Quality Assurance in Business Simulation Design


  • Jeremy J. S. B. Hall


This paper explores the elements of business simulations that impact software (model) quality rather than learning quality. The exploration draws on the computer software knowledge base and extends this to take into account the special characteristics of business simulation software. Business simulation design is a creative art where the simulation models are complex and where the users are extremely wide ranging with limited knowledge of the simulation software and are commonly very emotionally involved - issues that necessitate a high level of software quality. Business simulation model complexity is explored in terms of model size, arithmetic calculations, cyclomatics, structure and dynamics. Error types are those normally associated with software (syntax, run-time and logical) and require testing using of black-box (functional) testing, white-box (structural) testing, code inspection and, in additional, for business simulations structural and dynamic testing. But, as quality cannot be tested into the simulation, Total Quality Management is vital and explored in terms of methodology, software structure, modelling language, defensive programming, refactoring, documentation and verification support