How accurate are my results?

Below are some suggestions for how to check your results, balance speed and accuracy, and avoid making incorrect assumptions.

There are a number of general areas in which errors can occur both inside and outside of the simulation software:

  • Does your mental conception of the boundary conditions and governing physical equations match your physical system?
  • Is the input you provide into the software an accurate approximation of your conception?
  • Are the mathematical equations used in the software valid for your input?
  • Is the software calculating those equations accurately?
  • Are you interpreting the results generated by the software correctly?

The accuracy of a simulation depends on many factors. Some important factors specific to SIMION include the trajectory quality (T.Qual), PA grid cell size, and convergence objective voltage used in Refine. If you improve the accuracy of a single factor (e.g. increasing T.Qual) and the results don’t change significantly, then there was not really a need to increase the accuracy of that factor. It shouldn’t hurt but may significantly slow down the simulation. However, even if the calculation accuracy is super accurate, the results are meaningless if the simulation is not describing the actual system and its physics (simulators don’t think for you).


This page is abridged from the full SIMION 8.1.1 "Supplemental Documentation" (Help file). The following additional sections can be found in the full version of this page accessible via the "Help > Supplemental Documentation" menu in SIMION 8.1.1:
  • Guidelines
  • Accuracy Trade-offs
  • Step-by-Step
  • Error Bars