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A simulation is any research or development project where researchers or developers create a model of some authentic phenomenon. Many aspects of the natural world can be transformed into mathematical models, and using simulation allows IT systems to mimic the outcomes that happen in the natural world.
Part of the challenge with a simulation is setting the scope of that simulation. Many natural models are extremely complex, for example, meteorological data models or models of the human mind. Researchers are faced with the challenge of choosing the most important factors in order to build an efficient simulation or model.
Although it may sound simple, simulation is central to the idea of artificial intelligence and data modeling, and to the advancement of IT in general. Using languages like XML, IT professionals can explore how physical objects or other elements of the natural world can be rendered in a computer program as virtual objects; for instance, creating a complex system of XML tags, a computer programmer could create a virtual "chair" within a software application. Setting these tags and syntax allows the programmer to create properties for that chair, including measurements, hardness or density of material, cushioning or padding, and placement within a virtual room or space. All of these are at the heart of using technology to analyze and evaluate natural phenomena.