Model representation and documentation in computer simulation.

PIYASENA, Samarakoon M. (2004). Model representation and documentation in computer simulation. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Typically, simulation project is highly complex process, which relies heavily on the expertise and knowledge of the simulation analyst. It also requires the research of large amounts of systems data. This comprehensive data, together with the specialist skills of the analyst is integral to the success of any simulation project and it would seem obvious that a record of this information is ideally required for future references. However, it appears that, usually, very little or no effort is taken to record and maintain this significant information. This oversight often removes the opportunity for the subsequent use of the model by members of the project team themselves. It also hinders the reuse of simulation models in the development of future models that could use the same data. Hence, proper and complete documentation is seen as an essential requirement to overcome such situations. A simulation study involves, not only developing the model, but also managing the process prior to model construction and subsequent tasks. Documentation in simulation involves, not only recording the model description, but also other exhaustive details embraced with the whole project. Clearly, the project team and model re-users are benefited from such in-depth and effective documentation.Model Representation and Documentation (MRD) is a new concept for documentation in simulation. It addresses the different purposes or needs of different audiences in respect of the simulation project, model reuse, and other interested parties. No structured documentation methodology, either to satisfy this context, or to encompass the complete simulation project has been found in existing literature, or in simulation software. However, it is feasible that a progressive documentation with the model development process would fulfil the needs of different audiences and allows structuring the documentation process.The proposed MRD process is based on task-orientation, which is attributed to the system development methodology in software engineering. It offers the user the ability to manage the documentation process with micro-level of task documents and to capture project details as the project progresses. Subsequently, task documents are accumulated to produce complete documents to fulfil different purposes of documentation. Pre-structured forms of task documents, which are based on typical simulation project procedure and enriched with reusable model elements, not only provide the uniform and consistent structure to capture task details, but also offer a sound foundation for an integrated documentation system.An isolated MRD process, though concurrent with the model development, does not improve the present poor attempt to documentation. The integration of MRD process with model development offers the user the ability to perform both processes simultaneously as a single process while both are benefited directly and mutually through model exchange. The documentation models, which are constructed with reusable generic model elements, and the common database, which stores model details within a standard internal structure, make provision for such model exchange. Hence, an integrated MRD process improves, not only the documentation in simulation, but also model reusability.The study has produced a novel approach for documenting the details of simulation projects in an integrated environment.Samarakoon M. Piyasena.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2004.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20234

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