Discrete Event Simulation Explained

With discrete event simulation, the operation of the systemis typically presented chronologically, based on a specific time frame. Eachevent that occurs in the system is reflected by a change in the results. There isa variety of methods for creating this type of simulation, where the results canbe studied and used as the basis for strategic decisions.


There are a large number ofindustries and processes where discrete event simulation is successfully applied. Some of these industries includemanufacturing, business process re-engineering, heavy metals, mining, variousprocesses in airports, logistics, healthcare, and more. Simulation can be used to:test how well assembly lines perform; determine the efficiency of lineoperators; and determine the result of an unexpected equipment failure orresource shortage. For every actionthere is a reaction; simulation can help to determine the sequence of actionswhich is causing an undesired reaction.

Turning to an outside company can help your businessidentify problems in work flow, design, throughput and more. In the past these problems were examinedmanually, and through static analysis. Suchmethods resulted in many hours of work and left room for potential error. Companieslike Visual8 Simulation Solutions have a wealth of experience in developingDiscrete Event simulation models that can accurately represent your systems.Using state-of-the-art technology and employing experienced simulation modelbuilders will help you to minimize your margin of error through the use ofaccurate time-based analyses.


There is a specific process involved in building a discreteevent simulation model and ensuring a high-quality, validated end-product.First, data should be collected so that accurate inputs can be used to drive thesoftware program. Then a representationof the process is built using a discrete-event package in order to create theentire system flow (e.g. flow of information, product, personnel, etc.). When the model has been validated againsthistorical information then the simulation can be used to run a variety of scenarios. Experiments are conducted to identify potentialimprovements, and to eventually determine the changes required in order to bestimprove the overall process / system.

To determine how much detail is required in developing asimulation, you must consider your overall objective. The level of detail included in your model canalter how the results are analyzed as well as the number of questions you canask and answer using the tool. You also need to consider how comparable thediscrete-event simulation is to real world scenarios when determining the typesof conclusions you make from the results.

Simulations should be run several times for statisticalsignificance, and so that the outcomes of each one can be compared for anycommon denominators. For companies without the skilled resources and time toperform their own discrete event simulations, a company like Visual8Corporation can prove to be a valuable asset.Working together with experienced simulation practitioners can result insignificant efficiency improvements, and cost savings.

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