Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 278–290 | Cite as

Conceptual modelling for simulation Part I: definition and requirements

General Paper

Abstract

Conceptual modelling is probably the most important aspect of a simulation study. It is also the most difficult and least understood. Over 40 years of simulation research and practice have provided only limited information on how to go about designing a simulation conceptual model. This paper, the first of two, discusses the meaning of conceptual modelling and the requirements of a conceptual model. Founded on existing literature, a definition of a conceptual model is provided. Four requirements of a conceptual model are described: validity, credibility, utility and feasibility. The need to develop the simplest model possible is also discussed. Owing to a paucity of advice on how to design a conceptual model, the need for a conceptual modelling framework is proposed. Built on the foundations laid in this paper, a conceptual modelling framework is described in the paper that follows.

Keywords

discrete-event simulation model development conceptual model validation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Some sections of this paper are based on:

Robinson S (2004). Simulation: The Practice of Model Development and Use. Wiley: Chichester, UK

Robinson S (2004). Designing the conceptual model in simulation studies. In: Brailsford SC, Oakshott L, Robinson S and Taylor SJE (eds). Proceedings of the 2004 Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop (SW04). Operational Research Society: Birmingham, UK, pp 259–266.

Robinson S (2006). Issues in conceptual modelling for simulation: Setting a research agenda. In: Garnett J, Brailsford S, Robinson S and Taylor S (eds). Proceedings of the Third Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop (SW06). The Operational Research Society: Birmingham, UK, pp 165–174.

Robinson S (2006). Conceptual modeling for simulation: Issues and research requirements. In: Perrone LF, Wieland FP, Liu J, Lawson BG, Nicol DM and Fujimoto RM (eds). Proceedings of the 2006 Winter Simulation Conference. IEEE: Piscataway, NJ, pp 792–800.

The Ford engine plant example is used with the permission of John Ladbrook, Ford Motor Company.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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