This one- or two-day seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to discrete-event (DE) simulation, agent-based (AB) simulation, and system dynamics (SD), and when to use each. It will be of interest to operations research analysts, systems and industrial engineers, government and military planners, computer scientists, business analysts, healthcare professionals, managers, and more. Each type of simulation (paradigm) is described in detail and similarities/differences are given. Common applications of each are discussed, and illustrated by live model demonstrations and analyses. The best-available software and the latest technology for DE, AB, and SD simulation are presented. We also give examples of situations where it might be advantageous to use several simulation paradigms in one composite model (e.g., DE/AB and DE/continuous).

DE and SD simulation have been used since the 1950s. In contrast, AB simulation is much newer but has been the “hottest” topic in simulation modeling since 2005, despite the lack of any general consensus on what constitutes an AB simulation. We dispel this confusion and discuss the relationship between DE and AB simulation. There is no prerequisite for this seminar.

Each attendee will receive a copy of the book Simulation Modeling and Analysis (5th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2015) by Dr. Averill M. Law as part of their registration fee – this book is widely considered to be the “bible” of simulation with more than 172,000 copies in print and 18,300 citations. Versions of this seminar have been presented to Caterpillar, the U.S. Naval War College, and the U.S. Navy .


What You Will Learn (look to the right for more detail):

  1. Classification of Simulation Models
  2. Detailed Descriptions of DE, AB, and SD Simulation
  3. Typical Application Areas for Each Type of Simulation with Numerous Model Demonstrations
  4. Important Factors in Selecting Simulation Software
  5. Situations Where Several Simulation Paradigms Will be Required in One Composite Model