Simulation Experiments (Part 1)

One of the really useful benefits of simulation is the ability to analyze multiple aspects of system performance without actually building the system and testing it. With the right models and simulation tools, you can investigate system performance metrics in a much shorter time than required for prototype and bench testing. Simulation is essentially a way to ask system questions and get answers: system models ask the questions; simulators calculate the answers; data analysis tools help interpret the results.

System design questions come in a wide range of types and complexities. You may only want to know the basics of system operation – what happens over time, with nominal system parameters, when you apply a simple stimulus. Or you may want to know how changes in system parameters affect system performance. You may even want to know what happens when factors outside your system (think environmental conditions) change beyond “room temperature” values. Whatever system performance metrics you want to analyze, the process for asking questions and getting answers can be summed-up in one word: experimenting. Each time you run a simulation on your system, you are, in effect, running a system experiment.

Whether we realize it or not, running experiments is a part of our lives. From a very early age, we started asking ourselves experiment-provoking question like “I wonder what will happen if I…?”, then we try and find out. Most of the time, our approach is unorganized, even spur of the moment. If we stopped to think through every option before trying something new, chances are we wouldn’t try many new things. Though our approach to life’s experiments may be a bit spontaneous, we none the less learn from each experiance.

Simulation experiments are no less instructive, but are typically best run using a structured and organized methodology. Once you finish your system model, to get the most out of simulation experiments you need to manage what design factors to consider, what analyses to run, and what performance metrics you want to analyze. With these and other options, it’s easy to see that your experiment matrix can get pretty complicated. So a way to manage simulation experiments is important.

Like most mechatronic systems simulators, SystemVision lets you quickly setup and run individual simulation experiments (e.g. transient analysis to measure risetime, frequency analysis to measure the lowpass 3 dB frequency, etc.). But SystemVision also features Experiment Manager, a unique and flexible tool for setting up and running simulation experiments. In my next blog post I’ll talk more about the SystemVision Experiment Manager, including how it simplifies the creation, execution, and management of simulation experiments.

Post Author

Posted March 21st, 2011, by

Post Tags

, ,

Post Comments

No Comments

About Mike Jensen's Blog

Views, insights, and commentary on mechatronic system design and analysis. Mike Jensen's Blog

Comments

Add Your Comment

Archives

May 2014
  • SystemVision 5.10.3
  • March 2014
  • IESF 2014: Military & Aerospace
  • Engineering Oops!
  • Big Engineering
  • January 2014
  • SystemVision Model Wizard
  • December 2013
  • SystemVision 5.10.2
  • Modeling: An Engineer’s Dilemma
  • October 2013
  • What is Your Legacy?
  • September 2013
  • Automotive IESF 2013
  • July 2013
  • Simple Design Solutions
  • June 2013
  • SystemVision 5.10
  • May 2013
  • Engineering Muscle Memory
  • EDA vs. Windows 8
  • March 2013
  • VHDL-AMS Stress Modeling – Part 3
  • January 2013
  • VHDL-AMS Stress Modeling – Part 2
  • VHDL-AMS Stress Modeling – Part 1
  • December 2012
  • Practice! Practice!
  • November 2012
  • Sharing Tool Expertise
  • October 2012
  • Preserving Expertise
  • Virtual Prototyping — Really?
  • Innovations in Motion Control Design
  • September 2012
  • Game Changers
  • Do We Overdesign?
  • August 2012
  • Tsunami Remnants
  • July 2012
  • A New Look at Device Modeling
  • SystemVision 5.9
  • June 2012
  • Veyron Physics
  • May 2012
  • Rooster Tail Engineering
  • April 2012
  • Automotive IESF 2012
  • Teaching and Learning CAN Bus
  • March 2012
  • Analog Modeling – Part 6
  • Analog Modeling – Part 5
  • Analog Modeling – Part 4
  • February 2012
  • Analog Modeling – Part 3
  • Analog Modeling – Part 2
  • January 2012
  • Analog Modeling – Part 1
  • Connecting Tools and Processes
  • December 2011
  • Turning-Off and Tuning-In
  • Use vs. Experience
  • Analyzing the Big Picture
  • November 2011
  • Simulating for Reliability
  • October 2011
  • SystemVision 5.8
  • VHDL-AMS Model Portability — Fact or Fiction?
  • September 2011
  • IESF 2011 Moves to Frankfurt
  • Simulation Troubleshooting
  • August 2011
  • Qualities of VHDL-AMS Quantities
  • Military & Aerospace IESF 2011
  • Touring Johnson Space Center
  • July 2011
  • Engineering versus Science
  • June 2011
  • System Reengineering
  • May 2011
  • Integrating Hardware and Software Design
  • Engine Remote Start
  • Integrated System Design
  • Simulation Experiments (Part 3)
  • April 2011
  • Automotive IESF 2011
  • Pushbutton Cars
  • System Simulation with FEA-Base Motor Models
  • March 2011
  • Simulation Experiments (Part 2)
  • Simulation Experiments (Part 1)
  • Japan: Patience and Grace Amid Disaster
  • Top Gear = Driving Fun
  • February 2011
  • Buoyancy
  • Ideas in Motion
  • January 2011
  • The Mechanical Half of Mechatronics
  • Detroit Auto Show
  • Signal-flow vs Conserved System Modeling
  • SystemVision 5.7…Ready, Set, Go!
  • December 2010
  • SystemVision and Windows 7
  • Friction Vacation
  • Simulation Beyond Volts and Amps (Part 4)
  • November 2010
  • Simulation Beyond Volts and Amps (Part 3)
  • Simulation Beyond Volts and Amps (Part 2)
  • Simulation Beyond Volts and Amps (Part 1)
  • October 2010
  • SAE Convergence Recap (and an Unexpected Surprise)
  • VHDL-AMS Black Belt
  • Converging on SAE Convergence
  • System Design vs System Repair
  • September 2010
  • What’s the “AMS” in VHDL-AMS?
  • How Sensitive is Your System?
  • Do You Trust Your Simulator?
  • August 2010
  • What’s in a SPICE Model?
  • Cycling + Gravity = Pain
  • NI Week: Fun for Engineers
  • June 2010
  • Are You a Flexible Thinker?
  • VHDL-AMS and Switch Hysteresis
  • May 2010
  • VHDL-AMS Revisited
  • Segway to U3-X
  • Atomic Glue
  • March 2010
  • IESF Recap
  • February 2010
  • IESF is Coming…
  • System Level HDL-topia
  • January 2010
  • Mastering Design Abstraction
  • The Joy of Disassembly