WSC 2005

WSC 2005 Final Abstracts

Simulation Education Track

Tuesday 10:30:00 AM 12:00:00 PM
Panel: Simulation Across Discipline

Chair: Charlie Standridge (Grand Valley State University)

Introducing Simulation Across the Disciplines
Charles R. Standridge (Grand Valley State University), Martha A. Centeno (Florida International University), Björn Johansson (Chalmers University of Technology) and Ingolf Ståhl (Stockholm School of Economics)

How to introduce simulation is a fundamental educational issue in a variety of disciplines including industrial engineering and operations management as well as product design and manufacturing. This panel will discuss, compare, and contrast various perspectives and experiences concerning introducing simulation to undergraduate and graduate students. Topics considered by the panel include the fundamental purposes of a first simulation course, modeling and analysis assignments that are given, examination topics, laboratory content, and term project experiences.

Tuesday 1:30:00 PM 3:00:00 PM
Teaching Simulation

Chair: Young-Jun Son (The University of Arizona)

Using Discrete Event Simulation in the Teaching of Decision Analysis
Ingolf Ståhl (Stockholm School of Economics)

In this paper we discuss how Discrete Event Simulation (DES) was used in a course on Decision Analysis (DA). Against the background of the characteristics of the students and the purpose of the course, we discuss various types of problems and methods that were found suitable to include in the course, in order to show the place of DES in DA. We present a number of simple GPSS programs that have been used in the course and proved effective in promoting the students’ understanding of DA.

Should Transient Analysis be Taught?
Mary C. Court, Jennifer L. Pittman, and Huong T.L. Pham (University of Oklahoma)

The authors present the results of experiments performed to identify the pitfalls of performing 'bad' transient analysis when estimating steady-state parameters via the method of independent replications. The intention was to demonstrate to students that failure to delete transient data may lead to confidence intervals that underestimate steady-state parameters. Two types of systems are analyzed: M/M/1/GD/∞/∞ systems and an M/M/s/GD/∞ /∞ optimization problem. These systems are chosen since they are typically taught in an undergraduate stochastic operations research course where a closed-form solution of the steady-state parameter exists. Surprisingly, the results prove to support the opposite of our original intention--regardless of run length, ignoring transient analysis often leads to the same level of coverage at greater precision, or provides no gain in coverage to justify the effort of performing transient analysis. Thus, we now pose the question--should transient analysis be taught?

Assessing Simulation Learning in Higher Education
Brian Hollocks (Bournemouth University)

System simulation may be used as a valuable exemplar of modeling in degree programs across a range of disciplines. This paper describes and discusses an approach to assessing learning in that domain, relating it to Bloom’s and Biggs’ taxonomies. It uses a mini-project, scenario concept, evaluated through oral examination. The scenario text and grading plan are included in the paper. The approach is found to usefully differentiate across the full range of student performance

Tuesday 3:30:00 PM 5:00:00 PM
Teaching Simulation Beyond the Traditional Classroom

Chair: Catherine Harmonosky (Penn State University)

Simulation and Gaming as a Support Tool for Lean Manufacturing Systems - A Case Example From Industry
Durk-Jouke van der Zee and Jannes Slomp (University of Groningen)

In this article we illustrate how simulation and gaming can be used to support lean manufacturing systems. More in particular we study a case example from industry – a manual assembly line for mail-inserting systems – for which we have developed a simulation game. This paper focuses on the development steps of the simulation game. The objective of the game is to support the introduction of lean principles in an existing assembly line. The simulation game can be used to demonstrate applicability of a lean control concept at the assembly line and to train workers to make appropriate control decisions within this concept. In this paper, we indicate a definite need for the development of this game. The systematic way in which it is developed, the use of a general simulation language in the design phase, and its usefulness may stimulate the introduction of simulation games in more industrial settings.

