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Simulation and Modeling of Systems of Systems by Dominique Luzeaux, Pascal Cantot

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Chapter 9

Conclusion: What Return on Investment Can We Expect from Simulation? 1

9.1. Returns on simulation for acquisition

Throughout the previous chapters, we have seen how simulation is used as much in the production of models as in their use for a given objective. Simulation allows us to reproduce characteristics of the environment, systems, and certain behaviors. We have gone into detail on techniques, specificities in terms of formats and standards, and the limitations and pitfalls of interpretation. In addition to this descriptive aspect, simulation allows us to control conditions and situations and thus to test solutions to given problems. This allows a certain level of flexibility, security, and cost reductions not possible using real experiments (e.g. 30 years ago, approximately a hundred real launches were required to test a missile; today, the number of real launches required is considerably smaller). Simulation thus provides precious help in planning equipment, doctrines of use and operation, as well as in training.

Beyond the capacity to model and to give life to these models, which sometimes requires considerable processing power (i.e. non-negligible levels of investment), simulation has become the key to success in the engineering process, a bridging tool for working in integrated multi-disciplinary teams on problems of integration of complex systems. Different actors are involved in defining, evaluating, producing, and supporting the project, and they must share ...

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