Author – Niveditha P M

 

Simulation
Simulation can be simply defined as a way of mimicking or imitating a situation or process in a virtual environment. Being a first-year engineering student, I was supposed to deal with the term “Simulation” for the first time when I had to attend a panel discussion which was on the so-called topic “Simulation”. My first impression on hearing the topic was like ” No I am not gonna attend this”. But just for the curiosity of knowing I googled it randomly and ended up in the first sentence of this paragraph. But then I was doubtful, then what is the difference between virtual reality and simulation.

I slowly developed some sort of interest in this topic. I found that simulation as a technology is something which is used in many of the industrial fields for imitating a situation or process in order to find out what output does it give. I came through the fact that there are many types of simulation like physical simulation, fear simulation, computer simulation and there was a huge list. Then I thought about what is it for or what are its advantages. It is basically used in ‘what if’ situations. It is used in predicting the output of a processor to find out any drawbacks of a process and to rectify it.

I just brushed up through the areas where simulation is used and found it was used in the gaming industry, robotics as well as for some animation movies. I was really fascinated to know some interesting facts about this topic and came over some other domains where simulation find its use. Simulation is used in:-
1.)meteorological predictions.
2.)it is used by scientists to run simulations of their experiments.
3.)it is used by car manufacturers to run the car on simulation and to test it before introducing it to the market.
These are some of the interesting uses that I found for simulation. By this time I was deeply attracted by this topic and began to dive into it.
The next major breakthrough for me was the most discussed or debated topic about simulation that is, ” Are we living in a simulation? “. I came over this question when I was watching some of the youtube videos related to simulation. Initially, this question felt really absurd to me. I kept on watching videos and I was like are we creators or some mere creations. There was the simulation hypothesis which said that all of the reality, including the earth and the universe, is, in fact, an artificial simulation, in fact, computer simulation. I was really wondered to hear this and thought about a situation where a group of people who are technically savvy than us is controlling our lives.
I came to read about many theories proposed by many scientists as well as researchers about simulating consciousness and emotions and they say that it is possible today with all these technologies of artificial intelligence and all. In the coming future also there are possibilities of us being simulated or for us to simulate someone. But as of now since there are no facts but only possibilities I made up my mind to stick on to the fact that we are living in a real world.

Finally, all these happened during these quarantine days and also I came to read that simulation was one of the “9 pillars of Industry 4.0”. So I just thought about how simulation as a technology could help humanity during such a pandemic like this. And I was amazed to know that simulation modelling was extensively used by both the National government and the World Health Organization in deciding on the best strategies to pursue in mitigating the effects of Covid-19. The four main modelling methods used are:-
1.)Discrete event simulation
2.)Agent-based modelling
3.)System dynamics
4.)Hybrid simulation
These are used to model interactions of individuals within a population and to determine how small changes in behaviour and interaction may influence population-level outputs.
Starting from I haven’t even heard the word simulation I reached where I am able to say a speech on it. Study on this topic was one of my best experience. I find simulation as one of the most innovative technology that can revolutionize the world in the coming years.

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Niveditha P M

Author
St. Joseph’s College of Engineering and technology,Palai

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