Modeling MultiMethods

A well designed model and properly executed simulation create new knowledge by providing a risk free world in which to explore the potential future impact of your decisions.

Part of a larger analytical framework, these techniques offer a unique test bed on which to challenge current ways of working and an experimental environment in which to test new ideas, policies and strategies.

There are three major methodologies used to build dynamic business simulation models: System Dynamics (SD), Process-centric (“Discrete Event”, DE) modeling, and Agent Based modeling (AB). The first two were developed in the 1950s and 1960s and both employ a system-level (top-down) view of things. The agent based approach, a more recent development, is a bottom-up approach where the modeler focuses on the behavior of the individual objects.

The system dynamics method assumes a high abstraction level and is primarily used for strategic level problems. Process-centric (“DE”) modeling is mainly used on operational and tactical levels. Agent based models are used at all levels: agents can be competing companies, consumers, projects, ideas, vehicles, pedestrians, or robots.

Here is an example of a combination of System Dynamics methodology and Agent Based that shows the extremely flexibility of the simulation tool and provides you with various ways to develop your model.

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If there is individual data, use an agent-based approach.
If there is only information about global dependencies, then use system dynamics.
If your system can be easily be described as a process, then use a discrete-event approach.
And if your system is complex enough, it probably has all those aspects and you should consider combining the three methods.
With AnyLogic you are never limited by a particular simulation method and you can always choose the most efficient one, or combination, to address your problem.