Case Study: Development and Testing of a Simulation Model of Two Interconnected Vessels

  • David J. Murray-Smith
Part of the Simulation Foundations, Methods and Applications book series (SFMA)


This case study is concerned with the application of verification and validation techniques to a system involving two interconnected tanks of liquid. This involves bench-top equipment used in a teaching laboratory. Key variables of the system are easily accessible for measurements and the application of test input signals is straightforward. The model of the system is presented in full and tests for estimation of some unknown parameters are discussed. Internal verification of the simulation is considered in terms of checking of code or block diagram interconnections, algorithmic checks and also comparisons of simulation results with analytical solutions for steady-state situations. The process of validation is then addressed using graphical methods, techniques based on the use of model distortion, a Genetic Programming method of system identification and the application of inverse simulation. Possible improvements to the basic model are then discussed in the final section of the chapter.


  1. 1.
    Wellstead PE (1981) Coupled tanks apparatus, manual. TecQuipment Ltd., NottinghamGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gong M, Murray-Smith DJ (1998) A practical exercise in simulation model validation. Math Comput Model Dyn Syst 4(1):100–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Murray-Smith DJ (2012) An application of the individual channel analysis and design approach to control of a two-input two-output coupled-tanks system. Acta Polytech 52(4):121–134Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gray GJ, Lew KV, Murray-Smith DJ (1997) Applications of the distortion method for model validation. In: Troch I, Breitenecker F (eds) Proceedings 2nd MATHMOD VIENNA IMACS symposium on mathematical modelling, February 1997. Argesim, Vienna, pp 1033–1038Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gray GJ, Murray-Smith DJ, Li Y et al (1998) Nonlinear model structure identification using genetic programming. Control Eng Pract 6:1341–1352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Murray-Smith DJ, Wong BO (1997) Inverse simulation techniques applied to the external validation of nonlinear dynamic models. In: Luker P (ed) UKSim’97, third conference of the United Kingdom simulation society, Keswick, April 1997. UKSim, Edinburgh, pp 100–104Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Murray-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

Personalised recommendations