Department of Computer Science

Course director: M. Mandelbaum
Implementation details

COSC 3418.03 Simulation of Continuous Systems

Section M  Winter       Thu 19:00-22:00
This is an Atkinson course. Students may complete this course for Arts or Science credit. It may have an examination time which is not posted in the regular examination schedule.
Simulation is a technique for dealing with problems that do not admit exact (or "analytic") solutions via mathematical analysis. A model of the system to be studied is constructed, and then the model is run to see how it performs, either to predict how the system will behave, or, if the behaviour of the system is known, to test the validity of the model of the system. A computer is a tool for supporting a large amount of activity in the running of the model.

A "continuous system" may either be presumed to be inherently continuous or it may, at a fine enough scale, be actually composed of discrete events. However, in simulation, a "continuous system" is one for which the model, due to practical necessity, is described by continuous variables regardless of its physical structure. However, the running of a continuous model involves, also of necessity, discrete steps. Thus central to continuous system simulation is the problem of approximation. (For simulation of discrete systems see COSC 3408.03)

Examples of continuous systems studied by simulation include dynamic systems involving very fine variations or large populations. Major sub-topics include chaotic behaviour, the numerical solution of differential equations by finite methods, and related issues of stability and errors.

Texts: t.b.a.

Prerequisites: general prerequisites; MATH2560.03.