The word simulation gets thrown around in a lot of different industries. Not all of them operate the same way, and some require special equipment.
One company may run simulations to adjust for different variables and possible events. The air force uses simulators for training purposes. You can even find multiple simulations on gaming platforms that have gained a lot of popularity in recent years.
So what are simulators used for, and how can so many different varieties exist?
What is a Simulation?
In short, a simulation is an imitation of a situation or a process. You run simulations for a variety of reasons, ranging from safety to convenience.
A simulation can be a program you run on a computer using data you’ve generated. It runs all the variables to give you an accurate assessment of future trends and any risks. An NFL mock draft simulator uses similar technology to determine winning odds.
These simulations don’t always run solely using AI, though. A flight simulator lets future pilots train their skills without the danger of using a real plane.
There are others that are more for enjoyment. A golf simulator lets people practice their golfing skills in a controlled environment. Gamers in particular love playing a farming simulator as a way to relax after a long day at work.
Types of Simulation
The different types of simulation can be broken down into three categories.
Live simulation involves real people using physical systems. This involves equipment you must purchase and is meant to replicate the activity.
Virtual simulation has most recently been linked to gaming. It involves real people using simulated systems on computers and the like. For example, virtual reality headsets allow users to simulate a specific environment and activity.
Constructive simulation uses AI to analyze concepts, predict outcomes, and generate data. A business would use this type to determine whether or not a marketing decision would succeed or not.
Simulations are great for one main reason: they take away any risk involved in preparing for or performing an activity. There are simulators that can prepare you for driving a truck. You can run a simulation to help your business avoid financial loss.
They provide a reliable and consistent environment that can be altered to fit your needs.
Simulation repeatability is an important factor that allows them to serve that purpose. If a simulator fails to provide the same results every time, then you can’t rely on it.
You can read more about the importance of consistent simulations in this article.
Simulating the Best and Worst Outcomes
Simulation technology isn’t quite as advanced as science fiction makes it out to be yet. However, it’s still worth looking into for nearly any industry or field.
Labs can use simulators to see how chemicals will react to one another. Supermarkets use simulators to train new employees that are expected to interact with customers a certain way. There are endless applications.
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