What Makes a Simulation Useful

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Modern computers make possible a new blending of systems, man, and cybernetics in the detailed simulation of large sociotechnical systems. Several such simulations are currently under development at Los Alamos National Laboratory and elsewhere. When deployed, they will affect the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people and the allocation of billions of dollars. Whether they are deployed depends entirely on their perceived usefulness, which in turn depends on answers to the following: What kinds of questions does the simulation address and what kinds of solutions does it provide? How can the solutions be validated? Is simulation more cost-effective ... continued below

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Eubank, S.G. October 12, 1999.

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Description

Modern computers make possible a new blending of systems, man, and cybernetics in the detailed simulation of large sociotechnical systems. Several such simulations are currently under development at Los Alamos National Laboratory and elsewhere. When deployed, they will affect the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people and the allocation of billions of dollars. Whether they are deployed depends entirely on their perceived usefulness, which in turn depends on answers to the following: What kinds of questions does the simulation address and what kinds of solutions does it provide? How can the solutions be validated? Is simulation more cost-effective than other methods? Answers to these questions lead us to define a useful simulation as one which efficiently provides correct, robust estimates required by decision-making needs, together with well understood variability for the outcomes in hypothetical situations. This paper examines the implications of this criterion for the design o f TRANSIMS, a regional transportation network simulation, and by extension, for simulations of other sociotechnical systems.

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OSTI as DE00758965

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  • IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics 1999 Conference, Tokyo (JP), 10/12/1999--10/15/1999

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-99-3049
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 758965
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709522

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  • October 12, 1999

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • March 30, 2016, 12:02 p.m.

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Eubank, S.G. What Makes a Simulation Useful, article, October 12, 1999; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709522/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.