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The complexity of technical systems that need to be designed and researched is gradually increasing. In order to be competitive and to satisfy the demands of the market, thorough analyses and early risk assessment of the systems are required. System investigation might involve some changes that might entail the redesigning or even redeveloping of some parts of the system. Modifications are usually expensive, time consuming and risky. Consequently, there is a need for methods that examine the possible effects of the modifications before investing in the alteration of the system. There are four methods that are used to study the behavior of a system: simulation, emulation, real-time control and prototyping. In this paper we discuss an approach for a distributed architecture that supports these four testing methods and the interaction between them.