Software features, library additions, content for learning, the community — they all develop rapidly alongside the AnyLogic family of products and 2021 brought great changes for them all. In this review, we’ll catch up with the important updates, content, and news.
Early in the year, we introduced smarter automatic guided vehicles (AGV), new Road Traffic Library features, a new density map function, and an API experiment update for AnyLogic Cloud. You can learn more and test them in these examples.
As AnyLogic continued through its 8.7.x iterations, a focus on the Material Handling Library was highlighted in a developer’s sneak peek and industry demo. Engineers from the AnyLogic team demonstrated new developments for the Material Handling Library and Tata Steel showed how material handling simulation helped increase plant throughput.
Continuing the Material Handling focus, 8.7.7 delivered transporter storage and retrieval updates, and a new element for quickly drawing racks. Altogether, the update made warehouse modeling simpler and quicker.
Those of you following the blog closely, or in attendance at the AnyLogic Conference (more on that later), will be aware that the next major version of AnyLogic is going to elevate simulation modeling to a whole new level. Building on the strengths of AnyLogic multimethod modeling and leveraging the capabilities of AnyLogic Cloud, simulation modeling will be easier and more accessible than ever in AnyLogic 9. The development process is being followed in our AnyLogic 9 blog series and questions from the community were recently answered in our AnyLogic 9 FAQ.
Of course, with all this software development, it is useful to have a little help keeping up with all the features and how they work, such as provided by our how-to video series and courses. This year, those resources are joined by a major update to AnyLogic Help. The initial soft roll-out did not go unnoticed for long, as captured in our New AnyLogic Help highlights blog.
Outside of the regular software releases and help updates, AnyLogic Principal Software Engineer, Nikolay Churkov, invited AnyLogic simulation modelers to join ongoing research into making Python a second native scripting language in AnyLogic. If you’d like to join the testing program and inform development, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The AnyLogic Conference
The AnyLogic Conference returned in 2021 with an experience like never before. World-leading companies and institutions formed a 24-hour program of events that followed the sun around the globe. Accenture, BMW, DHL, GSK, Microsoft, PwC, and more, presented on simulation’s application in industry and commerce. They shared insights and ideas with an audience of 2000 who joined from over 100 countries. You can catch up in our what happened blog and re-watch the presentations on the conference page.
Books, blogs, case studies, and papers
The AnyLogic Conference is a great showcase for applied simulation modeling in industry and academia, but, for the rest of the year, our website is the place to find deep dives into themes, case studies, and white papers. Here are a few content picks from 2021:
- Disaster and Emergency Management Professor Dr. Ali Asgary tackled mass vaccination in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of his work with simulation and AI were applied by public authorities and featured on TV and in the press. You can try the simulation model and find out more from him in our webinar and Q&A blog.
- Automotive manufacturing and heavy industry came into focus in three case study blogs:
- Simulation is used for many different reasons in the automotive industry, from process improvement and automated vehicle optimization, to market research and team formation. To highlight this variety, we gathered case studies of five of the world's leading vehicle manufacturers into our blog How leading automotive producers improve with simulation.
- Focus Group’s CEO, Alexander Demin, presented a detailed and illustrated look at the application of simulation modeling for optimization in the capital-intensive field of mining. Logistics, extraction planning, and operations analysis all feature in his Mining simulation: business cases and example models.
- United Metallurgical Company simulation specialist, Gennady Parshin, shared his experience modeling complex technological processes using the real-world example of a pipe rolling factory. Details of the site, how it was modeled, and aspects of the AnyLogic setup illustrate how simulation modeling helps determine workshop productivity and machine operations in his case study: modeling the work of a pipe-rolling factory.
- A trio of new white papers detail the case for simulation modeling in specific areas. With a holistic view, industry examples, and supporting materials, these papers provide a solid foundation for getting started with AnyLogic simulation modeling in academia, consulting, and material handling.
Last of the content highlights, but by no means least, The Big Book of Simulation Modeling. It is the go-to practical guide to building simulation models. This year saw the latest updates to the famous resource and, though yet available in print, the most up-to-date chapters are available here for download.
A great part of working with AnyLogic software is discovering its community. With a variety that matches the software’s different uses, AnyLogic modelers produce some great content.
The chief resources for keeping up with what is happening are the social media channels of LinkedIn, Twitter and, Facebook. There you will find the latest publications and shared models, as well as questions and answers.
This year, we highlighted a series of models centered on the theme of the environment. You can try out four models created by Clemens Dempers of Polar Analytics Oy in the blog Building environmentally-friendly models.
Asking better questions was the focus of Benjamin Schumann in his How to win at Stack Overflow blog. The post reflects the switch in the online community away from using LinkedIn as a peer resource to asking simulation modeling questions on Stack Overflow. The blog contains eight practical steps to asking better questions that will help you get better answers in any situation.
We have already mentioned the trial of Python as a second scripting language but, for now, Java is the main AnyLogic scripting language. For sure, having some knowledge of the programming language can boost your simulation modeling results. Developing an understanding of Java is the aim of Jaco-Ben Vosloo and Vitor Lemos in their new Java for AnyLogic online course. It also serves as an introduction to a new community resource they are developing at The AnyLogic Modeler.
That brings an end to our 2021 content review, an eventful year that leaves us with many new developments and much to look forward to. The AnyLogic Conference will be forever changed after its online adventure this year and we look forward to its return next year. Could it be in a hybrid format?
What were your highlights? Did we miss anything you would mention? Let us know in the comments below!
Happy holidays! Is that a new update I hear dropping?