Definiton needed: Validation by Simulation

Subject: Definiton needed: Validation by Simulation
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippincott -at- YAHOO -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 13:13:45 -0700

This is mainly aimed towards those of you who might be working in
defense-related tech writing, I'm hopeful that one of you will have
the information at your fingertips.

I'm attempting to set up a system for performing QA checks on tech
pubs at my company. So far, it's working: I got them to buy off on the
plan. I've been moved into the QA department, and it's recognized that
my "full time job" is simply to perform validation and
verification on the manuals. (For those of you not familiar with the
DOD process who are following along, it means that I'm the designated
person to actually perform the technical accuracy checks on the

The process has worked well so far, and management likes it. The tech
writers like it. Everybody seems to like it. (Well, everybody except
my old boss, and that's because all the defects get logged against

Here's my minor snag: I'm writing up an ISO-type document to define my
job responsibilities and the different types of validation. I'm
following the MILSPEC system of validation by demonstration,
simulation, or comparison. As I recall, all three of these are defined
rather nicely in some DOD publications. (USAF TO 00-25-1 keeps coming
to mind, but I'm not quite sure if that's correct.) I've been away
from those specs for too long, though, and I am struggling to remember
definitions. "Demonstration" and "comparison" are coming out easily,
but it's "Validation by simulation" that's giving me some heartburn.

Does anybody out there have the definition either in their head, or
relatively handy, so that you could pass it along to me?

(Again, for those of you not familiar with the process, but are
curious: An example of validation by simulation is when you have a
procedure for replacing a hardware component. The project leaders
won't let you pull the component out of an active system, but you are
allowed to go up to it and stick your nose up next to it, comparing
the procedure to what's sitting in front of you. You check to ensure
all the connectors and attaching hardware is properly documented, and
essentially say "Yep, it looks like this should work as written." Now
how do I write that as a definition?)

Thanks for all help,

Rick Lippincott
Comverse Network Systems
Andover, MA
rlippincott -at- yahoo -dot- com

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