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Computer simulation is often used to estimate the bit error rate (BER) performance of digital communication systems. There are a number of distinct techniques in the simulation context that can be used to construct this estimate. A tutorial exposition of such techniques is provided, with particular reference to five specific methods which can be implemented in a simulation. These methods range from the traditional Monte Carlo trials to assumption of definite forms for the noise statistics. An attempt is made to show how these methods are related, and the specific assumptions that are invoked in order to apply them.