Modeling & simulation

Process of producing a model
Model is the representation of construction and
working of a system of interest
Model will be similar but simpler than the
A good model is a judicious trade off between
realism and simplicity

Modeling process
Phase i:
step 1- data collection
step 2- model input preparation
step 3 - parameter evaluation
Phase ii:
step 4 - calibration
step 5- validation
step 6 - post audit
Phase iii:
step 7 - analysis of alternatives
Code verified?
Define Purpose
Field data Conceptual Model
Mathematical Model
Numerical formulation
Computer program
Model design Field data
Comparison with
field data
Presentation of results
Postaudit Field data
Types of models
4 types of models in modeling
1. mathematical models
2. conceptual models
3. physical models
4. computational models
5. graphical model.
• these are simplified representations of some
real world entity
• These can be in equations or computer code
• These are intended to mimic essential features
while leaving out inessentials
• Assumptions in mathematical modeling
1. variables ( the things which change)
2. parameters (the things which do not change)
3. functional forms(the relationship between
• Use symbolic notation and mathematical
equations to represent a system. Attributes
are represented by variables and the
activities represented by mathematical
functions that interrelate the variables

• simulates ground-water flow and/or solute fate
and transport indirectly by means of a set of
governing equations thought to represent the
physical processes that occur in the system.
Components of a Mathematical Model

• Governing Equation
(Darcy’s law + water balance equation) with
head (h) as the dependent variable
• Boundary Conditions
• Initial conditions (for transient problems)
Darcy’s Law

If the soil did not have uniform properties, then we
would have to use the continuous form of the derivative:
Q(x)= -K(x) * A* dH / dx

Head is defined as the elevation to which ground water
will rise in a cased well. Mathematically, head (h) is
expressed by the following equation:
z = elevation head and
P/pg = pressure head (water table = 0).
Types of Boundary Conditions

Specified Head Boundaries

Specified Flux Boundaries

Head Dependant Flux Boundaries
Specified Head Boundaries
Boundaries along which the heads have been measured and
can be specified in the model
e.g., surface water bodies
They must be in good hydraulic connection with the aquifer
Must influence heads throughout layer being modeled
Large streams and lakes in unconfined aquifers with highly
permeable beds
Uniform Head Boundaries: Head is uniform in space, e.g., Lakes

Spatially Varying Head Boundaries:
e.g., River heads can be picked of of a topo map if:

Hydraulic connection with and unconfined aquifer
the streambed materials are more permeable than the aquifer
Specified Flux Boundaries:

Boundaries along which, or cells within which,
inflows or outflows are set

Recharge due to infiltration (R)
Pumping wells (Q
Induced infiltration
No flow boundaries
Valley wall of low permeable sediment or
Need of mathematical modeling
1. Scientific understanding
2. Clarification
3. Manage the world using scientific
4. Simulated experimentation
5. The curse of dimensionality

Scientific understanding
• A model embodies a hypothesis about the study system,
and lets you compare that hypothesis with data.
• A model is often most useful when it fails to fit the
data, because that says that some of your ideas about
the study system are wrong.
• Mathematical models and computer simulations are
useful experimental tools for building and testing
theories, assessing quantitative conjectures, answering
specific questions, determining sensitivities to changes
in parameter values and estimating key parameters
from data.
• The model formulation process clarifies
assumptions, variables, and parameters
• The process of formulating an ecological
model is extremely helpful for organizing one’s
thinking, bringing hidden assumptions to light
and identifying data needs
Manage the real world using scientific
• Forecasting disease or pest outbreaks
• Designing man-made systems, for example,
biological pest control, bioengineering
• Managing existing systems such as agriculture or
• Optimizing medical treatments
Simulated experimentation
Realistic experimenting may be impossible
• Experiments with infectious disease spread in
human populations are often impossible, unethical
or expensive.
• We can not manage endangered species by trial
and error.
• We dare not set dosage for clinical trials of new
drugs on humans or set safe limits for exposure to
toxic substances without proper knowledge of the
The curse of dimensionality
• Sometimes a purely experimental approach is
not feasible because the data requirements for
estimating a model grow rapidly in the number
of variables.
• Modelling using computer programs is cheap
Types of mathematical model
• Deterministic vs. Stochastic models
• Static vs. Dynamic Models
• Continuous vs. Discrete Models
• Individual vs. Structured Models
• Mechanistic vs. Statistical Models
• Qualitative vs. Quantitative Models
Conceptual Model
• Qualitative description of the system
A descriptive representation of a groundwater system that
incorporates an interpretation of the geological & hydrological
Graphical Model
– limited to steady state, homogeneous systems,
with simple boundary conditions

System representation by “physical means” “Electrical,
mechanical, hydraulic” or other physical representation of
the system”.
For example , in a physical model of a system , if the
system attributes can be represented by such
measurements as a voltage, then the rate at which the
shaft of a direct current motor turns depends upon the
voltage applied to the motor.

