Computer Performance Analysis

Objectives and Problems in Simulating Computers

by T. E. Bell

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A description of a method for relating the issues and objectives of a simulation of a computer system that permits the simulation designer to anticipate possible difficulties. The issues that determine the designer's approach are the amount of resources, degree of simulation code change, number of boundary changes, appropriateness of a cost model, importance of experimental design, level of detail, degree of accuracy, and amount and type of validation. The objectives of the simulation analysis have been reduced to three categories: absolute projection, sensitivity analysis, and diagnostic investigation. A matrix is created to show the importance of each issue to each objective and to indicate some solutions. The matrix is used to review a completed simulation and to demonstrate the design problems that could have been avoided. In another case, the matrix is applied to an analysis in the formulative stage to demonstrate how conflicts are resolved.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

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