MATLAB /Simulink Fundamental question

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Robbo on 1 Aug 2011
Hey guys - just wondering, what is the best way to model a given system ? I understand matlab code may look messy and hard to follow, especially for a big model but my gut feeling is that it would run faster than a simulink equivalent (I've tested this with a dummy model).
What do you guys think ? Is there a particular set of factors that are key in making a decision as to whether a system should be modelled in matlab or simulink ? Any thoughts appreciated !
Many thanks B

Accepted Answer

Fangjun Jiang
Fangjun Jiang on 1 Aug 2011
I would think it dependents on the nature of your system. MATLAB is best for solving matrix problem. Simulink is best for solving differential equations. In many cases, both can be used to solve both types of problems. Personally, I prefer Simulink if differential equations are involved. Simulink obviously has better visual effect.

More Answers (2)

Kaustubha Govind
Kaustubha Govind on 1 Aug 2011
Regarding speed of execution - it really depends on your solution. If your MATLAB code relies on the JIT/Accelerator, it will in most cases run faster than a Simulink equivalent. However, note that Simulink provides the Accelerator and Rapid Accelerator simulation modes which could in some cases run faster than MATLAB code, since they generate and execute C code and don't use the MATLAB interpreter.
Kaustubha Govind
Kaustubha Govind on 2 Aug 2011
FYI: Starting in R2011a, a new product called MATLAB Coder ( can be used to generate code from a limited subset of the MATLAB language.
Another clarification: The MATLAB JIT/Accelerator is enabled by default, it's not opt-in, like Simulink.

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Arnaud Miege
Arnaud Miege on 1 Aug 2011
There are also a range of dedicated physical modelling tools for Simulink that allow you to model complex multi-domain physical systems.


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