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HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

Modelling is a procedure of representing a model which shows
its working and construction. The model is similar to a real life system, which
helps analysts predict the effects of change to the system. Simulation is how
the model operates in terms of space or time, this helps in analysing the
performance of a proposed or existing system.

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Computer simulation tracks back to World War II during a time
when two mathematicians Stanislaw Ulam and Jon Von Neumann were faced with a
difficult problem of behaviour of neutrons. Trial and error experimentations
were costly and made the problem complicated for analysis. Two common fears of
using simulation in the early 80s were that simulation is complicated thus only
expects can operate it. The other reason for not using simulation was it takes
forever because of debugging and programming. Computer simulation and modelling
today is used as a general purpose conceptual tool and is very crucial in
scientific research, manufacturing, engineering and businesses.

In 1961 October, IBM presented Gordon simulator to norden
system Design Company. In December of the same year at the fall joint company
conference, Geoffrey gorden presented his paper on a general purpose system simulator.
In 1969 the third conference on the simulation’s application was held in Los
Angeles at December.

 

IMPORTANCE OF MODELLING
AND SIMULATION

One
advantage of simulation is that it has the ability to provide practical
feedback when constructing real systems. This helps the designer to tell the
efficiency and correctness of an artefact before the system is constructed.
Simulation may also determine the advantages of alternative designs without
physically constructing the systems. For example, it is also beneficial in drug
development. It’s called bio-simulation or model based drug development. It has
a proven way to influence every stage in the process of drug development,
including commercial decisions involving the benefits of also bringing a certain
drug to market. Some of the crucial elements of model-based drug development
(Bio-simulation) is that it enables you perform over knowledge as well as the
wisdom from one stage to the next, both in relation to failures and successes.
Modelling and simulation transforms raw data into clear information and
information into knowledge.

Modelling
and simulation is also used to create simulators which are used as an effective
method for teaching concepts to students. The simulators show the behaviour and
relation of all the system’s components, thereby providing students with a detailed
information on the system’s nature. For example, a circuit simulator shows the
path taken by electric signals and how these signals gets consumed by
components as well as the output produced. The student is able to see what
happens within a circuit and therefore is left with a clear detailed
understanding of the circuit. The simulator also enables the student to slow
down, speed up or reverse a simulation for further understanding.

Even though
simulation is a very useful tool, it has some demerits also. The software and
equipment are way too expensive to buy, and also people have to be trained on
how to use the equipment and software. Also, not every situation possible can
be included when creating the model thus the results depend on the quality of
the model and the data inputted to create the model.

APPLICATIONS OF MODELLING AND
SIMULATION

Modelling
and simulation can be used in a number of different fields which include,
military, designing, aeronautics, architecture and weather forecasting.

Designing safer cars

A
computerized model of a car is simulated to test if the design is safe during a
car crash. The virtual model of a car can be simulated to crash as many times
as needed in order to investigate the results and change a few things until the
model is as safe as possible. This saves money and time since there is no need
to build and crash a real car.

Weather forecasting

A
computerized model of a weather system is used to predict storms and rains.
Temperature, and wind patterns for the whole world are simulated using high
performance computers. Because our planet is big, it is difficult to make a
precise model. If the model is correct, the weather forecasters use it to predict
weather in the future, normally the next day and coming days.

Bridge design

Bridges are
designed in such a way that they can withstand extreme weather. It is not wise
to build an actual bridge in order to see if it can fall if subjected to harsh
weather conditions. Therefore, a computer model of a bridge is built instead
and tested in virtual weather conditions. If the computer model collapses or
fails, then it can be cheaply and quickly be altered and simulated again. The
virtual bridge can also be tested to see if it can withstand heavy traffic by
loading traffic jam of virtual vehicles to see if it won’t fail.

Running a business

A virtual
model of a business can be created to predict if a business has a potential to
make profit in future. If the model of the business is done accurately, more
especially the financial systems, then predictions can be made using the model.
Based on the results of the model, the manager or entrepreneur can take
decisions based on that.

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