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Modeling & Simulation

An Introduction
After some consideration regarding a meaningful way of putting System, Model, and Simulation in an appropriate perspective I arrived at the following distinction. System A system exists and operates in time and space. Model A model is a simplified representation of a system at some particular point in time or space intended to promote understanding of the real system. Simulation A simulation is the manipulation of a model in such a way that it operates on time or space to compress it, thus enabling one to perceive the interactions that would not otherwise be apparent because of their separation in time or space. Modeling and Simulation is a discipline for developing a level of understanding of the interaction of the parts of a system, and of the system as a whole. The level of understanding which may be developed via this discipline is seldom achievable via any other discipline. A system is understood to be an entity which maintains its existence through the interaction of its parts. A model is a simplified representation of the actual system intended to promote understanding. Whether a model is a good model or not depends on the extent to which it promotes understanding. Since all models are simplifications of reality there is always a trade-off as to what level of detail is included in the model. If too little detail is included in the model one runs the risk of missing relevant interactions and the resultant model does not promote understanding. If too much detail is included in the model the model may become overly complicated and actually preclude the development of understanding. One simply cannot develop all models in the context of the entire universe, of course unless you name is Carl Sagan. A simulation generally refers to a computerized version of the model which is run over time to study the implications of the defined interactions. Simulations are generally iterative in there development. One develops a model, simulates it, learns from the simulation, revises the model, and continues the iterations until an adequate level of understanding is developed. Modeling and Simulation is a discipline, it is also very much an art form. One can learn about riding a bicycle from reading a book. To really learn to ride a bicycle one must become actively engaged with a bicycle. Modeling and Simulation follows much the same reality. You can learn much about modeling and simulation from reading books and talking with other people. Skill and talent in developing models and performing simulations is only developed through the building of models and simulating them. It's very much a learn as you go process. From the interaction of the developer and the models emerges an understanding of what makes sense and what doesn't. I am repeatedly amazed at the ability of my models to point out my own ignorance. Through the activity of developing the model and then simulating it, the simulation says, "Based on your model and your set of assumptions, reality is absurd!" Often times the model is grossly incorrect, and other times the model

produces great leaps in my understanding of how things actually work, and, quite often contrary to common sense. It is an amazingly wonderful journey my models and I are undertaking. Peter Senge, in "The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization" talks about two types of complexity, detail and dynamic. Detail complexity is associated with systems which have many component parts. Dynamic complexity is associated with systems which have cause and effect separated by time and or space. The understanding is that it is dynamic complexity that we have great difficulty dealing with because we are unable to readily see the connections between the parts of the system and their interactions. One of the great values of simulation is its ability to effect a time and space compression on the system, essentially allowing one to perceive, in a matter of minutes, interactions that would normally unfold over very lengthy time periods. This is probably best demonstrated by an example. The following example is an elaboration of one of the introductory models in the ithink documentation from isee Systems. Consider a consulting company which has 120 employees. These 120 employees are composed of 60 rookies and 60 professionals. The company wishes to maintain the total number of employees at 120 so it hires a new rookie for each professional who quits. Rookies don't quit! Professionals quit at a rate of 10 per month and it takes 6 months to develop a professional from a rookie. Additionally, the company bills out rookies at $10k/month and professionals at $15k/month. All 120 employees are fully applied (I know it's a pipe dream). An ithink model for this system might look like the following:

If you run this model you find it exists in essentially a steady state, and is about as exciting as watching paint dry!

Now, in the 10th month the company notices its revenue has dropped from $1.5m/month to $1.35m/month and it wonders what has happened. And where do you think it looks for the problem? All around the 10th month of course. And what does it find? The company finds that it still has 120 employees, yet there are

now 30 professionals and 90 rookies. A most puzzling situation! As it turns out, there was an organizational policy change made in month 3 which seemed to annoy professionals more than in the past, and the quit rate jumped from 10 to 15 professionals a month. The system, with it's built in hiring rule, essentially an auto pilot no thought action, hired one rookie for each professional that quit. What this one time transition in quit rate actually did was set off a 6 month transition within the organization leading to a new equilibrium state with 30 professionals and 90 rookies. The following graph represents this transition.

