Modelling and simulation in business and industry: insights into the processes and practices of expert modellers

General Paper


The simulation modelling process and individual practices of simulation modellers impact on the outcome of simulation studies. Despite this, the modelling and simulation literature lacks a rich body of evidence on the actual process and practices of modellers in the real world. This qualitative study aims to address this shortcoming by attempting to discover the underlying simulation modelling process of 20 expert modellers working within their typical contexts. Our study makes a valuable addition to simulation research by investigating how the expert modellers develop their simulation models and how their context may affect their simulation practices. The main finding is that most of the participants do not have a clearly defined or a formal process for developing their models. Instead, they follow a set of key steps and their individual practices depend on the context of the study. A number of contextual factors such as the term of model use, the size of the model and the complexity of the model, may affect the way in which a modeller goes about developing a simulation model. For instance, the extent to which a model is documented depends on the model life. This research contributes to enhancing our understanding of the simulation modelling process in varying contexts.


discrete-event simulation system dynamics simulation modelling practice simulation context simulation modelling process 



We would like to thank Tracy Hall (Brunel University) and Paul Wernick (University of Hertfordshire) for their guidance and support in performing this research.


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society Ltd. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lahore School of EconomicsLahorePakistan
  2. 2.Loughborough UniversityUK

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