Modelling without queues: adapting discrete-event simulation for service operations

2015-02-27T14:06:55Z (GMT) by Stewart Robinson
Discrete-event simulation (DES), which has largely grown out of modelling manufacturing systems, has increasingly been applied in the service sector. The approach, however, is not always appropriate for modelling service operations. In particular, it cannot help with detailed decisions about the layout of service operations in which the customers are present such as retail outlets and airports. An adapted DES approach is proposed for modelling such systems and the approach is demonstrated through a model of a coffee shop. A key innovation is that queues are not explicitly modelled. The benefit of the approach is that it simplifies the modelling of service systems in which the customers are present by reducing the number of components that need to be modelled. It can also aid decisions about the layout of a system. We ask whether the approach is in fact an agent-based simulation and identify ways in which the approach could be extended.