A comparison of system dynamics and discrete event simulation

Andrew Greasley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Two popular simulation techniques are system dynamics and discrete-event simulation. However although widely used there is little guidance in the literature on which technique is appropriate to address a particular problem. This paper contains a review of the characteristics of these two techniques in order to provide guidance on their use. In many circumstances it may be that either technique is appropriate and the decision on which technique to use will be determined by the experience and preferences of the modeller for one or other approach. However there is a particular istinction in the techniques in terms of their approach to modelling. The system dynamics method maps a problem onto a generic structure that can help understanding of the underlying causes behind the behaviour of the system. The discrete-event simulation technique attempts to replicate the structure of the system and then allows performance to be measured under a number of scenarios. These approaches have thus different outcomes in that system dynamics can be used to learn the causes of problems and not just treat the symptoms. On the other hand discrete-event simulation is able to track individual resources through the system, show queuing behaviour and generate metrics of process performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSummer Computer Simulation Conference 2009, SCSC 2009
EditorsOsman Balci, et al
PublisherSCS
Pages83-87
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-1-61839-181-0
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventSummer Computer Simulation Conference 2009, SCSC 2009, Part of the 2009 International Summer Simulation Multiconference, ISMc - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 13 Jun 200916 Jun 2009

Publication series

NameSimulation Series
Number3
Volume41

Conference

ConferenceSummer Computer Simulation Conference 2009, SCSC 2009, Part of the 2009 International Summer Simulation Multiconference, ISMc
CountryTurkey
CityIstanbul
Period13/06/0916/06/09

Keywords

  • discrete event simulation
  • system dynamics

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  • Cite this

    Greasley, A. (2009). A comparison of system dynamics and discrete event simulation. In O. Balci, & et al (Eds.), Summer Computer Simulation Conference 2009, SCSC 2009 (pp. 83-87). (Simulation Series; Vol. 41, No. 3). SCS.