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How To Build Valid, Credible And Appropriately Detailed Simulation Models
Simulation models are used to design new systems and to "optimize" existing ones, since actual experimentation with the system itself is disruptive, not cost-effective, or simply impossible. Thus, a model must be valid enough so that it can be used to make decisions about the system similar to those that would be made if physical experimentation were possible. However, the results from a simulation study, even if valid, are not likely to be used in the decision-making process unless the model is also credible. That is, the model's assumptions must be understood and accepted by managers and other key project personnel for the study's results to actually be utilized.
One of the most difficult tasks facing a simulation practitioner is that of determining what aspects (or details) of a complex system need to be incorporated into the model to ensure validity and credibility, and what aspects can safely be ignored to reduce model development time and cost. It is …