Thus, one of the real benefits of modeling and simulation is its ability to accomplish a time and space compression between the interrelationships within a system. This brings into view the results of interactions that would normally escape us because they are not closely related in time and space. Modeling and simulation can provide a way of understanding dynamic complexity! The model used for this example was done in ithink. [modsimrp.zip, 2k]

Introduction to Simulation - Presentation Transcript


1. 2. INTRODUCTION TO SIMULATION WHAT IS SIMULATION? The imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time Most widely used tool (along LP) for decision making Usually on a computer with appropriate software An analysis (descriptive) tool can answer what if questions A synthesis (prescriptive) tool if complemented by other tools Applied to complex systems that are impossible to solve mathematically This course focuses on one form of simulation modelling discrete-event simulation modelling. APPLICATIONS Systems facility or process, actual or planned Examples Manufacturing facility Bank operation Airport operations (passengers, security, planes, crews, baggage) Transportation/logistics/distribution operation Hospital facilities (emergency room, operating room, admissions) Computer network

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Freeway system Business process (insurance office) Criminal justice system Chemical plant Fast-food restaurant Supermarket Theme park Emergency-response system

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SYSTEM A set of interacting components or entities operating together to achieve a common goal or objective. Examples: A manufacturing system with its machine centers, inventories, conveyor belts, production schedule, items produced. A telecommunication system with its messages, communication network servers. A theme park with rides, workers,

REAL WORLD SYSTEMS OF INTEREST ARE HIGHLY COMPLEX!!! WHY & HOW TO STUDY A SYSTEM System Experiment with the actual system Experiment with a mathematical model of the system Mathematical Analysis Simulation Measure/estimate performance Improve operation Prepare for failures IE 325 IE 202 IE 303 IE 324 Experiment with a physical model of the system 6. MATHEMATICAL MODEL o An abstract and simplified representation of a system o Specifies Important components Assumptions/approximations about how the system works o Not an exact re-creation of the original system! o If model is simple enough, study it with Queueing Theory, Linear Programming, Differential Equations... o If model is complex, Simulation is the only way!!! 7. GETTING ANSWERS FROM MODELS MODEL o Operating Policies o Single queue, parallel servers o FIFO o Input Parameters o No of servers o Inter-arrival Time Distribution o Service Time Distributions o Output Parameters o Waiting Times o System Size o Utilizations (X) (Y) Y = f (X) ACTUAL SYSTEM 8. STOCHASTIC MODELS Randomness or uncertainty is inherent Example: Bank with customers and tellers 5.

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ACTUAL SYSTEM IE325 QUEUEING MODEL 9. CLASSIFICATION OF SIMULATION MODELS Static (Monte Carlo) Dynamic Systems Represents the system at a particular point in time IID observations Represents the system behaviour over time Continuous Simulation: (Stochastic) Differential Equations Discrete Event Simulation: System quantities (state variables) change with events Estimation of Risk Analysis in Business

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Water Level in a Dam Queueing Systems Inventory Systems 10. HOW TO SIMULATE o By hand Buffon Needle and Cross Experiments (see Kelton et al.) o Spreadsheets o Programming in General Purpose Languages Java o Simulation Languages SIMAN o Simulation Packages Arena o Issue: Modeling Flexibility vs. Ease of Use 11. ADVANTAGES OF SIMULATION o When mathematical analysis methods are not available, simulation may be the only investigation tool o When mathematical analysis methods are available, but are so complex that simulation may provide a simpler solution o Allows comparisons of alternative designs or alternative operating policies o Allows time compression or expansion 12. DISADVANTAGES OF SIMULATION o For a stochastic model, simulation estimates the output while an analytical solution, if available, produces the exact output o Often expensive and time consuming to develop o An invalid model may result with confidence in wrong results. 13. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 14. PROBLEM FORMULATION o A statement of the problem the problem is clearly understood by the simulation analyst the formulation is clearly understood by the client 15. SETTING OF OBJECTIVES & PROJECT PLAN o Project Proposal o Determine the questions that are to be answered o Identify scenarios to be investigated o Decision criteria o Determine the end-user o Determine data requirements o Determine hardware, software, & personnel requirements o Prepare a time plan o Cost plan and billing procedure 16. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 17. MODEL CONCEPTUALIZATION Assumed system Conceptual model Real World System Logical model 18. CONCEPTUAL MODEL o Abstract essential features Events, activities, entities, attributes, resources, variables, and their relationships Performance measures Data requirements o Select correct level of details (assumptions) 19. LEVELS OF DETAIL o Low levels of detail may result in lost of information and goals cannot be accomplished o High levels of detail require: more time and effort longer simulation runs more likely to contain errors 20. Accuracy of the model Scope & level of details Scope & level of details Cost of model 21. COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM o Entity : is an object of interest in the system

