Academic articles

Modeling and Simulation of Port-Of-Entry Systems

This paper describes a suite of simulation models for Port-of-Entry systems, dubbed POESS (POE Simulation System). Port-of-Entry Simulation System was developed with the support of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for use primarily by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. Port-of-Entry Simulation System aims to assist CBP in Port-of-Entry design and operational decision making. A Port-of-Entry Simulation System simulation model of the Bridge of the Americas (BOTA) POE, located at El Paso, Texas, is described as an example.

A Simulation-Based Approach for an Effective AMHS Design in a Legacy Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility

This paper addresses the design of an Automated Material Handling System (AMHS) for wafer lots in the photolithography workshop of a 200mm wafer manufacturing facility (fab) that was not initially built to have such a system. Lots transportation has to be performed using an Overhead Hoist Transport (OHT) system that was already chosen to transport reticles in the workshop. The main objective is to propose a decision support tool to characterize the Automated Material Handling System elements including lot handling, transportation as well as the storage space design. A simulation-based approach is proposed to evaluate different scenarios and propose an effective Automated Material Handling System design. Experimental results based on real instances confirm the capability of the proposed Automated Material Handling System design to support the workshop activity.

Simulation of The Order Process in Maritime Hinterland Transportation: The Impact of Order Release Times

The integration of information systems between the various actors organizing and executing the transport of containers to seaports is slowly progressing. Transport orders are frequently characterized by high change rates causing high manual revision effort for dispatchers. Therefore, these order changes, often received shortly before the day of departure, raise the question regarding the immediate transmission of transport orders to the subsequent actors in the transport chain. This paper analyzes the impact of different order release times, which define the timing of order transmission, on order process efficiency (processing times and costs) using a multi-method simulation approach. In a case study, four actors, two focusing on transport planning and two on operative transport execution, are considered. The simulation experiments with varying order release times and change rates reveal: A late release of orders from planning to operative actors and a reduction of order changes can significantly increase order process efficiency.

Simulation-Based Design and Traffic Flow Improvements in the Operating Room

A simulation model was created to model the traffic flow in the operating room. A key research challenge in operating room design is to create the most efficient layout that supports staff and patient requirements on the day of surgery. The simulation allows comparison of base model designs to future designs using several performance measures. To develop the model, we videotaped multiple surgeries in a set of operating rooms and then coded all activities by location, agent and purpose. Our current analysis compares layouts based on total distance walked by agents, as well as the number of contacts, measured as the number of times agents must change their path to accommodate some other agent or physical constraint in the room. We demonstrate the value and capability of the model by improving traffic flow in the operating room as a result of rotating the bed orientation.

Optimizing Home Hospital Health Service Delivery in Norway Using a Combined Geographical Information System, Agent Based, Discrete Event Simulation Model

Home hospital services; provide some hospital level services at the patient’s residence. The services include for example: palliative care, administering chemotherapy drugs, changing dressings and care for newborns. The rationale of the service is that by providing high quality care to patients at their homes their experience of the care is better and hence they respond to the treatment and/or recover quicker and are less likely to need to report to hospital to receive care for more serious/expensive conditions. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the home hospital service, to optimize the current configuration given existing constraints and to evaluate potential future scenarios. Using a combined discrete event simulation, agent based model and geographical information system we assess the system effects of different demand patterns, appointment scheduling algorithms (e.g. travelling salesman problem), varying levels of resource on patient outcomes and impact on hospital visits.

A Distributed Simulator Platform for Rapid Industrial User Experience Prototyping

The research and development of novel user experience concepts in well-regulated industrial domains face different challenges. Systems in these domains often require backward compatibility and integration with legacy sub-systems and protocols. They must comply with well-defined procedures and standards, and must pass through stringent evaluation processes involving actual users under realistic conditions and scenarios. As a consequence, prototyping and simulations are extensively used. During product development, the level of fidelity of a simulation prototype will directly impact the quality of end-user feedback, minimizing ex-pensive rework of UX in later stages of a project. This paper describes the Distributed Industrial Simulation Platform (DISP), a simulation framework developed within GE that facilitates the rapid prototyping and evaluation of novel industrial UX systems. We present the DISP design and main services showing how it has been used in support of the development and simulation of two UX prototypes in the railroad transpor-tation domain.

A structured approach for constructing high fidelity ED simulation

This paper presents a structured approach to building a high-fidelity simulation for an emergency department. Our approach has three key features. First, we use the concept of modules as a building block for modeling. A module is a minimum unit that has clinical or administrative meanings in ED operation, and it consists of low level operational activities. Second, we use a structured template to formally represent modules, and we adopt notations and grammars from the business process modeling notation. This provides an enhanced clarity and transparency, which proves very useful in extracting necessary data from a hospital database or from interviewing ED staff. Finally, we define an interface, specifically data structure and handler, for converting information represented in the modules into simulation languages. This interface makes it possible to seamlessly link the modeling process to the implementation process in the simulation construction.

Hybrid modeling for vineyard harvesting operations

Hiring workers under seasonal recruiting contracts causes significant variation of workers skills in the vineyards. This leads to inconsistent workers performance, reduction in harvesting efficiency, and increasing in grape losses rates. The objective of this research is to investigate how the variation in workers experience could impact vineyard harvesting productivity and operational cost. The complexity of the problem means that it is difficult to analyze the system parameters and their relationships using individual analytical model. Hence, a hybrid model integrating discrete event simulation (DES) and agent based modeling (ABM) is developed and applied on a vineyard to achieve research objective. DES models harvesting operation and simulates process performance, while ABM addresses the seasonal workers heterogeneous characteristics, particularly experience variations and disparity of working days in the vineyard. The model is used to evaluate two seasonal recruiting policies against vineyard productivity, grape losses quantities, and total operational cost.

Towards airspace rules for future UAS-based delivery

The growth of the nascent UAS industry will be affected by the airspace coordination rules between drones because these rules can impact business profitability. Few analyses have been reported to support design of commercial UAS operations in low-altitude commercial urban airspace. Analysis of minimum horizontal separation is critical for designing safe and efficient UAS delivery systems. In this paper a constructive simulation model is used to analyze and evaluate proposed UAS airspace traffic. A high density of delivery drones could create a bottleneck in a drone-based supply chain very quickly, especially when a high minimum horizontal separation standard is required. This paper proposes a simple idea on how to organize low-altitude UAS traffic, and evaluates the idea using a simulation model. Additional implications and future work needed in relation to UAS-based delivery are also discussed.

Analysis of future UAS-based delivery

Commercial use of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) has the potential to reshape the delivery market and to open new business opportunities to small businesses, e.g., local stores, pharmacies, restaurants, as well as to large international and national businesses and government entities, e.g., Amazon, Google, UPS, power companies, and USPS. Simulation models can examine the value added to current business operations, the effects of radical shifts in current operations, and the formation of new types of businesses. This paper presents an envisioned future UAS delivery business operation models and develops a theoretical constructive simulation model. The conducted simulation analysis based on full factorial design estimated causalities between multiple independent and dependent business and policy factors e.g. drone velocity, flying altitude, number of drones, delivery demand, route type, maximum drone fly-time, number of orders completed, time average drone density, order time, drone utilization, and reachability of customers.