What Is Modeling and Simulation?
Modeling is a way to create a virtual representation of a real-world system that includes software and hardware.
Simulation is used to evaluate a new design, diagnose problems with an existing design, and test a system under conditions that are hard to reproduce in an actual system.
If any components of the system are driven by mathematical relationships, you can model and simulate their virtual representation under a wide range of conditions to see how it behaves.
Importance of Modeling and Simulation
Creating models and simulating them is valuable for testing conditions that might be difficult to reproduce with hardware prototypes alone, especially in the early phase of the design process when hardware may not be available.
Modeling and simulation can improve the quality of the system design early, thereby reducing the number of errors found later in the design process. This leads to significantly reducing the time and cost of development.
Tools for Modeling, Simulation, and Automation
MATLAB®, Simulink®, Stateflow®, and Simscape™ are tools for designing systems, simulating their behavior in an environment, and automatically generating code that can be deployed to hardware.
Common representations for system models include block diagrams, schematics, and state diagrams. Using these representations, you can model mechatronic systems, control software, signal processing algorithms, and communications systems. To learn more about modeling, simulation, and automation with block diagrams, see Simulink.