12.1 Background

This chapter discusses the structure and applications of simulation in underwater acoustics. Since simulation refers to a method for implementing a model over time, it is fitting that this topic is addressed after a firm foundation of modeling and evaluation has been established in the previous chapters. In the present context, the term "modeling and simulation" refers to those techniques that can predict or diagnose the performance of complex acoustic systems operating in the dynamic undersea environment.

A widely used taxonomic scheme for classifying various types of simulation is based on the degree of human involvement and the realness of the system. This scheme distinguishes three categories of simulation: live, virtual and constructive. Live simulation involves real people operating real systems. Virtual simulation involves real people operating simulated systems. Constructive simulation involves simulated people operating simulated systems. To complete the symmetry of this taxonomic scheme, a fourth category termed "smart systems" is added. In essence, smart systems involve simulated people operating real systems. The resulting taxonomic scheme comprising these four categories of simulation is summarized in Table 12.1.

Another term frequently encountered in discussions of simulation is "stimulation." Stimulation is the use of simulation to provide external stimuli to a system or subsystem. Stimulation often entails hardware-in-the-loop or software-in-the-loop configurations, which are commonly referred to as "constrained simulation" since the simulated time-advances have a specific relationship to wallclock time.

Table 12.1 Four categories of simulation based on the degree of human involvement
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