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Teaching system dynamics and discrete event simulation together: a case study

Teaching system dynamics and discrete event simulation together: a case study
Teaching system dynamics and discrete event simulation together: a case study
System dynamics (SD) and discrete event simulation (DES) follow two quite different modeling philosophies and can bring very different but, nevertheless, complimentary insights in understanding the same ‘real world’ problem. Thus, learning SD and DES approaches requires students to absorb different modeling philosophies usually through specific and distinct courses. We run a course where we teach model conceptualization for SD and DES in parallel and, then, the technical training on SD and DES software in sequential order. The ability of students to assimilate, and then put into practice both modeling approaches, was evaluated using simulation-based problems. While we found evidence that students can master both simulation techniques, we observed that they were better able to develop skills at representing the tangible characteristics of systems, the realm of DES, rather than conceptualizing the intangible properties of systems such as feedback processes, the realm of SD. Suggestions and reflections on teaching both simulation methods together are proposed
0160-5682
517-527
Hoad, Kathryn
54db2444-f75b-4c4a-8f20-72ba9de33a45
Kunc, Martin
0b254052-f9f5-49f9-ac0b-148c257ba412
Hoad, Kathryn
54db2444-f75b-4c4a-8f20-72ba9de33a45
Kunc, Martin
0b254052-f9f5-49f9-ac0b-148c257ba412

Hoad, Kathryn and Kunc, Martin (2018) Teaching system dynamics and discrete event simulation together: a case study. Journal of the Operational Research Society, 69 (4), 517-527. (doi:10.1057/s41274-017-0234-3).

Record type: Article

Abstract

System dynamics (SD) and discrete event simulation (DES) follow two quite different modeling philosophies and can bring very different but, nevertheless, complimentary insights in understanding the same ‘real world’ problem. Thus, learning SD and DES approaches requires students to absorb different modeling philosophies usually through specific and distinct courses. We run a course where we teach model conceptualization for SD and DES in parallel and, then, the technical training on SD and DES software in sequential order. The ability of students to assimilate, and then put into practice both modeling approaches, was evaluated using simulation-based problems. While we found evidence that students can master both simulation techniques, we observed that they were better able to develop skills at representing the tangible characteristics of systems, the realm of DES, rather than conceptualizing the intangible properties of systems such as feedback processes, the realm of SD. Suggestions and reflections on teaching both simulation methods together are proposed

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 April 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 January 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 427494
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/427494
ISSN: 0160-5682
PURE UUID: c68dddef-c892-4bb3-8172-9811d8ce1b06
ORCID for Martin Kunc: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3411-4052

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Date deposited: 21 Jan 2019 17:30
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:26

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Contributors

Author: Kathryn Hoad
Author: Martin Kunc ORCID iD

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