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On Simulating Episodic Events Against a Background of Noise-like Non-episodic Events

Colin Bellinger and John Oommen

The 2010 Summer Computer Simulation Conference (SCSC 10)
Ottawa, Canada, July 11-14, 2010


Simulation, as an art and a science, deals with the issue of allowing the practitioner to model events using their respective probability distributions. Thus, it is customary for simulations to model the behaviour of accidents, telephone calls, network failures etc. In this paper, we consider a relatively new field, namely that of modelling episodic events such as earthquakes, nuclear explosions etc. The difficulty with such a modelling process is that most of the observations appear as noise. However, when the episodic event does occur, its magnitude and features far overshadow the background, as one observes after a seismic event. In this paper, we demonstrate how the effect of an episodic event can be modelled as it propagates through the underlying background noise. Furthermore, we illustrate how the subsequent decay of the event can also be modelled and simulated. In demonstrating this concept, we utilize the exemplar scenario suggested by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and model the propagation and decay of radionuclides, emitted from clandestine, subterranean nuclear detonations, through the background levels resulting from the global nuclear industry.

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