– which poses scaling problems, for example the grains
of a scaled down sand tank model are on the order of
the size of a house in the system being simulated
• Calibration of model : Test of the model with
known input and output information that is used
to adjust or estimate factors for which data are
not available.
• Verification of the model: examination of the
numerical technique in the computer code to
ascertain that in truly represents the conceptual
model and that there are no inherent numerical
problems with obtaining a solution
• Validation: comparison of model results with
numerical data independently derived from
experiments or observations of the environment.

• Computational modelling is the use of mathematics,
physics and computer science to study the behaviour
of complex systems by computer simulation. A
computational model contains numerous variables that
characterize the system being studied. Simulation is
done by adjusting these variables and observing how
the changes affect the outcomes predicted by the
model. The results of model simulations help
researchers make predictions about what will happen
in the real system that is being studied in response to
changing conditions.
• Operation of a model of the system
• It is a tool to evaluate the performance of a
system, existing or proposed, under different
configurations of interest and over long periods
of real time.

1.For built a new system or to alter an existing
2. To reduce the chances of failure to meet
3. To eliminate unforeseen bottlenecks
4. To prevent under or over-utilization of
5. Optimize system performance
Steps involved in developing a simulation model
Identify the problem
Formulate the problem
Collect and process real system data
Formulate and develop model
Validate the model
Document model for future use
Select appropriate experimental design
Establish experimental conditions for runs
Perform simulation runs
Interpret and present results
Recommend further course of action

Identify the problem : find out the problems with an existing
system. Produce requirements for a proposed system
Formulate the problem: objective of the study or issues
involved in the system
Collect and process real system data: collect the data on
system like input variables, performance of the system etc.
identify the stochastic input variables.
Formulate and develop a model: develop schematics and
network diagrams of the system. Translate these
conceptual models to simulation software acceptable
Validate the model: compare the performance of the model
under known conditions with the performance of the real
Document objectives, assumptions and input variables of
model in detail for future use.

Select appropriate experimental design: maximum
performance with minimum number of inputs
Establish experimental conditions for runs: run each
model and find out the best performance from the

Advantages of simulation
 It is useful for sensitivity analysis of complex systems.
 It is suitable to analyze large and complex real life
problems that cannot be solved by the usual
quantitative methods.
 It is the remaining tool when all other techniques
become intractable or fail.
 It can be used as a pre-service test to try out new
policies and decision rules for operating a system.

Disadvantages of simulation
 Sometimes simulation models are expensive and take a long
time to develop.
 Each application of simulation is ad hoc to a great extent.
 The simulation model does not produce answers by itself.
 It is the trial and error approach that produces different
solutions in repeated runs .It does not generate optimal
solutions to the problems.

• In mathematical model all quantities are measured as
parameters, so this model is a parametric function.

• Inferring parameters from measurements is known as
• 2 types of estimation
1. Parametric estimation where the quantities to be
estimated are the unknown variables in equations
that express the observables
2. Condition estimation where conditions can be
formulated among the observations. Rarely used,
most common application is levelling where the sum
of the height differences around closed circuits must
be zero
Steps in parametric estimation
Observation equations: equations that relate the
parameters to be estimated to the observed
Stochastic model: Statistical description that
describes the random fluctuations in the
Inversion that determines the parameters values from
the mathematical model consistent with the statistical

Sensitivity analysis
• Sensitivity analysis is the study of how
the uncertainty in the output of a mathematical
model or system (numerical or otherwise) can be
apportioned to different sources of uncertainty in its

A sensitivity analysis can be used to
• validate a model,
• warn of unrealistic model behavior,
• point out important assumptions,
• help formulate model structure,
• simplify a model,
• suggest new experiments,
• guide future data collection efforts,
• suggest accuracy for calculating parameters,
• adjust numerical values of parameters,
• choose an operating point,
• allocate resources,
• detect critical criteria,
• suggest manufacturing tolerances,
• identify cost drivers.

In a sensitivity analysis
• the values of
• inputs
• parameters
• architectural features
measure changes in
• outputs
• performance indices

Conceptual models
• type of diagram which shows of a set of relationshi
ps between factors that are
believed to impact or lead to a target condition; a d
iagram that defines theoretical
entities, objects, or conditions of a system and the
relationships between them
A complete conceptual model provides a:
• Definition of the phenomenon in terms of features
recognizable by observations, analysis or validated
• Description of its life cycle in terms of appearance,
size, intensity and accompanying weather;

• Statement of the controlling physical processes which
enables the understanding of the factors that
determine the mode and rate of evolution of the
• Specification of the key meteorological fields
demonstrating the main processes;
• Guidance for predicted meteorological conditions or
situations using the diagnostic and prognostic fields
that best discriminate between development or non-
development; guidance for predicting displacement
and evolution.

Advantageous of conceptual model
• When introducing a new topic in class regardless of
whether the ultimate goal is to develop the topic
qualitatively or quantitatively.
• When equations for some process being studied seem
to obscure student understanding it is a good idea to
step back a bit and discuss a conceptual model of the
processes. Actually, it is typically best to develop a
conceptual framework for understanding before
introducing equations.
• To help explain and discuss interesting features in data