What does a Computer Simulation prove? The case of plant modeling at CIRAD

In N. Giambiasi & C. Frydman (eds.), Simulation in industry - ESS 2001, Proc. of the 13th European Simulation Symposium. Society for Computer Simulation (SCS) (2001)
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The credibility of digital computer simulations has always been a problem. Today, through the debate on verification and validation, it has become a key issue. I will review the existing theses on that question. I will show that, due to the role of epistemological beliefs in science, no general agreement can be found on this matter. Hence, the complexity of the construction of sciences must be acknowledged. I illustrate these claims with a recent historical example. Finally I temperate this diversity by insisting on recent trends in environmental sciences and in industrial sciences.
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