Due to the successful application in internet related fields, Extensible Markup Language (XML) and its related technologies are being explored as a revolutionary software file format technology used to provide increased interoperability in the discrete-event simulation (DES) arena. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an XML-based information model (XSD) called the Shop Data Model (SDM), which is used to describe the contents of a neutral file format (NFF) that is being promoted as a means to make manufacturing simulation technology more accessible to a larger group of potential customers. Using a two step process, this thesis evaluates the NIST SDM information model in terms of its ability to encapsulate the informational requirements of one vendor's simulation model information conceptually and syntactically in order to determine its ability to serve as an NFF for the DES industry. ProModel Corporation, a leading software vendor in the DES industry since 1988, serves as the test case for this evaluation. The first step in this evaluation is to map the contents of ProModel's information model over to an XML schema file (XSD). Next, the contents of this new XSD file are categorized and compared to the SDM information model in order to evaluate compatibility. After performing this comparison, observations are made in relation to the challenges that simulation vendors might encounter when implementing the proposed NIST SDM. Two groups of limitations are encountered which cause the NIST SDM to support less than a third of the ProModel XSD elements. These two groups of limitations are: paradigm differences between the two information models and limitations posed due to the incomplete status of the NIST SDM specification. Despite these limitations, this thesis shows by comparison that XML technology does not pose any limitation which would invalidate its ability to syntactically represent a common information model or associated XML NFF. While only 28% of the ProModel element are currently supported by the SDM, appropriate changes to the SDM would allow the information model to serve as a foundation upon which a common information model and neutral file format for the DES industry could be built using XML technologies.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





NIST, Neutral File Format, NFF, XML, XML Schema, XSD, ProModel, Shop Data Model