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Foundations of Simulation Modeling

  1. Wai Kin,
  2. Victor Chan

Published Online: 14 JAN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470400531.eorms0336

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science

How to Cite

Kin, W. and Chan, V. 2011. Foundations of Simulation Modeling. Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science. .

Author Information

  1. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2011


Simulation modeling is an important step of a simulation study. It concerns with the creation of an efficient simulation model as accurate as needed to mimic the behavior of the underlying system and to reproduce useful observations for subsequent analysis. This introductory article discusses three main simulation modeling methods: discrete-event simulation, continuous simulation, and agent-based simulation. In particular, three discrete-event simulation modeling paradigms are introduced: event scheduling, process interaction, and activity scanning. Several modeling issues are exemplified by a simple single-server queueing system and a slightly more complex multiple-server finite capacity queueing system with impatient customers. Continuous simulation is briefly discussed to draw the differences between discrete-event and continuous simulations. Simulating emergent behavior as a common purpose of agent-based simulation is demonstrated by a classic game of life model and a variation model. Monte-Carlo simulation and other simulation modeling formalisms are briefly highlighted.


  • simulation models;
  • event scheduling;
  • process interaction;
  • agent-based models