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Keywords:

  • modeling and simulation;
  • verification & validation

This article proposes a Modeling and Simulation (M&S) formalism using Model Theory. The article departs from the premise that M&S is the science that studies the nature of truth using models and simulations. Truth in models and simulations is relative as they seek to answer specific modeling questions. Consequently, truth in M&S is relative because every model is a purposeful abstraction of reality. We use Model Theory to express the proposed formalism because it is built from the premise that truth is relative. The proposed formalism allows us to: (1) deduce formal definitions and explanations of areas of study in M&S, including conceptual modeling, validity, and interoperability, and (2) gain insight into which tools can be used to semi-automate validation and interoperation processes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity 19: 56–63, 2014