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Sunday, February 25, 2007

What is Simulation?

Simulation is the process of imitation or enactment of a system, process, service or some other action or entity. To perform a good simulation the system engineer needs to have a good understanding of the system being simulated, hence the need for a representitive model. Assumptions and approximations used in the model defintion need to be documented and understood.

We normally conduct a simulation to forecast or analyze how some characteristic of a system will behave in the context of the model developed.

The models used could be classified into different types, common classifications are,

1. Stochastic models / Deterministic models
2. Continuous / Discrete
3. Steady-state / Dynamic
4. Local /Distributed

Commonly used models are the stochastic models. They focus on either studying the effect of time (for example the case of a stock market behaviour) or studying the effect of some random variable (for example random terrain).