Standard Article

Operations Research, Simulation

  1. Phoebe D. Sharkey

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a4a041

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Sharkey, P. D. 2005. Operations Research, Simulation. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 6.

Author Information

  1. Loyola University, New Orleans, LA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Simulation models have been indispensable tools for decision makers in many different public and private environments. The methodology of developing a simulation model involves the abstraction of a real-life system into a symbolic model format. To discuss the multiple stages required in a Monte Carlo simulation study, including the (1) Problem Statement; (2) Information Gathering and Data Preparation; (3) Model Conceptualization; (4) Model Implementation; (5) Analysis and Interpretation; (6) Verification and Validation; and (7) Implementation and Documentation. Simulation models are created in order to provide valuable insight to decision makers by replicating real-life decision scenarios and providing more complete information about the risks and uncertainties in those environments. Once a model has been verified and validated as accurately representing the real-world environment, many “what if ” questions about the system can be posed. Illustrative examples are presented.


  • Monte Carlo;
  • simulation;
  • simulation-modeling;
  • models;
  • probability distributions