Web-based simulation (WBS) is the invocation of computer simulation services over the World Wide Web, specifically through a web browser. Increasingly, the web is being looked upon as an environment for providing modeling and simulation applications, and as such, is an emerging area of investigation within the simulation community.
In medical education, nurse education and allied health education (like sonographer training), web-based simulations can be used for learning and practicing clinical healthcare procedures. Web-based procedural simulations emphasize the cognitive elements such as the steps of the procedure, the decisions, the tools/devices to be used, and the correct anatomical location.
Web-based simulation can take place either on the server side or on the client side. In server-side simulation, the numerical calculations and visualization (generation of plots and other computer graphics) is carried out on the web server, while the interactive graphical user interface (GUI) often partly is provided by the client-side, for example using server-side scripting such as PHP or CGI scripts, interactive services based on Ajax or a conventional application software remotely accessed through a VNC Java applet.
The term on-line simulation sometimes refers to server-side web-based simulation, sometimes to symbiotic simulation, i.e. a simulation that interacts in real-time with a physical system.
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