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Modeling and Simulation

in Engineering
Systems Realization Laboratory

Chris Paredis

G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering


Georgia Institute of Technology
Lecture Overview

 Objective:
• Define what a model is
• Illustrate why models are important in engineering

 Topics:
• What is a model?
• What are some properties of models?
• How does one create a new model?
• How are models used in engineering?

Systems Realization Laboratory


What is a Model?

 Examples of Models…

 What do these examples have in common?

Systems Realization Laboratory


Examples of Models in Vehicle Design

Computational Fluid Dynamics


Noise, Vibration,
and Harshness

Thermal Crash Testing


Stress Analysis

Systems Realization Laboratory


What is a Model?

 Definition (based on Marvin Minsky's definition) :


• A model (M) for a system (S) and an experiment (E) is anything to which E
can be applied in order to answer questions about S

 A model is an abstraction of reality

All models are 'wrong'.


Some are useful.
Attributed to George Box

Who has created a new model today?

Systems Realization Laboratory


How Do We Create Models?

1. Gather data about real system


2. Postulate hypotheses about the relationships in the
data
3. Formalize these hypotheses in models
4. Validate models by performing simulations
5. If necessary, modify the hypotheses and models until
valid

(Adapted from F. Cellier)

Systems Realization Laboratory


A Quick Aside:
When is a Model Valid?

Is this model valid?


f(x)

Models can never


be proven correct –
only falsified.
(Adapted from Karl Popper)

Systems Realization Laboratory


Unanticipated Phenomena May Invalidate Model

Tacoma Narrows Bridge,


Nov 7, 1940.

Systems Realization Laboratory


Why are Models Important in Engineering?

Initial Satisficing
Guess Solution

Decision
Solver
Predict the
Evaluation of Design Outcome of
Design Alternative Alternative
Engineering Design
Decisions
System
Model

Simulator

Systems Realization Laboratory


When are Models Most Useful?

 When the system is not available


 When the physical experiments cannot be performed
 When the cost of experimentation is too high
 When the time scale of the system is not compatible
with those of the experimenter
 Under controlled circumstance (e.g. no disturbances)

Systems Realization Laboratory


Examples of Models in Engineering

Computational Fluid Dynamics


Noise, Vibration,
and Harshness

Thermal Crash Testing


Stress Analysis

Systems Realization Laboratory


Manufacturing Simulation

 DFM – DFA – DFX

 Take life cycle cost


into account at the
design stage

Systems Realization Laboratory


Training Simulators

 Use the previously


developed simulation
models for training
 Train operators before
prototypes are built
 Test whether user
interface is user-friendly

Systems Realization Laboratory


Immersive Environments

 Allow user to interact with models through


• 3-dimensional vision
• Touch (tactile interface)
 Complete virtual prototype

Systems Realization Laboratory


If a picture is worth 1000 words,
how about a simulation?
Summary
 We all create and use models
all the time
 Models should be validated
 In engineering, models are
used for predicting the
outcome of decisions, but also
for training or documentation.
Crash Testing

 In this class you will use


models to solve engineering
problems

Systems Realization Laboratory