SOFA - Real-time multi-physics simulation
with an emphasis on medical simulation
Simulation Open Framework Architecture (SOFA) is an open source multiplatform framework primarily targeted at real-time physical simulation, with an emphasis on medical simulation.
It is mostly intended for the research community to help develop new algorithms, but can also be used as an efficient prototyping tool or as a physics engine.
Started in 2004, SOFA is currently developed by 4 research teams from Inria (french research institute): Mimesis, Imagine, Defrost and Asclepios.
Based on a C++ advanced software architecture, SOFA allows to:
- Create complex and evolving simulations by combining new algorithms with existing algorithms
- Modify most parameters of the simulation (deformable behavior, surface representation, solver, constraints, collision algorithm, ...) by simply editing an XML file
- Build complex models from simpler ones using a scene graph description
- Efficiently simulate the dynamics of interacting objects using abstract equation solvers
- Reuse and easily compare a variety of available methods
- Transparently parallelize complex computations using semantics based on data dependencies
- Use new generations of GPUs through the CUDA API to greatly improve computation times
Today, SOFA gathers more than 10 years of research in physics simulation. Many publications were accepted, several simulators were developed and five startups were created.
The research topics are diverse:
- Solid mechanics with the simulation of the brain, the eye, the heart, the liver, the bones
- Thermodynamics with thermo-ablation of tumors
- Many other topics as image processing, Fluid dynamics, animation or biological applications