically within a given year. Preceding the first programming language in the alphabet, literature is listed on several languages, as are general papers on programming languages and on the theory of formal languages (AAA).
    As far as possible, the most of titles are based on autopsy. However, the bibliographical description of sone titles will not satisfy bibliography-documentation demands, since they are based on inaccurate information in various sources. Translation titles whose original titles could not be found through bibliographical research were not included. ' In view of the fact that nany libraries do not have the quoted papers, all magazine essays should have been listed with the volume, the year, issue number and the complete number of pages (e.g. pp. 721-783), so that interlibrary loans could take place with fast reader service. Unfortunately, these data were not always found.

    It is hoped that this bibliography will help the electronic data processing expert, and those who wish to select the appropriate programming language from the many available, to find a way through the language Babel.

    We wish to offer special thanks to Mr. Klaus G. Saur and the staff of Verlag Dokumentation for their publishing work.

    Graz / Austria, May, 1973
          in Computers & Automation 21(6B), 30 Aug 1972 view details