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Simulation Models

Simulation models predict the evolution of states of a system, usually over time. Most process models are implemented as simulation models. However, a simulation model is not necessarily a process model. For example, a model to simulate growth of a forest stand over time might completely ignore all the biophysical details, and simply empirically predict changes in height and basal area as a function of time. Particularly in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, FORTRAN was the pre-eminent programming language for implementing simulation models. However, since about 1990 object-oriented languages such as C++, Java, and most recently .Net, have become increasingly popular for implementing simulation models. In addition, there are a handful of highly specialized simulation languages (often object oriented) that have become popular for implementing process models.

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