Discrete-Event Simulation

What is Discrete-Event Simulation Modeling?

Most business processes can be described as a sequence of separate discrete events. For example, a truck arrives at a warehouse, goes to an unloading gate, unloads, and then departs. To simulate this, discrete-event simulation is often chosen.

Using discrete-event simulation modeling, the movement of a train from point A to point B is modeled with two events, namely a departure and an arrival. The actual movement of the train would be modeled as a time delay between the departure and arrival events. These events and movement between them can be smoothly animated.

Discrete-event simulation focuses on the processes in a system at a medium level of abstraction. Typically, specific physical details, such as car geometry or train acceleration, are not represented. Discrete-event simulation modeling is widely used in the manufacturing, logistics, and healthcare fields.

In our white paper, Multimethod Simulation Modeling for Business Applications, we investigate three main simulation modeling approaches: discrete-event, agent-based, and system dynamics modeling, and construct a multimethod model example to illustrate the advantages of combining different methods. Read the white paper and see why hybrid models are always a better choice!

Read the white paper

Discrete-event modeling and multimethod simulation

Discrete-Event Simulation Modeling

When the system under analysis can naturally be described as a sequence of operations, discrete-event modeling techniques should be used. However, it is not always clear which of the three modeling paradigms is best for a system. For example, if it is easier to describe the behavior of each individual object than trying to create a global workflow, agent based modeling may be the solution. Similarly, if you are interested in aggregate values, and not individual unit interaction, system dynamics may be applied. AnyLogic supports and integrates all three modeling methods, so you can experiment with abstraction levels and simulation modeling approaches without needing multiple tools.

In classic discrete-event tools, the entities are passive and can only have attributes that affect the way they are handled. In AnyLogic multimethod simulation software, entities and resources can be modeled as agents with individual behavior and state changes. For example, in a manufacturing model, a crane can be modeled as a resource in a process flowchart, but at the same time have state changes inside, including idle, moving, turning, loading, and so on. With multimethod modeling, the right models can be built without workarounds.

Learn more about multimethod modeling.

AnyLogic Process Modeling Library

For rapid and easy discrete-event simulation model development, AnyLogic provides the Process Modeling Library. It is a primary toolkit of highly customizable objects for defining process workflows and resources. These objects easily interoperate with elements from Fluid, Rail, Road Traffic, and other AnyLogic Libraries and components.

The Process Modeling Library works closely with the AnyLogic animation framework, enabling you to develop sophisticated process animations for clear communication and evaluation.

Do you know how to build good simulation models?

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