Modeling is a way to create a virtual representation of a real-world system that includes software and hardware. If the software components of this model are driven by mathematical relationships, you can simulate this virtual representation under a wide range of conditions to see how it behaves.
Modeling and simulation are especially valuable for testing conditions that might be difficult to reproduce with hardware prototypes alone, especially in the early phase of the design process when hardware may not be available. Iterating between modeling and simulation can improve the quality of the system design early, thereby reducing the number of errors found later in the design process.
Common representations for system models include block diagrams, schematics, and state diagrams. Using these representations you can model mechatronic systems, control software, signal processing algorithms, and communications systems. To learn more about modeling and simulation with block diagrams, see Simulink®.