This article illustrates a model selection management approach for virtual prototypes in interactive simulations. In those numerical simulations, the virtual prototype and its environment are modelled as a multiagent system, where every entity (prototype,human, etc.) is modelled as an agent. In particular, virtual prototyp ingagents that provide mathematical models of mechanical behaviour inform of computational methods are considered. This work argues that selection of an appropriate model in a changing environment,supported by models? characteristics, can be managed by the deter-mination a priori of specific exploitation and performance measures of virtual prototype models. As different models exist to represent a single phenomenon, it is not always possible to select the best one under all possible circumstances of the environment. Instead the most appropriate shall be selecting according to the use case. The proposed approach consists in identifying relevant metrics or indicators for each group of models (e.g. entity models, global model), formulate their qualification, analyse the performance, and apply the qualification criteria. Then, a model can be selected based on the performance prediction obtained from its qualification. The authors hope that this approach will not only help to inform engineers and researchers about another approach for selecting virtual prototype models, but also assist virtual prototype engineers in the systematic or automatic model selection.
In a particular case of behavioural model reduction by ANNs, a validity domain shortening has been found. In mechanics, as in other domains, the notion of validity domain allows the engineer to choose a valid model for a particular analysis or simulation. In the study of mechanical behaviour for a cantilever beam (using linear and non-linear models), Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) Backpropagation (BP) networks have been applied as model reduction technique. This reduced model is constructed to be more efficient than the non-reduced model. Within a less extended domain, the ANN reduced model estimates correctly the non-linear response, with a lower computational cost. It has been found that the neural network model is not able to approximate the linear behaviour while it does approximate the non-linear behaviour very well. The details of the case are provided with an example of the cantilever beam behaviour modelling.