Chapter V. Verification and Validation

Note: This is an excerpt from a draft of my thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior. The introduction and table of contents are also available

Chapter V. Verification and Validation

5.1 Verification and Validation

In order for the simulation to be a useful explanation of the behavior of nations, users need to feel confident in the model. The model should either work and be proven correct, or it must be shown that it is inadequate so future corrections can be made. Verification and validation techniques are the tools used to achieve this goal, and they are explained below.

In 2000, Sargent defined three basic tests for determining the accuracy of a simulation model, which may be approached in two ways. The three tests are judgments by the designers, independent verification and validation (IVV), and scoring. Designer judgment is the most popular test, though it relies on iterative design and having experts work closely with the rest of the team. IVV is also heavily expert based. It relies on judges who are “independent of both the model development team and the model sponsor/user(s).” Scoring uses subjectively determined weights to give objective solutions. Throughout this section, “objective” or “objectively” will be defined as “using some type of statistical test of procedure,” a definition Sargent pioneered in 1994. “Subjective” or “subjectively” will mean not objective or not objectively.

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