# Modeling and simulation

## From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

**Modeling and simulation** (**M&S**) is the use of models (e.g., physical, mathematical, behavioral, or logical representation of a system, entity, phenomenon, or process) as a basis for simulations to develop data utilized for managerial or technical decision making.^{[1]}^{[2]}

This article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject. (August 2019) |

In the computer application of modeling and simulation a computer is used to build a mathematical model which contains key parameters of the physical model. The mathematical model represents the physical model in virtual form, and conditions are applied that set up the experiment of interest. The simulation starts – i.e., the computer calculates the results of those conditions on the mathematical model – and outputs results in a format that is either machine- or human-readable, depending upon the implementation.

The use of M&S within engineering is well recognized. Simulation technology belongs to the tool set of engineers of all application domains and has been included in the body of knowledge of engineering management. M&S helps to reduce costs, increase the quality of products and systems, and document and archive lessons learned. Because the results of a simulation are only as good as the underlying model(s), engineers, operators, and analysts must pay particular attention to its construction. To ensure that the results of the simulation are applicable to the real world, the user must understand the assumptions, conceptualizations, and constraints of its implementation. Additionally, models may be updated and improved using results of actual experiments. M&S is a discipline on its own. Its many application domains often lead to the assumption that M&S is a pure application. This is not the case and needs to be recognized by engineering management in the application of M&S.

The use of such mathematical models and simulations avoids actual experimentation, which can be costly and time-consuming. Instead, mathematical knowledge and computational power is used to solve real-world problems cheaply and in a time efficient manner. As such, M&S can facilitate understanding a system's behavior without actually testing the system in the real world. For example, to determine which type of spoiler would improve traction the most while designing a race car, a computer simulation of the car could be used to estimate the effect of different spoiler shapes on the coefficient of friction in a turn. Useful insights about different decisions in the design could be gleaned without actually building the car. In addition, simulation can support experimentation that occurs totally in software, or in human-in-the-loop environments where simulation represents systems or generates data needed to meet experiment objectives. Furthermore, simulation can be used to train persons using a virtual environment that would otherwise be difficult or expensive to produce.