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Recent Blog Posts

Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Martin Kunc

JOHN CROCKER wrote his perceptions about the recent SW16 conference in OR Inside. He said: 

"Not a postal area of London, but the biennial Simulation Workshop which this year ran from 11 to 13 April and was held at the new venue, Ettington Chase Hotel, a few miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon. I have to admit that I rather like the new venue but it will be interesting to see what the feedback is from the other delegates. This year’s event was spread over three days with the first day’s series of tutorials starting after lunch, making it a lot easier for many of us to get there on time."

Other activities to highlight were:

  1. A good set of SD papers and a tutorial to complement the usual DES papers
  2. We had the Annual General Meeting of the SIG with the attendance of few but highly involved academics in the area of Simulation. Some of the issues discussed were:
    1. The arrangement to have a one-day PhD Colloqium on Simulation methods during 2016. We are looking for volunteers.
    2. The development of a one-day event on Distributed Simulation organised by Simon Taylor by the end of 2016.
    3. New chairs to be named before the end of 2016 to replace Tom Monks (DES) and Martin Kunc (SD)

Please, participate in the SIG by delivering any activity that helps to discuss advances in the area, connect practitioners with academics, support PhD students or just have a bit of social networking.

The SIG has a budget to support activities.

Thank you,

Martin Kunc


Dear All,

The System Dynamics community has held the UK Chapter annual conference. The event was in London at the Warwick Business School campus. More than 40 participants attended the event and there was an interesting blend between practitioners', academics' and students' presentations. Some presentations and videos can be obtained from the website of the UK Chapter of the SD Society.

From May 9-11, the first NATCOR course for PhD students on System Dynamics was held at the Warwick Business School campus in Warwick. Eigthteen students from different universities in the UK and Europe attended the course. It was very good to see so many enthusiastic students sharing their research topics. John Morecroft, Brian Dangerfield and Martin Kunc were the lecturers. We hope to see more students in the next course.

I am looking for volunteers interested in organising events that connect System Dynamics with the wider Simulation community. Feel free to send me an email if you have an idea. The SIG has funding to support the initiative.

Martin Kunc


Thursday, 25 Feb 2016
Sion Cave

System dynamics for developing strategy in the real world – 2016 UK SD Conference

The UK System Dynamics conference this year is taking place on April 14th and 15th at the Shard in London. The conference includes presentations from eminent practitioners and interactive workshops. Tickets for the event can be booked from here, with tickets available for both days and for single days. The price to attend the whole conference is currently £110, with a special student price of £55. In addition we are also still accepting student presentations or posters and submissions for the student prize paper worth £250.

The theme for the conference this year is “System dynamics for developing strategy in the real world” and presentations include:

The Powertrain Technology Transition Market Agent Model (PTT-MAM) and application to EU transport policy

Gillian Harrison and Christian Theil (JRC)


Are all swans white?: Improving the Adaptive Response of British Telecom through the transformative fusion of cybernetics, systems dynamics and social capital

Steve Brewis CEng (Chief Research Scientist, British Telecom)


OSCAM: 20 years of making better operating and support cost estimates of fleets of ships and aircraft for the US Department of Defense

Stephen Curram (Decision Analysis Services Ltd)

Brittany Basilone (Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division)


Modelling the economy as if real data matters

Simon Roberts (Arup)

Colin Axon (Brunel University)


From problem-solving to problem-prevention with model-based management

Kim Warren (Strategy Dynamics)


Behavioural Operational Research: The contributions of System Dynamics

Martin Kunc (Warwick Business School)


Group model building

David Carter (Plymouth University)

Jennifer Morgan (Cardiff University)


Further information on the conference can be found here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Best wishes



Wednesday, 14 Oct 2015
Martin Kunc

UK SD Chapter: Event news and Geoff Coyle Prize notice


As you are no doubt aware, the UK Chapter hold a (seemingly) random series of events throughout the year and most of these are held in London, in response to previous questionnaires.  Our next such random event, to be held in Edinburgh (see, we do listen ;-) ) on the 19th of this month, will no doubt prove once again to be interesting, entertaining and an ideal opportunity to meet fellow practitioners.

We like these events, and we want more!  This is where you come in.  The UK Chapter wants to encourage others to organise relevant events to be publicised to the wider community.  So, if you know of such events or are organising or thinking of organising an event, we are here to help.

In addition to publicising your event to almost 500 members (actually 421 but it sounds better) we can provide some financial support up to a maximum of £500.  This can be used towards travel & subsistence costs for speakers or for event hire.  A formal submission would need to be made to the Policy Council who will meet in a secret location in a dark corner of the island to determine the worthiness of your begging letter, I mean, request for financial assistance.

Not all events can be supported, if you want to increase the chance that your event will attract financial support, we are particularly looking for events covering a specific industry sector or theme.

