How to build valid and credible simulation models

Abstract

In this tutorial we present techniques for building valid and credible simulation models. Ideas to be discussed include the importance of a definitive problem formulation, discussions with subject-matter experts, interacting with the decision-maker on a regular basis, development of a written assumptions document, structured walk-through of the assumptions document, use of sensitivity analysis to determine important model factors, and comparison of model and system output data for an existing system (if any). Each idea will be illustrated by one or more real-world examples. We will also discuss the difficulty in using formal statistical techniques (e.g., confidence intervals) to validate simulation models.

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