After successful completion of the course, the student is able to:
- explain the principles of discrete event simulation;
- describe the steps to be taken when conducting a simulation study focused on improvement of operations systems (logistics systems and business processes);
- judge whether simulation can be a useful technique to analyse certain operations systems (when to use and when not to use);
- design a simulation model for a given operations system;
- implement this model in an advanced simulation tool (currently Plant Simulation);
- verify the model and examine its validity;
- define input and analyse output of a simulation model;
- design and conduct a structured set of simulation experiments;
- combine simulation with optimization;
- write a well-structured project report on a simulation study.
Simulation is the process of designing a model of a system and conducting experiments with this model for the purpose either of understanding the behaviour of the system or of evaluating various strategies (within the limits imposed by a criterion or set of criteria) for the operation of the system. The course consists of a theoretical part (1/4) and a practical part (3/4). For the practical part, we use advanced simulation software to implement simulation models and, as an examination, to carry out a small but realistic simulation project. Besides, the course contains three small assignments to get acquainted with the principles of simulation and to learn working with the simulation software.
- Basic principles of simulation.
- Advantages and drawbacks of simulation.
- Basic concepts (event control, random number generation).
- Structure of a simulation study and the use of dedicated simulation software.
- Simulation model construction, model verification and validation.
- Input analysis for simulation models.
- Output analysis of simulation models.
- Variance reduction.
- Experimental design.
- Simulation-based optimization.
The final grade is composed of 2 partial grades:
- Grade of a multiple choice exam (25%)
- Grade for a final assignment (75%)
Final grade is only given when the 2 grades are greater than or equal to 5. Moreover, the course has three intermediate assignments that have to be passed (judged sufficient) before a final grade can be given.
The multiple choice exam takes place halfway the quartile, but these grades will not be send to the examinations office as they are only partial grades. Attempt 1 for the final grade is given after the final assignment has been assessed. Attempt 2 and possibly attempt 3 are used for students that need to do a 2nd chance for the exam or for the final assignment.
Exam (25%) and assignment (75%).