The process of testing something through model is known as simulation. For example, to test an airplane we have to make a small model of it and test its drive. The purpose of the simulation is to predict the results of something. Suppose a bank wants to test how many customers can be handled in a day. To test this, the bank will get data from previous days, such as a number of customers arriving in an hour, how many customers are waiting etc.
To perform simulation we can also use the software. In simulation software, data is input and with the help of data input and diagrams, we can get appropriate results.
Advantages of simulation
Test the behavior:
With simulation, we can test the behavior of something without making it. We can make environment or model of the system that can behave similarly like actual system. Experiments are done on the model without disturbing the actual system. We can investigate the situation which is dangerous in real life.
Analyze the system:
We can analyze different parts of the system while testing its model. Analysis of complex system is done through simulation when we do not get results through the mathematical way.
Give accurate results:
Most of the time the result of the simulation is accurate than doing analytical or practical testing on the actual system.
Get faults in the system:
While doing simulation we can note down the faults in the system. If something gives an unexpected result then we can fix it before launching the system. We can make changes in the model and check the reaction of the model.
Animation and modeling:
With simulation, engineers can see the actual product (e.g. car) without practically building it. They can change the look and feel of the product during modeling. Engineers can get inner details of the product and overall look of the product easily in the simulation.
Teachers can do a simulation of the system by computer and explain to students. Students can get an idea of any system easily be seeing a simulation of anything. The animation and graphics can do a lot of things nowadays. You can perform a simulation of dinosaurs and wales and it looks very near to reality.
Disadvantages of simulation
Sometimes it costs more money to do simulation then making the product. In such cases product owner launch the product without building a model and doing the simulation.
Interpretation of simulation data:
The data we get after performing simulation is difficult to understand. In old days the simulation data can only be understood by technical people in the field. Nowadays there is computer software which can interpret the data into visual data like graphs, maps etc. But interpreting very big data into graphs may result in loss of some information.
Simulation is a prediction of reality and it does not generate an optimal solution.
Takes a long time:
It takes a long time to set up and test a simulation model. This is because simulation takes a lot of data to be input and making the environment also counts.
Complex simulation involves a computer with higher memory and processor speed. This is another drawback of simulation.
Cannot simulate earthquake:
We cannot predict an earthquake and its results. So doing a simulation of earthquake and tsunami is impossible.
Examples of simulation
Some of the examples of the simulation are:-
Simulation of aircraft before making its first flight
Simulation of handling customers in the bank
Simulation of car, airplane, and other expensive automobiles