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What is Computer Modeling?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

Computer modeling is the process of creating an abstract model to simulate the behavior and response of a wide range of systems and prototypes. This technology is used in the physical sciences, medicine, and architecture as an aide to the design process. The quality of computer modeling software programs has increased significantly in the past few years.

There are three primary aspects to any computer modeling program: processing power, multiple dimensions, and simulation logic. While this type of technology has been used for many years in academic circles, the decrease in computer processing costs has increased the popularity of this type of tool in industry. Computer modeling software typically requires significant memory, processors, and capacity. It is common to create multiple versions of a potential solution, all of which must be saved for review.

Computer modeling is often used to help design skyscrapers.
Computer modeling is often used to help design skyscrapers.

Modeling in three dimensions is a standard requirement in engineering, architecture, and medicine. The accuracy of the model is greatly enhanced by this functionality and may provide valuable insights into the risks and benefits of the model. The skills required to use this type of software include data management, design, and advanced programming logic. It is important to note that the software programs assume that the user is a skilled professional in his or her discipline.

There are different simulation logic queries provided in every program. Templates are used for common situations and vary based on the primary audience of the software. For example, an architecture computer modeling program will have templates for new buildings, residential properties, and structural designs. Some programs include additional features, such as creation of detailed schematics from the model.

One of the great advantages of computer modeling is the ability to test multiple scenarios and designs fairly quickly. A computer program can take an existing model and make minor or major modifications. These changes allow the designer to explore other options, try out new ideas, and test theories. Without a computer model, each concept would need to be built from scratch, requiring a significant amount of time, effort, and energy.

When looking to select a computer modeling software program, take the time to review the detailed specifications. This information provides valuable information on how the program will work, the limitations, and benefits of each package. Think about how you want to use the software and make sure all your core requirements are met. In addition, think about future expansion plans and make sure the tools are available to support those plans.

Discussion Comments


My first exposure to 3d computer modeling was in 3d animation. It’s amazing how you can use 3d graphics software to model everyday objects, using primitives like spheres, cubes, and so forth. It takes a lot of patience but it is well worth the effort.

You wind up with a stock inventory of reusable objects that you can use over and over again, saving you time and opening up a whole world of possibilities. My early animations were simple, but evolved as I became better at modeling and designing my objects.


Meteorologists use simulation modeling a lot when looking at current weather patterns. Despite the success of these tools in tracking likely shifts in weather patterns that are taking place at the moment, like a storm for example, I don’t think they’re very good in predicting what the weather will be like in the next 10 days or so—much less further out than that, as with global warming estimates for the year.

Of course, weather requires a lot of variables that are constantly changing. I think computer modeling is best for “closed systems,” as engineers like to say, where you have everything you need in one place without stuff constantly changing.


Computer models play a big role in what business people call business intelligence software. These programs on the surface look like sophisticated reporting tools, but they are so much more. They allow analysts to consider a variety of what-if business scenarios using different data models.

They allow the user to mine data, extract useful information based on past trends, and even make forecasts based on the current models. Basically they allow you to look at your data from every dimension imaginable. Sales people especially love to use these software tools for their predictive capabilities. It enables them to set and track realistic sales goals.

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    • Computer modeling is often used to help design skyscrapers.
      By: The Photos
      Computer modeling is often used to help design skyscrapers.