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March 23, 2022

Trends in Modeling and Simulation

Overview of Trends in Modeling and Simulation

Modeling and simulation are becoming more and more ubiquitous in today’s world. Modeling isn’t a new concept. It shows up in different shapes or forms in everyday life (e.g., insurers use models to predict how to price their insurance premiums, manufacturers use models to predict how many widgets to make, shippers use models to predict where to ship their inventory). What is curious is how much adoption we have seen in hardware development. 

A survey conducted by the Model-based systems engineering (MBSE) initiative between 2012 and 2018 showed that MBSE is spreading beyond just the Defense and Space industries. 76% of the respondents said that architecting systems and subsystems shows the most promise and today most practitioners use MBSE for conceptualization, requirements gathering and analysis and system design.

Many hardware companies are now adopting modeling and simulation and MBSE to gain an edge over their competition. This edge may come in the form of reducing their cost to launch a new product, reducing the risk associated with new products or increasing the velocity of new product development. 

Modeling and simulation enables hardware companies to experiment and conduct scenario analysis on a digital representation of a system. It is mainly used when physical experimentation on a real-world system is impractical, time-consuming, or expensive. Industries that have had the widest modeling and simulation adoption include: 

When it comes to modeling hybrid dynamical or cyber-physical systems, many engineers prefer visual programming using block diagrams. There are numerous benefits of visual programming. First, an electrical, mechanical and control systems engineer doesn’t have to know how to code in complex, text-based programming languages such as C or C++. Second, an engineer can quickly see the functions that make up the system and more importantly, see the signal flow path. Such a model is easy to follow where engineers can understand the important aspects of the system quickly and engage with their expertise and knowledge - even though they may not know what MBSE or MBD is. 

Our goal is to build an online Simulink and Matlab alternative for model-based system engineering (MBSE) and model-based design (MBD). We want to make it easy and inexpensive to simulate multi-domain dynamical systems. Our platform has a block diagram interface and natively integrates with Python and Jupyter Notebooks to jumpstart the design process and allow people to use the open source libraries that they are already familiar with. In addition, we are bringing the performance benefits of a cloud architecture. Users can run their simulations in parallel using our high performance computing (HPC) in the cloud, and not worry about large files slowing down their laptops. 

These features are just the beginning and we would love to have you try us out. Are you an electrical, mechanical, systems or hardware engineer who works in Python but wants to code their systems using block diagram UI? Sign up and start designing your system today.

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