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Monte Carlo Simulation

18. August 2023
4 minutes reading


Monte Carlo is a computational technique used to simulate and analyze complex systems to understand the impact of risk and uncertainty.

It provides a way to estimate the possible outcomes of a problem by repeatedly sampling random variables within a defined range and calculating the results based on these samples.

A Monte Carlo simulation is used to tackle a range of problems in various fields including investing, business, physics, and of course engineering.

It is also referred to as a multiple probability simulation.

Fun fact, the Monte Carlo method is from the famous Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco, as the technique relies on the random use of numbers to simulate various outcomes – much like a game of chance.

It was first introduced during the Manhattan Project in the 1940s to study the behavior of neutron diffusion, and since then, it has found numerous applications in various fields.

Purpose of Monte Carlo simulation

Monte Carlo Simulation is a model used to predict the probability of various outcomes when the potential for random variables is present.


When confronted with substantial uncertainty while making a forecast or estimation, certain methods substitute the uncertain variable with a single average value.

In contrast, the Monte Carlo Simulation adopts a different approach by utilizing multiple values and subsequently averaging the outcomes.

In addition, it has a vast array of applications in fields that are plagued by random variables, notably engineering and RF technology.

For example, telecoms use the method to assess network performance in different scenarios, so they can optimize their networks based on the insights gained.

Here is how Monte Carlo is applied in RF engineering:

  • Signal propagation:
    RF signals and antennas are sensitive to their surroundings.

    They can be influenced by factors like path loss, fading, interference, and multipath effects.

    Monte Carlo simulations can be used to model and analyze the propagation of signals in different scenarios, considering the randomness and uncertainty associated with these factors.

    By simulating numerous signal paths and their variations, engineers can:
    • estimate the average signal strength,
    • identify areas of potential signal degradation or coverage gaps,
    • and optimize antenna placement and system configuration.
  • System performance:
    Being able to assess the overall performance of your RF system is very valuable.

    Here, Monte Carlo Simulation is an obvious method to utilize as it involves considering uncertainties in parameters such as transmitter power, receiver sensitivity, noise levels, and system bandwidth.

    By simulating these variables with random values within their defined ranges, engineers can obtain statistical data on key performance metrics like SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio), BER (Bit Error Rate), or throughput.

    These insights help to evaluate system reliability, optimize system design, and make informed decisions on parameters such as:
    • transmission power,
    • modulation schemes,
    • or channel coding techniques.
  • Link budget analysis
    RF link budget analysis is crucial for determining the feasibility and quality of wireless communication links.

    It involves analyzing the power budget by considering gains, losses, and other factors affecting signal strength.

    Monte Carlo simulations can account for uncertainties in link parameters like antenna characteristics, cable losses, and atmospheric conditions.

    Additionally, making it possible to optimize the link budget to ensure reliable and efficient communication.
  • Interference analysis
    Interference is a common challenge in RF systems, especially in crowded environments, like a city, where multiple devices and networks coexist.

    In this scenario, simulations can be employed to analyze the impact of interference from various sources like neighboring networks, adjacent channels, or other RF devices.

    By considering interference’s probabilistic nature, engineers can assess its impact on system performance, design mitigation techniques, and optimize system parameters such as:
    • frequency allocation,
    • power control,
    • or antenna isolation.


The general process of Monte Carlo simulation involves the following steps:

  1. Define the problem:
    Clearly specify the system or process you want to analyze, along with the variables involved and their respective ranges or distributions.
  2. Generate random samples:
    Randomly generate values for each variable according to its specified distribution or range.

    This is typically done using a pseudorandom number generator.
  3. Perform calculations:
    Thereafter, use the generated samples as inputs to the simulation of the system and calculate the desired output.

    This step may involve running the model or simulation multiple times for each set of samples.
  4. Repeat and accumulate results:
    Repeat steps 2 and 3 many times (often thousands or millions) to generate enough samples.

    Collect and store the results of each run.
  5. Analyze results:
    Examine the collected results to understand the statistical distribution of the outcomes.

    This can involve calculating summary statistics such as the mean, standard deviation, and percentiles, or constructing probability distributions.


Monte Carlo simulations are utilized to forecast the probabilities of various outcomes in situations involving random variables.

These simulations provide insights into the effects of risk and uncertainty in prediction and forecasting models.

To perform a Monte Carlo simulation, multiple values are assigned to uncertain variables to generate a range of results. These results are then averaged to obtain an estimated outcome.

By repeating the process with different random samples, you can obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the system’s behavior and make informed decisions or evaluations based on the analyzed data.

It is important to note that Monte Carlo simulations generally assume the presence of a worst- and best-case scenario based on your desired result.

Overall, Monte Carlo simulation provides a powerful tool for engineers to evaluate the performance of electronic systems and make data-driven decisions in the face of uncertainty and random variables.

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