Model Decomposition and Simulation: A Component Based Qualitative Simulation Algorithm

Daniel J. Clancy, Benjamin Kuipers

Traditionally, qualitative simulation uses a global, state-based representation to describe the behavior of the modeled system. For larger, more complex systems this representation proves extremely inefficient since it provides a complete temporal ordering of all potential distinctions leading to a large, complex behavioral description that obscures relevant distinctions, or even fails to terminate. The model decomposition and simulation algorithm (DecSIM) uses a divide and conquer approach to qualitative simulation. Variables within the system are partitioned into components. Each component is viewed as a separate system and is simulated using a state-based representation limited to the variables within the component. Interactions between components are reasoned about separately. DecSIM provides a promising paradigm for qualitative simulation whose complexity is driven by the complexity of the problem specification rather than the inference mechanism used.

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