The University of Southampton
Courses

MANG6122 Simulation

Module Overview

This module provides a practical introduction to the theories and techniques of simulation. The approach taken is very broad and covers all forms of simulation, including Monte Carlo simulation, discrete event simulation, system dynamics, agent-based modelling, business games and role-playing simulations for training purposes. The module focuses on practical applications of simulations in a variety of contexts, and students will gain expertise in a range of widely used commercial software.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to equip students with the necessary skills to be able to apply simulation usefully in their future employment.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The principles underlying Monte Carlo simulation;
  • The basic statistical techniques (e.g. sampling from distributions, replications, and variance reduction) underlying the methodology of simulation;
  • The theory and methodology of role-playing simulations;
  • The principles and uses of system dynamics;
  • The principles and uses of discrete event simulation;
  • How to experiment with simulation models to meet management objectives.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate your numeracy to future employers
  • Practice your IT skills
  • Apply problem-solving
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative modelling approaches
  • Write a client report based on a simulation project: improve your written communication skills
  • Gain insight into self-management skills.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Create and run Monte Carlo simulations using commercial spreadsheet add-ins;
  • Create discrete-event models in commercial DES software;
  • Create system dynamics models in commercial SD software.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply the methods and techniques of Monte Carlo simulation to a range of problems, including inventory systems and project management;
  • Critically analyse the use of role-playing simulation in crisis management;

Syllabus

• Monte Carlo simulation and use of software @Risk • Discrete event simulation and use of software Simul8 • System Dynamics and use of software Stella (known commercially as iThink) • Business games and training simulations • Agent-based simulation • Statistical aspects of simulation: o Random numbers, sampling from distributions, confidence intervals and number of repetitions o Validation, verification and experimentation o Choosing distributions • Queuing systems, events, activities and queues, activity diagrams • Simulation software and the needs of users: graphics and interactivity • The future of simulation: new research directions

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include Lectures, seminars, practical exercise classes, computer workshops, private study Learning activities include Practical class exercises and games, problem solving, hands-on computer modelling.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Teaching24
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Michael Pidd (1998). Computer Simulation in Management Science. 

Les Oakshott (1997). Business Modelling and Simulation. 

Stewart Robinson (1994). Successful Simulation. 

Simulation and Gaming Journal. Journal

Kleijnen and Van Groenendaal (1992). Simulation: a statistical perspective. 

Wayne L. Winston (1993). Operations Research, Applications and Algorithms (ch. 23). 

Eppen, Gould, Schmidt, Moore and Weatherford (1998). Introductory Management Science (ch. 11). 

Assessment

Formative

Coursework

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 20%
Coursework 40%
Coursework 40%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 40%
Coursework 20%
Coursework 40%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 40%
Coursework 20%
Coursework 40%
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