Brailsford, S.C., Desai, Mitul. S. and Viana, Joe
Towards the Holy Grail: combining system dynamics and discrete-event simulation in healthcare.
Proceedings of the 2010 Winter Simulation Conference.
Winter Simulation Conference 2010
The idea of combining discrete-event simulation and system dynamics has been a topic of debate in the
operations research community for over a decade. Many authors have considered the potential benefits of
such an approach from a methodological or practical standpoint. However, despite numerous examples of
models with both discrete and continuous parameters in the computer science and engineering literature,
nobody in the OR field has yet succeeded in developing a genuinely hybrid approach which truly integrates
the philosophical approach and technical merits of both DES and SD in a single model. In this paper
we consider some of the reasons for this and describe two practical healthcare examples of combined
DES/SD models, which nevertheless fall short of the “holy grail” which has been so widely discussed in
the literature over the past decade.
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