Importance of Modeling and Simulation: A Vital Systems Engineering Technique
This paper describes the importance of Modeling and Simulation (M&S) as a vital technique in the context of
Systems Engineering . In today’s globalization of businesses, corporations are facing stiff competition at a worldwide
level. This is translating into corporations attempting to minimize the cost of modifying their existing systems or developing
new systems. To achieve this, they are rapidly resorting to Systems Engineering (S.E.) tools and techniques. At the heart of
S.E. techniques, lies modeling and simulation which provides a very valuable glimpse at potential system flaws before its
actual modification or development. This results in significant ‘cost reduction’ due mainly to avoidance of unnecessary
effort that goes into the rework and redesign, if there is direct development of a system without first modeling it.
In this paper, we first introduce M&S concepts. Second, we examine them in the light of systems engineering with
illustrative examples. Next, we present three types of models - - Analytical, Simulation, and Hybrid. Analytical Models are
formula-based . They are useful when enough information is not available about a system especially when the system
requires the use of equations and algorithms. Simulation Models are descriptive in nature and usually, they are more detailed
than analytical models . Hybrid Models embed formulas and equations within a larger simulation model . Scientific
and engineering applications usually employ hybrid models. After presenting the three types of M&S models, we compare
Analytical versus Simulation models based on their uses, development cost, and accuracy . Lastly, we give a few
examples of industry applications of M&S models for the benefit of readers.