Model development in discrete-event simulation and system dynamics: an empirical study of expert modellers

2012-04-03T14:20:50Z (GMT) by Antuela A. Tako Stewart Robinson
An empirical study comparing the model development process followed by experts in discrete-event simulation (DES) and system dynamics (SD) modelling is undertaken. verbal protocol analysis (VPA) is used to study the modelling process followed by ten expert modellers (5 SD and 5 DES). Participants are asked to build simulation models based on a case study and to think aloud while modelling. The generated verbal protocols are divided into seven modelling topics: problem structuring, conceptual modelling, data inputs, model coding, verification & validation, results & experimentation and implementation and then analyzed. Our results suggest that all modellers switch between modelling topics, however DES modellers follow a more linear progression. DES modellers focus significantly more on model coding and verification & validation, whereas SD modellers on conceptual modelling. Observations are made revealing some interesting differences in the way the two groups of modellers tackle the case. This paper contributes towards the comparison of DES and SD.