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When should simulation be used?


Frequently Asked Questions

Simulation should be used to tackle complex problems that arise during the analysis and design of a system. The purpose being to justify and aid in the decision making process that is core to these activities.

A complex problem is characterised by the following features;

  • Complex and random interactions
  • Non standard distributions
  • Dynamic and transient effects
  • Forecasting the future
It is unlikely that such problems can be solved by any other means than simulation or real life experimentation.

Building models in software adds higher value when compared to the alternative of real life experimentation. Higher value is best described as doing more with less and can be most easily compared in terms of cost, risk, flexibility and responsiveness, and innovation.

Increased flexibility and responsiveness over real life testing is provided by functionality, quicker computations involving all relevant factors, and easier, repeatable experimentation.

Risk is reduced through a greater understanding of the complex problem, improved communication within groups, training tools for operators, legality and safety.

Overall cost is reduced by controlled system downtime (factory or machine), and reduced system cycle times (increased capacity/lower cost/part).

Building models in software makes people think holistically and encourages creativity, forward thinking ideas and innovation. Simulation can also be used as a powerful marketing tool.

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