Modeling & Simulation

Model Types

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A model is a representation of the construction and working of some system of interest. A model is similar to but simpler than the system it represents. A simulation (see simulator types) is a method for implementing a model. There are four (4) common types of models that are used. These are: [1,2]

  • Physical: A physical model is a model whose physical characteristics resemble the physical characteristics of the system being modeled. A simple example of a physical model is a plastic airplane you played with in grade school. See Prototyping
  • Mathematical: A mathematical model is a symbolic model whose properties are expressed in mathematical symbols and relationships. Mathematical models are commonly used to quantify results, solve problems and predict behavior. A simple example of a mathematical model is the equation that represents a straight line: y=mx+b.
  • Process: Process models are designed to replicate steps in a process or system. All process models allow users to define their processes, workflows or system dynamics. Other common processes that are modeled are information flow through a system and the manufacturing of parts using an assembly line.
  • Combination: The approach of combining models learned from multiple batches of data as opposed to the common practice of learning one model from all the available data (i.e., the data combination approach).

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