Computer Simulation - Excercises

Pre-reading excercises

  1. How can we solve problems in cases where physical models are too complex or expensive to build?
    • computer simulation
  2. Name some problems which can be solved using computer simulation?
    • spread of infectious diseases
    • panic in crowds
    • crash testing
    • explosions modelling
    • aerodynamic solutions testing
    • building demolition

Comprehension questions

    Explain the differences between discrete/continuous and stochastic/deterministic simulation, giving examples.
    • Stochastic models use random number generators to model chance or random events; they are also called Monte Carlo simulations.
    • Deterministic models have no random elements.
    • A discrete event simulation (DES) manages events in time. Most computer, logic-test and fault-tree simulations are of this type. In this type of simulation, the simulator maintains a queue of events sorted by the simulated time they should occur. The simulator reads the queue and triggers new events as each event is processed. It is not important to execute the simulation in real time.
    • A continuous dynamic simulation performs numerical solution of differential -algebraic equations or differential equations (either partial or ordinary). Periodically, the simulation program solves all the equations, and uses the numbers to change the state and output of the simulation. Applications include flight simulators, simulation games, chemical process modelling, and simulations of electrical circuits.

Possible topics for discussion

  1. Is it possible to simulate any problem?

Possible difficulties

A large number of mathematical terms.
Rather than focusing on the words you don’t understand, try to get the main idea.