1.8 Organization of the Book
This chapter introduced some of the basic concepts in simulation. Chapter 2 will begin our exploration of discrete event simulation and introduce you to the key modeling tool, Arena. Chapter 3 introduces the basic statistical concepts that you will need to begin to understand output generated from a simulation. Chapter 4 presents intermediate process modeling within Arena. After these first four chapters, you will have a solid understanding of how to apply Arena to model many realistic situations via simulation. Then, Chapter 5 returns to a statistical concept within simulation in order to prepare you to analyze the results of a infinite horizon simulation. Chapter 6 presents more advanced process modeling, including an introduction to modeling non-stationary situations. Chapter 7 includes the modeling of material handling and movement of within a system. Finally, Chapter 8, the final chapter, illustrates the use of simulation on a practical case study. Through this study you will have a solid foundation for understanding what it takes to model more realistic systems found in practice.
Along with the basic modeling chapters a number of useful appendices have been provided. Appendix A presents the mathematical basis for random number generation and for generating random variables from probability distributions. Appendix B describes the basic processes for fitting probability distributions. Because simulation often involves the modeling of waiting systems, Appendix C provides an overview of the analytical analysis of single queue systems and many of the important formulas that an analyst may need, especially if they use queueing theory to verify and validate their simulation models. A number of other useful appendices are provided to cover probability distributions, common Arena constructs, and aspects of programming within Arena.
Example models using are used throughout this text. The models are supplied with the files that accompany the text. You should explore the completed models as they are discussed within the text; however, in order to get the most out of these examples, you should try to follow along and attempt to build the models. In some cases, you can start from scratch. In other cases, a starting model might be given so that you can perform the enhancements. Working through these examples is very important to developing a good understanding of the material.
Simulation is a tool that can assist analysts in improving system performance. There are many other aspects of simulation besides that will be considered within this text. I hope that you will find this a useful and interesting experience.