Invariance and Nominal Value Mapping as Key Themes for Qualitative Simulation

  • Paul A. Fishwick
Part of the Advances in Simulation book series (ADVS.SIMULATION, volume 5)


We discuss the purpose of qualitative studies in simulation modeling and analysis. The notions of invariance (with regard to system structures, input, and output) and nominal value mapping are seen as central concepts (or “themes”) to the variety of qualitative methods that currently exist in simulation. Thus, our purpose is to try to help unify the study of qualitative methods by relating them to each other using the key themes. In our work we have found that many different scientific and engineering disciplines have been doing simulation using qualitative methodology; our purpose, then, is to illustrate that these efforts are connected and that the collective concepts and methodology can be potentially utilized as a set of interdisciplinary tools. The thrust in qualitative methods is seen as a step toward making quantitative methods more accessible and usable by many different types of researchers and project managers. However, as we emphasize in the text, we must be extremely careful that qualitative approaches are carefully studied so that we do not fall into the trap of using ambiguous input to generate purely ambiguous results; results must, in the long term, be directly useful to decision makers that rely on simulation (among other tools) to make well-informed decisions. We also stress that the choice of which input, output, and model to use depends on the specific goals of the analyst. It is too easy, sometimes, either to create qualitative solutions that have no utility or to make qualitative an expression that has a more powerful quantitative equivalent.


Natural Language Fuzzy Number Customer Satisfaction Qualitative Method Temporal Logic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1991

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  • Paul A. Fishwick

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