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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Types of Simulation Systems: Deterministic, Stochastic, Static Simulation Systems

Simulation is widely used in many fields. Some of the applications are :
- Models of planes and cars that are tested in wind tunnels to determine the aerodynamic properties.
- It is used in computer games e.g. simCity, car games etc. This simulates the roads, people talking, playing games etc.
- War tactics that are simulated using simulated battlefields.
- Most of the embedded systems are developed by simulation software before they ever make it to the chip fabrication labs.
- Stochastic simulation models are often used to model applications such as weather forecasting systems.
- Social simulation is used to model socio-economic situations.
- It is extensively used in the field of operations research.

Simulation systems can be characterized in numerous ways depending on the characterization criteria applied. Some of them are:
- Deterministic Simulation Systems: These systems have completely predictable outcomes. If given a certain input, we can predict the exact outcome. Another feature of these systems is idem-potency which means that the results for any given input are always the same. Examples include population prediction models, atmospheric science etc.
- Stochastic Simulation Systems: These systems have models with random variables. This means that the exact outcome is not predictable for any given input resulting in potentially very different outcomes for the same input.
- Static Simulation Systems: These systems use statistical models in which time does not play any role. These models include various probabilistic scenarios which are used to calculate the results of any given input. Examples of such systems include financial portfolio valuation models.

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