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Use of simulated data in testing can be motivated by the formal notion of software validation, the direct comparative analysis of algorithms or even as an exploratory technique when prototyping experimental design. Though performance on real data is the ultimate arbiter of analytical value, few researchers would have the time and financial resources to commit to its generation purely for software testing. Simulation-driven development and testing has proven to be a highly cost effective and time efficient approach. It offers the possibility to explore data characteristics as a near continuum and subject software to a previously unavailable degree of testing thoroughness.
(DeMaere et al., 2017) Sim3C: simulation of Hi-C and Meta3C proximity ligation sequencing technologies. Gigascience.