What's New in AnyLogic 7? Flexible resource management

The fourth edition of the “What’s New in AnyLogic 7?” blog will take a closer look into the improvements of flexible resource management. The unnatural difference between “regular” and network based resources have been eliminated during, what the AnyLogic development team and seasoned users call, “The Great Merge.”

“The Great Merge” is best depicted by the following scheme, which shows how agents, active objects, entities and resource units now all act as agents with their own behavior.

Take manufacturing equipment for example, which could be working or under maintenance, can now be described by a state chart (below).

When you want resources whose behavior is defined by a certain state (i.e., Working) in a state chart, the new process modeling library allows you to conditionally choose resources from a specific state within the advanced properties of the service block (i.e., operation):

Maintenance of a resource can also be easily modeled by either a Delay or a flowchart. This way, you can easily describe the logic previously given in the state chart, then substitute the state chart with a flowchart:

Another important improvement is resource preparation and wrap-up. For example, a nurse may need to prepare ultra sound equipment before caring for a patient, and then put it back in its place. This process can now be easily explained by a flowchart:

AnyLogic 7 also allows you to set alternative resource sets for a particular task. For example, in the picture below, you can see that a “Nurse” can be substituted by a “Tech”.

Preemption policies are another interesting improvement. When a resource receives a task with a higher priority, you can choose what to do with the current task:
• Keep doing the current task
• Stop doing the current task and wait for the original resource unit to complete it
• Stop doing the current task and never complete it
• Seize some other resource unit of the same type to complete the task
• Continue doing the task without this resource

And because you can’t escape failures and repairs in the real world, AnyLogic 7 allows you to simply model these situations.

In the ResourcePool block, you can set a work schedule, break or work in several shifts.

If a resource has a task that cannot be described by standard task patterns, for example, a meeting, “Custom tasks” are now available.

These AnyLogic 7 enhancements and more are included in From 6 to 7: The Transition Training Course. If you were unable to attend one of these courses, do not worry, a video and power point presentation will be available in the June AnyLogic newsletter. Don’t forget to download our newest version, AnyLogic 7.0.2 today!