Dynamic objects get created, move around, change status, affect and are affected by other entities, leave (maybe) Usually have multiple realizations floating around Can have different types of entities concurrently Example: Health Center Patients Visitors 22. COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM Attribute : is a characteristic of all entities, but with a specific value local to the entity that can differ from one entity to another .

Example: Patient Type of illness, Age, Sex, Temperature, Blood Pressure 23. COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM Resources : what entities compete for Entity seizes a resource, uses it, releases it Think of a resource being assigned to an entity , rather than an entity belonging to a resource A resource can have several units of capacity which can be changed during the simulation

Example: Health Center Doctors, Nurses X-Ray Equipment 24. COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM Variable : A piece of information that reflects some characteristic of the whole system, not of specific entities Entities can access, change some variables

Example: Health Center Number of patients in the system, Number of idle doctors, Current time 25.

State : A collection of variables that contains all the information necessary to describe the system at any time

COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM Example: Health Center {Number of patients in the system, Status of doctors (busy or idle), Number of idle doctors, Status of Lab equipment, etc} 26.

Event : An instantaneous occurrence that changes the state of the system

COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM Example: Health Centre Arrival of a new patient, Completion of service (i.e., examination) Failure of medical equipment, etc. 27. COMPONENTS OF A SYSTEM Activity : represents a time period of specified length.

Example: Health Center Surgery, Checking temperature, X-Ray. 28. LOGICAL (FLOWCHART) MODEL Shows the logical relationships among the elements of the model

Q(t)> 0 ? 3 YES NO 2 Departure event Q(t)=Q(t)-1 B(t)=0 Generate service & schedule new departure Collect & update statistics TB, TQ, TL, N L(t)=L(t)-1 L : # of entities in system Q : # of entities in queue B : # of entities in server 29. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 30. DATA COLLECTION & ANALYSIS o Collect data for input analysis and validation o Analysis of the data Determine the random variables Fit distribution functions

31. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 32. MODEL TRANSLATION o Simulation model executes the logic contained in the flow-chart model Coding General Purpose Language Special Purpose Simulation Language/Software JAVA, C++, Visual BASIC Examples: SIMAN, ARENA, EXTEND Examples: 33. ARENA EXAMPLE 34. JAVA EXAMPLE o public static void main( String argv[]) o { o Initialization(); o //Loop until first &quot;TotalCustomers&quot; have departed o while (NumberofDepartures < TotalCustomers) o { o Event evt = FutureEventList[0]; //get imminent event o removefromFEL(); //be rid of it o Clock = evt.get_time(); //advance in time o if (evt.get_type() == arrival) ProcessArrival(); o else ProcessDeparture(); o } o ReportGeneration(); o } 35. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 36. VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION o Verification : the process of determining if the operational logic is correct. Debugging the simulation software o Validation : the process of determining if the model accurately represents the system. Comparison of model results with collected data from the real system 37. VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION Conceptual model Logical model Simulation model Real World System VERIFICATION VALIDATION 38. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 39. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN o Alternative scenarios to be simulated o Type of output data analysis (steady-state vs. terminating simulation analysis) o Number of simulation runs o Length of each run o The manner of initialization o Variance reduction 40. ANALYSIS OF RESULTS o Statistical tests for significance and ranking Point Estimation Confidence-Interval Estimation o Interpretation of results o More runs? 41. STEPS IN A SIMULATION STUDY Problem formulation Setting of objectives and overall project plan Model conceptualization Data collection Model translation Verified? No Validated? No No Experimental Design Production runs and analysis More runs? Documentation and reporting No Implementation Yes Yes Yes Yes 42. DOCUMENTATION & REPORTING o Program Documentation Allows future modifications Creates confidence o Progress Reports Frequent reports (e.g. monthly) are suggested Alternative scenarios

Performance measures or criteria used Results of experiments Recommendations 43. IMPLEMENTATION FAILURE SUCCESS ?