In addition to the above, if there are any events you believe would be of interest to the membership (either national or local events), please do let us know, preferably with a link to the event notice or some information regarding subject, location and time.  We will then advertise the event on our website and (subject to the number of such notices we receive) publicise via email to the subscribed members.


Geoff Coyle Prize

The Geoff Coyle prize is to be awarded for innovative system dynamics work in the UK.  Since Geoff Coyle had encouraged early career developments in SD, this will form the scope of the prize for either research or practice.

The prize takes the form of a medal and will be presented at our annual conference on April 15th 2016 .

Guidelines for submission:

    UK-based nominee

    Early career: within 10 years of commencing use of SD


    Only submissions reported in calendar year considered

    Description of work and contribution (no more than 800 words,12pt font size in plain text)

    Discretionary award by 3 member panel of policy council

    No age limit applies

The awarding panel will contact short-listed nominees in order to discuss their work, prior to award.

Closing date Friday 1st April 2016

Please, go to the UK SD Chapter website for more information


Best regards

Lee Jones

VP Membership


Posted by Martin Kunc

Monday, 28 Sep 2015
Thomas M Monks

The 8th Simulation Workshop – SW16 – is taking place next 11th – 13th April 2016. Stratford-Upon Avon, England, UK.  Deadline for papers 23 October 2015.

Instructions to submit your paper:

Our upcoming conference brings with it an extra half day of beginner and advanced simulation tutorials taught by some of the leading names in simulation.  This is a fantastic opportunity for beginners and experienced modellers alike - and a great reason to come and join us.   Here we announce five confirmed tutorials.

 1.      Simulation Input Uncertainty.

Tutor: Prof. Russell Cheng; University of Southampton

A simulation model usually depends on parameters whose values will affect its performance. For example in a single server queue, the queue length and customer waiting times depend on the customer arrival and server service rate parameters. Simulation experiments involving such a model often assume fixed, given values of these parameters. The only uncertainty is then the simulation uncertainty which is just the random variation that is built into the simulation model itself and which occurs when the model is run. Where there is uncertainty concerning parameter values, then this adds an input uncertainty that has to be taken into account in analysing simulation results.

The above approaches are based on a frequentist viewpoint. A natural alternative is to use a Bayesian formulation of input uncertainty. This has the advantage of enabling expert opinion to be incorporated into the formulation and this will also be discussed.

 Professor Russell Cheng has carried out academic research in simulation for the past 40 years and has previously given both introductory and advanced tutorials at the prestigious Winter Simulation Conference, as well as being a lecturer on the EPSRC-funded NATCOR simulation course, a national centre for the education of PhD students.

 2.      System Dynamics and Enduring Feedback Structure in Love and Supply Chains.

Tutor: Prof. John Morecroft; London Business School

In this tutorial John will introduce system dynamics modelling and simulation with a selection of well-known models that examine feedback structure and system performance. The models span a range of topics from Romeo and Juliet to manufacturing firms and supply chains. He will review the feedback structure of the models and the dynamics that arise from different ways of coordinating operations and asset stocks. Participants then use a variety of pre-built simulators to test and explore such coordination dynamics for themselves. He will demonstrate an approach to model analysis that combines visualisation and simulation with non-technical narrative interpretation of simulations. The approach yields intuitively appealing insight into performance paradoxes to help modellers (and executives) identify practical policy changes that improve functional coordination and overall firm performance.

Professor John Morecroft is a past president of the System Dynamics Society and a leading expert in strategic modelling and system dynamics, publishing numerous articles and several books in the area, including the very successful textbook Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics.

 3.      Conceptual Modelling for Simulation.

Tutor: Prof. Stewart Robinson;  University of Loughborough

Conceptual modelling is the abstraction of a simulation model from the part of the real world it is representing; in other words, choosing what to model, and what not to model.  This is generally agreed to be the most difficult, least understood and most important task to be carried out in a simulation study.  The aim of this tutorial is to develop a better understanding of conceptual modelling and how to do it.  We shall first define the term ‘conceptual model’ and identify the role of conceptual modelling in the simulation project life-cycle. We shall then go on to discuss the requirements of a conceptual model, the benefits and approaches for documenting a conceptual model, and a framework for guiding the conceptual modelling activity.  The tutorial will be illustrated with a number of real life modelling examples.

Professor Stewart Robinson is President of the OR Society and the author of one of the key texts in simulation, Simulation: the Practice of Model Development and Use. Like Russell, he is also a lecturer on the NATCOR simulation course.

4.      Practitioner and Academic Collaborations: Getting the Best from Both Worlds

Tutor: Dr Simon Taylor; Brunel University

Effective collaboration between practitioners and academics can lead to extremely beneficial results for both parties.  However, how do collaborations get started?  What are reasonable expectations from both sides?  How can such collaborations be managed?  What can happen if things go wrong?  Using real examples of collaborations, this tutorial will explore how to get the best from both worlds.  The tutorial will particularly focus on practitioners who want to know more about funding mechanisms that support academic collaborations and early stage academics who want to start industrial collaborations.

