Validation Methods

Informal methods of validation and verification are some of the more frequently used in modeling and simulation. They are called informal because they are more qualitative than quantitative. Whereas many methods of validation or verification rely on numerical results, informal methods tend to rely on the opinions of experts to draw a conclusion. While numerical results are not the primary focus, this does not mean that the numerical results are completely ignored. There are several reasons why an informal method might be chosen. In some cases, informal methods offer the convenience of quick testing to see if a model can be validated. In other instances, informal methods are the best available option. In all cases though it is important to note that informal does not mean it is any less of a true testing method. These methods should be performed with the same discipline and structure that one would expect in “formal” methods. When executed in such a way, solid conclusions can be made.

In modeling and simulation, verification techniques are used to analyze the state of the model. Verification is completed by different methods with the focus of comparing different aspects of the executable model with the conceptual model. On the other hand, validation methods are the methods by which a model, either conceptual or executable is compared with the situation it is trying to model. Both are methods by which the model can be analyzed to help find defects in the modeling methods being used, or potential misrepresentations of the real-life situation.