Facilitating insight into a simulation model using visualization and dynamic model previews



Model simplification, by replacing iterative steps with unitary predictive equations, can enable dynamic interaction with a complex simulation process. Model previews extend the techniques of dynamic querying and query previews into the context of ad hoc simulation model exploration. A case study is presented within the domain of counter-current chromatography. The relatively novel method of insight evaluation was applied, given the exploratory nature of the task. The evaluation data show that the trade-off in accuracy is far outweighed by benefits of dynamic interaction. The number of insights gained using the enhanced interactive version of the computer model was more than six times higher than the number of insights gained using the basic version of the model. There was also a trend for dynamic interaction to facilitate insights of greater domain importance.