The primary audience for this booklet is management personnel working in both private and government organizations who develop simulation capabilities and/or produce simulation results for decision makers, customers who use engineering simulations to support decision making, and government/regulatory agencies that must pass judgment on the adequacy of computer simulations for accreditation or safety purposes. This booklet is written so that managers with little or no training in science or engineering will be able to understand the technical concepts and why verification and validation (V&V) add value to simulation credibility. The roles, responsibilities, and implementation costs of simulation developers, producers, and customers will be addressed.
This booklet includes a brief description of the value proposition of computer simulations of engineering systems (such as automotive or aircraft design) as well as natural systems (such as underground storage of nuclear material). This booklet will describe how V&V procedures contribute to the improved credibility of the simulations, thereby improving decision making by individuals and organizations that use simulation to support decisions. The importance of why individuals and organizations should conduct verification and validation as a critical element in their simulation governance procedures will be emphasized. Since the perspective of the booklet is based on the recognition that time and resources are required for verification and validation, strong rational will be presented for the value added to the reliability of the information provided by simulation activities. As a key element of this explanation, a distinction will be made between V&V, model calibration, and uncertainty quantification (UQ). This booklet will stress that the value proposition of conducting VVUQ should be viewed as a trade-off between increased confidence in simulation results versus increased risk by using simulation results with unknown or unsupported credibility.
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William L. Oberkampf & Martin Pilch