Transitioning Students From Simulation Mechanics To Simulation as a Process Improvement Tool: A Multi-Media Case Study Approach
Scott R. Schultz (Mercer University) and Christopher D. Geiger (University of Central Florida)

Many undergraduate Industrial Engineering programs offer a course in discrete event simulation. While students often grasp the theory behind simulation and can perform the mechanics of model building and analysis, they often have difficulty formulating creative, viable process improvement ideas, which is a need of today’s industrial employers. In this paper, a novel multimedia case-based teaching approach is presented that addresses this need. These multimedia cases are presented as course learning modules to the students. The components of the case-based learning modules include not only the requisite problem background, summary and relevant data, but they also include additional streaming video of the real-world process being studied, actual engineering drawings and still photos of the product and process, and a base simulation model. It is these additional components of the proposed multimedia teaching approach that help “bring the factory to the student” and better prepare graduates for the national workforce.

A Simulation Model for Facilitators of Tony Rizzo’s Bead Game
Dave B. Roggenkamp (University of Detroit Mercy), Dave Park (Ford Motor Company) and Omer Tsimhoni (University of Michigan)

As the culmination of a simulation course at the University of Michigan, we simulated the physical structure and outcomes of Tony Rizzo’s Bead Game. The game is a pedagogic tool to teach the effects of multitasking in a multiproject environment. During the game, time constraints limit the scope of the activity. Since the outcomes are fairly dramatic, many participants have a difficult time believing that the results they witnessed are truly representative of "typical" outcomes. The simulation model of the game was conceived as an opportunity to provide a more robust example of outcomes including the ability to demonstrate probabilistic distributions as well as potential extensions to the parameters of the game. In practice, the simulation model was effective in duplicating the observed game outcomes. Additionally, the model provides a starting point for potential further research in organizational throughput in a multi-project environment such as research or new product development.

Wednesday 8:30:00 AM 10:00:00 AM
Simulation as a Tool for Teaching Supply Chain Concepts

Chair: Catherine Harmonosky (Penn State University)

Combining Hands-On, Spreadsheet and Discrete Event Simulation to Teach Supply Chain Management
Jeffrey Adams, Jerry Flatto, and Leslie Gardner (University of Indianapolis)

This paper describes the effect of combining hands-on simulation with spreadsheets and discrete event simulations. These tools enhance the student learning process of supply chain management principles. Active, hands-on learning is one of the most effective types of learning but is very time consuming. Supplementing it with computer simulation enhances the hands-on learning to cover more material in less time making an efficient and effective learning experience.

Training for Today’s Supply Chains: An Introduction to the Distributor Game
Stijn-Pieter A. van Houten and Alexander Verbraeck (Delft University of Technology) and Sandor Boyson and Thomas Corsi (R.H. Smith School of Business)

In this paper we present the Distributor Game, which is the first of a series of management games developed for today’s supply chain challenges such as globalization, increasing importance of the customer role and mass customization. The learning objective for players of the Distributor Game is centered around globalization and the real-time supply chain. The decision making processes of the distributors in the game are controlled by human players. To confront the human players with a complex and dynamic environment, suppliers and markets are represented by computer-controlled actors. After playing the game for the first time with 32 MBA students, it was evaluated using a detailed questionnaire, the results clearly showed the value of the game. Further research will focus on software services to make game instantiation easier and to enhance the support for development and use of simulation-based supply chain management games.

From Simulation to Gaming: An Object-Oriented Supply Chain Training Library
Alexander Verbraeck and Stijn-Pieter A. van Houten (Delft University of Technology)

The development of web-enabled interactive training simulations is far from easy, especially when all models have to be developed from scratch for each training game. Actually, one would like to be able to reuse parts of existing, off-line simulation models in an interactive setting. The challenge is how to set-up simulation models or simulation libraries that are developed for off-line simulations in such a way that they can be reused for on-line situations, and adapted for different educational settings. Using a supply chain context as an example, this paper shows how libraries of simulation components can be applied both for off-line simulation studies and for on-line training. The paper also describes the other functionality that is needed to create a generally applicable component library for supply chain training simulations.