SYSTEM SIMULATION - A PRACTICAL COURSE

Jay Rajasekera
International University of Japan

Want to be a real manager?

  • Learn something Practical!!!
  • Something to be applied in Banking
  • Something to be used in Transportation
  • Something to be used in Re-engineering, Office Management, and many other areas of management
  • Get the satisfaction of solving real problems

Read on for more detail...

Course oveview:

System Simulation is the mimicking of the operation of a real system, such as the day-to-day operation of a bank, or the value of a stock portfolio over a time period, or the running of an assembly line in a factory, or the staff assignment of a hospital or a security company, in a computer. Instead of building extensive mathematical models by experts, the readily available simulation software has made it possible to model and analyze the operation of a real system by non-experts, who are managers but not programmers.


Visit to a Local Factory by Students and Faculty

The main focus of this course is the hands on experience of building simulation models. When building a simulation model, it is not just going to the computer and putting together a model. A good simulation model is a big process involving visualizing the model, forming a team to study the model, flowcharting the model, collection of data, and identifying the objective of the model. After that, the model is built in the computer and its properties studied to make sure it matches with the real situation.

Because this course is very practical, we maintain the classes as Lab Sessions. Lot more time of the class is spent on working on models rather than lectures, though the theoretical fundamentals of simulation are covered in in class room lectures at the begining. Because each modeling element, specific to a problem, cannot be covered in the class, students must be prepared to spend time with the computer off the class as well. In the class, problems associated with specific models will be individually handled by the professor.

Recent Problems Handled as Class Projects:

  • Traffic Time Estimator for Japan-Highway Sign Board
  • Fixed-Income Bond Price Estimator
  • Printing Line Re-engineering for a Printing Company
  • Capacity Planning for an Electronic Parts Supplier
  • Managing the Traffic at a Call Center for a Major Airline
  • Patient Management System at a Hospital
  • Managing the Import Process of a Pharmaceutical Company

Areas to be covered in the course:

  1. Components of a Simulation Model (system, entity, event, discrete system etc.)
  2. Random Number Generation
  3. How a computer simulate a given Probability Distribution
  4. Common Distribution Functions used in simulation
  5. Collection of Data and Goodness of Fit
  6. Building a sample model of the operations of a Bank
  7. Output Data Analysis
  8. Presenting Simulation Results
  9. Building a real-world model with PROMODEL software (to be done by small groups of students). Students also have the option to consult a local factory, bank or a hospital and build a model for it.

The simulation software used by this course is called PROMODEL. We have being using this software for number of years at IUJ. ARIS-F, a Tokyo Company has just become the agent in Japan for Promodel and IUJ is helping them develop models for the Japanese clients in Banking, Manufacturing, Transportation, and number of other areas. To supplement the studies in this course the students have access to the faciliries in the new IUJ-ARIS.F Software R&D Center (IAC). IAC has been helping many corporations, such as Toyota, to solve all kinds of management problems by applying system simulation. A new area of recent interest is using simulation for various RISK and VOLATILITY estimations in financial instruments. Knowledge gained in this course offers great opportunities to become a practical manager who would solve practical problems effecting critical decisions of a business.

PROMODEL had being in wide use throughout the world by folks like you (many with MBAs in such companies as Anderson Consulting) for solving many practical problems, including re-engineering. The new Windows version is said to be much easier to use. Since it is windows based, the results can be imported to other windows applications such as MS WORD and EXCEL. Because of this it is expected that the students are quite familiar with WORD and EXCEL on IBM (running under windows). All the reports must be written in WORD to keep continuity.

Texts:

  1. Discrete-event System Simulation, Jerry Banks and John S. Carson (Reserve in the library counter).
  2. System Improvement Using Simulation, Charles R. Harrell et al. (Reserve in the library counter).
  3. ProModel for Windows User's Guide (Copies will be made available, one per team, via IM office. Please return this at the end of the term to IM office).

Some (unsolicited) comments from students who had taken the course:

* "Interesting class and enjoyed very much"

* "The model building was tough, but it was very helpful to acquire the way of logical thinking"

* "Very interesting; I think I have learned a lot from this course"


Any comments, please send e-mail to the address: jrr@iuj.ac.jp

To sign-up for the course, send e-mail to: ofcgsim@iuj.ac.jp

Copyright © Jay Rajasekera. All rights reserved.