MSCI 512: Computer Simulation
(Phase 2 - Spring Term)
Tutor: Dr Stephan Onggo
Computer simulation methods are amongst the most commonly used approaches within Operational Research and Management Science. The aim of this module is to teach the skills required to apply simulation successfully to help improve the running of an organisation, whether in the public or private sectors, manufacturing or services.
Modern simulation packages are a valuable aid in building a simulation model and this module will employ a widely used and up-to-date discrete event simulation package. However, without the proper approach, the results of a simulation project can be incorrect or misleading. This module looks at each of the tasks required in a simulation project. It emphasises the practical application of simulation, with a good understanding of how a simulation model works being an essential part of this.
By the end of the module you should be able to:
- Understand how discrete event and system dynamics simulation models works
- Understand each of the tasks required for a successful simulation project
- Be able to build a simulation model using a simulation package
- Be able to carry out a simulation project successfully.
Outline Lecture Plan
- Introduction to simulation
- Discrete event simulation & activity cycle diagrams
- The three phase approach
- Random sampling and Input Modelling
- Output analysis
- Introduction to system dynamics and agent-based simulation
- Discrete event simulation using Simul8
- Introduction to system dynamics using Vensim
The module will be taught using a mixture of classroom sessions and workshops. The workshops are an essential part of the module. The workshops in the first part of the module will teach the discrete event software. It is very important to complete the workshop exercises, which may involve additional time outside the workshop sessions. Given the high demands on the computer labs at various times, you should make appropriate plans.
The total workload for the module is expected to be about 80 hours. The lectures and workshops are about 30 hours of this and the workload also includes time to complete workshop material, revise for the test and to complete the coursework assessments.
Closed-book examination (50%)
Group project (50%)
There are many recent books on computer simulation, in particular:
- Law A.M. (2007), Simulation Modelling & Analysis (4th edition). McGraw-Hill International Edition.
- Pidd M. (2004), Computer Simulation in Management Science (5th edition), John Wiley & Sons.
- Robinson S. (2003) Simulation: the practice of model development and use. John Wiley & Sons.
- Morecroft, J. (2007) Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A Feedback System Approach. John Wiley & Sons.
- Proceedings of the Winter Simulation Conference (see the URL below)