Use of a computer-generated system to represent the dynamic responses and behaviour of a real or proposed system. A mathematical description of a system is developed as a computer program that uses equations to represent the functional relationships within the system. When the program is run, the resulting mathematical dynamics form an analog, usually represented graphically, of the behaviour of the modeled system. Variables in the program can be adjusted to simulate varying conditions in the system. Computer simulations are used to study the behaviour of objects or systems that cannot be easily or safely tested in real life, such as weather patterns or a nuclear blast. Simpler simulations performed by personal computers are business models and geometric models. Seealso scientific visualization.
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Tierra is a derivative of the computer programmer's game Core War.
According to Thomas S. Ray and others, this may allow for more "open-ended" evolution, in which the dynamics of the feedback between evolutionary and ecological processes can itself change over time (see evolvability) although this promise has not been realized – like other digital evolution systems, it eventually comes to a point where novelty ceases to be created, and the system at large begins either looping or ceases to 'evolve'. The issue of how true open-ended evolution can be implemented in an artificial system is still an open question in the field of Artificial life.
Mark Bedau and Norman Packard developed statistical method of classifying evolutionary systems and in 1997, Bedau et al. applied these statistics to Evita, an Artificial life model similar to Tierra and Avida, but with limited organism interaction, and no parasitism, and concluded that Tierra-like systems do not exhibit the open-ended evolutionary signatures of naturally evolving systems.
Russell K. Standish has measured the informational complexity of Tierran 'organisms', and has similarly found limited complexity growth in Tierran evolution.
While the dynamics of Tierra are highly suggestive, the significance of the dynamics for real ecological and evolutionary behavior are still a subject of debate within the scientific community. Tierra is an abstract model, but any quantitative model is still subject to the same validation and verification techniques applied to more traditional mathematical models, and as such, has no special status. More detailed models in which more realistic dynamics of biological systems and organisms are incorporated is now an active research field (see systems biology).
Modeling access, cost, and perceived quality: Computer simulation benefits orthodontic clinic staffing decisions
Feb 01, 2000; Given limited financial resources, simulation permits a financial analysis of the optimum staffing levels for orthodontists and...