A simulator is a device, computer program, or system that performs simulation. A simulation is a method for implementing a model (see model types) over time. There are three (3) types of commonly uses simulations: [1]

  1.  Live: Simulation involving real people operating real systems
    • Involve individuals or groups
    • May use actual equipment
    • Should provide a similar area of operations
    • Should be close to replicating the actual activity
  2. Virtual: Simulation involving real people operating simulated systems. Virtual simulations inject Human-In-The-Loop in a central role by exercising:
    • Motor control skills (e.g., flying an airplane)
    • Decision skills (e.g., committing fire control resources to action)
    • Communication skills (e.g., members of a C4I team)
  3. Constructive: Simulation involving simulated people operating simulated systems. Real people can stimulate (make inputs) but are not involved in determining outcomes. Constructive simulations offer the ability to:
    • Analyze concepts
    • Predict possible outcomes
    • Stress large organizations
    • Make measurements
    • Generate statistics
    • Perform analysis

Human-In-The-Loop simulations, also known as simulators, are a special class of simulations.     

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