WSC 2008

WSC 2008 Final Abstracts

Simulation Education Track

Tuesday 3:30:00 PM 5:00:00 PM
Supply Chains

Chair: Seong-Hee Kim (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Integrating Simulation and Optimization Research into a Graduate Supply Chain Modeling Course
Ricki G. Ingalls, Mario Cornejo, Chinnatat Methapatara, and Peerapol Sittivijan (Oklahoma State University)

This paper addresses the on-going work of integrating supply chain research into the graduate curriculum in the form of a Supply Chain Modeling course. This course integrates research from Oklahoma State University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Pittsburgh. In this course, the students and the professor develop and implement supply chain models and tools that combine linear optimization and simulation. This paper focuses on the simulation development in the course.

Learning and Practising Supply Chain Management Strategies from a Business Simulation Game: A Comprehensive Supply Chain Simulation
Ying Xie (University of Greenwich)

An Internet based supply chain simulation game (ISCS) is introduced and demonstrated in this paper. Different from other games and extended from the Beer Game, a comprehensive set of supply chain (SC) management strategies can be tested in the game, and these strategies can be evaluated and appraised based on the built-in Management Information System (MIS). The key functionalities of ISCS are designed to increase players SC awareness, facilitate understanding on various SC strategies and challenges, foster collaboration between partners, and improve problem solving skills. It is concluded that an ISCS can be used as an efficient and effective teaching tool as well as a research tool in operations research and management science. Problems and obstacles have been observed while engaging in the SC business scenario game. The actions proposed and implemented to solve these problems have resulted in improved SC performance.

Wednesday 8:30:00 AM 10:00:00 AM
Simulation Games

Chair: Ali Yazdi (North Carolina State University)

Hurricane! - A Simulation-Based Program for Science Education
Jia Luo and Alpesh P. Makwana (Institute for Simulation and Training, University of Central Florida) and J. Peter Kincaid (University of Central Florida)

We describe the development, testing and fielding of a PC-based instructional program, Hurricane!. This program educates students about the effects of hurricane winds on different kinds of residential structures. The effects on the residential structures are physics-based. The program has been developed both for schools and science museums. The format is game-based with realistic graphics and sounds and students see different degrees of damage depending on choices that make. For example, a one story masonry house built to current Florida building code standards, is much less vulnerable than a two story wood structure built before 1985. Therefore, students who make the first choice see less damage. Several tests in middle school science classes have demonstrated that the game is highly interesting and effectively teaches concepts central to understanding how to prepare for a hurricane.

Enhancing Simulation as Improvement and Decision Support System Tool
Heriberto Garcia and Eduardo Garcia (Tecnologico de Monterrey)

Lecturing a Discrete Event Simulation course implies some challenges for the instructors. These challenges implies taking decisions from the design of the course to the selection of the didactic strategy to be used in each lecture. On the other hand, the use of games during a lecture make easier the understanding of simulation concepts. Moreover, games may be designed to show the impact of changing the value of the decision variables, similar to a decision support system software. This paper presents a methodology to design an interactive simulation game, useful to teach discrete event simulation for undergraduate courses. The main objective of the game is to create an environment to make easier the students’ understanding about simulation, such that they may learn the benefits of using simulation as modeling and analysis tool, and they may receive training on decision making concepts.

Multiple Worlds in Simulation Games for Spatial Decision Making: Concept and Architecture
Michele Fumarola and Alexander Verbraeck (Delft University of Technology)

In this paper we present the use of "what-if"-analysis in simulation games for spatial decision making by introducing the concept of multiple worlds. We expect that "what-if"-analysis in games enables the trainees to achieve more robust results, which is defined as the ability to achieve the required goals given different scenarios. Scenarios are defined as exogenous variables on the multiple worlds. Viable decisions for a particular world are assessed by splitting the given world into multiple ones and running simulations for these new worlds. This assessment is performed by a) comparing the alternatives represented by each world and b) exploring the timeline of each world by selecting specific time instants. The navigation both through multiple worlds and through time should provide the users the possibility to formulate a robust answer for the specified problem. We will present a viable architecture and 4 distinct modes of game-play for the simulation game.

Wednesday 10:30:00 AM 12:00:00 PM
Innovative Teaching Methods

Chair: David Goldsman (Georgia Institute of Technology)

A 3-D Pyramid/Prism Approach to View Knowledge Requirements for the Batch Means Method When Taught in a Language-Focused, Undergraduate Simulation Course
Christopher Poyner, Mary Court, Huong Pham, and Jennifer Pittman (University of Oklahoma)

We develop a 3-D knowledge pyramid/prism model to structure the relationships of (i) lower-level learning, (ii) optional knowledge bases, (iii) concurrent knowledge, and (ii) new knowledge; so one may view the learning needs of a higher-level learning objective. Our paradigm stems from Bloom's taxonomy of learning, but has the advantage of supporting just-in-time and learn-by-doing delivery, teaching and learning styles. We illustrate the paradigm through the BMMKP (the 3-D knowledge pyramid/prism model of the highest-level, batch-means-method learning objective for our language-focused, undergraduate course). The BMMKP reveals how highly dependent and fully integrated this learning is to calculus, probability, statistics, and queuing theory regardless of the simulation modeling language chosen to teach in the course. The BMMKP is then used to develop a set of lower-level learning objectives for the undergraduate course. The 3-D pyramid/prism approach should lend itself well as a communication tool for visualizing other simulation learning objectives.

In Search of the Memoryless Property
Timothy S. Vaughan (University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire)

This paper describes a distribution fitting exercise that has been used in an undergraduate introductory simulation class. The intent is for students to collect data describing a customer arrival process, with the goal of determining whether the exponential distribution is a good fit. The paper briefly reviews the memoryless property, and presents some teaching tips directed toward students’ understanding of the concept. The data collection exercise is then presented, with attention to common pitfalls students have encountered in the past. A presentation of the variety of distributions that emerge as “best fitting”, when samples are actually drawn from an exponential distribution, serves as a warning against over reliance on goodness of fit measures.