Validation of Models: Statistical Techniques and Data Availability

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This paper shows which statistical techniques can be used to validate simulation models, depending on which real-life data are available. Concerning this availability three situations are distinguished (i) no data, (ii) only output data, and (iii) both input and output data. In case (i) - no real data - the analysts can still experiment with the simulation model to obtain simulated data; such an experiment should be guided by the statistical theory on the design of experiments. In case (ii) - only output data - real and simulated output data can be compared through the well-known two-sample Student t statistic or certain other statistics. In case (iii) - input and output data - trace-driven simulation becomes possible, but validation should not proceed in the popular way (make a scatter plot with real and simulated outputs, fit a line, and test whether that line has unit slope and passes through the origin); alternative regression and bootstrap procedures are presented. Several case studies are summarized, to illustrate the three types of situations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherOperations research
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • Statistical methods
  • simulation models


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