Dr Simon Taylor leads the Modelling and Simulation Group at Brunel University and was previously Editor-in-Chief of the successful Journal of Simulation.  Simon is a regular lecturer on the NATCOR courses.

5. An Introduction to Agent Based Modelling

Tutor: Dr Bhakti Stephan Onggo. Lancaster University

This tutorial will provide an introduction to agent-based simulation (ABS) using Repast. The tutorial consists of four parts. In the first part, I will introduce the concepts of ABS with some examples. In the second part, I will explain about the concepts and structure used by Repast Simphony such as context and projections. This will be followed by an example in repast. Finally, I will conclude the tutorial with some cases in which repast have been used. The software and the instruction on how to install it can be found from 

Dr Bhakti Stephan Onggo is a lecturer (assistant professor) at the Department of Management Science at the Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster, United Kingdom. He completed his PhD in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore and his MSc in Management Science from the Lancaster University. His research interests are in the areas of simulation modelling methodology (modelling paradigms and conceptual modelling), simulation technology and simulation applications in supply chain and healthcare.


See for more information about the conference.


Sent on behalf of the SW16 organising committee


  • Dr Christine Currie, University of Southampton – Conference co-chair
  • Dr Thomas Monks, University of Southampton – Conference co-chair
  • Dr Martin Kunc, University of Warwick – Programme chair
  • Dr Anastasia Anagnostou, Brunel University – Programme chair
  • Dr Katy Hoad, University of Warwick – Programme chair
  • Dr Anastasia Gogi, Loughborough University – Poster Chair


Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015
Martin Kunc

The 8th simulation workshop takes place 11-13th April 2016 at Ettington chase hotel, Stratford-upon-avon.


The biennial OR Society Simulation Workshop brings together operational researchers working as applied practitioners and researchers in the field of simulation.  SW16 is the premier UK operational research conference focussed on simulation methods and covers all methods and applications areasFull call for papers is attached.



23 October 2015: Submit electronically contributed papers not previously published or presented. Submission instructions can be found at Each submission must be a 4-10 page paper (10-15 pages for the beginner/advanced tutorial stream), including an abstract of less than 150 words. Submission implies that an author will pay to attend the workshop to present the paper, and all clearance required for publication of the paper will be obtained by 12 February, 2016.

15 January 2016: Contributors will be notified whether or not their paper has been accepted.   

12 February 2016: Authors provide the final manuscript for inclusion in the conference proceedings. These should be in the format required for the conference. Author instructions are available at

12 February 2016: Submit Poster title and abstract of 150 words. These should be submitted using the electronic submission form for full contributed papers. Submission implies that an author will register and pay to attend the conference. Posters abstracts will be published in the conference proceedings and should follow the guidelines for conference papers.


If you require any further information on paper or poster submission, please contact the programme or poster chairs


Sent on behalf of the SW16 organising committee


  • Dr Christine Currie – Conference co-chair
  • Dr Thomas Monks – Conference co-chair
  • Dr Martin Kunc – Programme chair
  • Dr Anastasia Anagnostou – Programme chair
  • Dr Katy Hoad – Programme chair
  • Dr Anastasia Gogi – Poster Chair

Tuesday, 4 Aug 2015
Martin Kunc

This coming 11-13th April 2016 sees the return of the OR Society’s biennial simulation workshop (SW16).  The conference always boasts an excellent mix of delegates from the fields of simulation practice and research.  The conference covers application and theoretical developments across all simulation methods, for example agent based simulation, system dynamics, discrete-event simulation and monte-carlo simulation.  We have updated and refreshed the conference this year keeping the best of the original format and adding some exciting new elements. 

A brand new location

This year we have given the conference a fresh new feel and switched locations to the luxurious Ettington Chase Hotel, Stratford-Upon Avon (  This central location has good local transport links including from Birmingham International Airport.

An extra half day of simulation tutorials at no extra cost

Over the years we have received a lot of feedback from delegates asking for more technical talks about simulation methodology.  The committee have been listening!  We are pleased to announce that this year the conference will feature an extra half day dedicated to tutorial sessions for beginners and experienced simulation modellers alike.  We are even doing this at no extra cost to delegates!

Confirmed tutorial speakers are:

  • Prof. Stewart Robinson, President of the OR Society

  • Prof. Russell Cheng, University of Southampton

  • Dr Simon Taylor, Brunel University

  • David Buxton, dse Consulting

Learn from and meet the top names in simulation

The simulation workshop has a proud track record of attracting the top names in computer simulation as keynote speakers.  We hope to have two keynote talks this year from Professor Sally Brailsford and another speaker who has yet to be confirmed. Updates will be made to the conference website. Previous keynotes have included Prof. Barry Nelson, Prof. Shane Henderson, Prof Charles Macal and Prof. Paul Fishwick.

SW16 not only provides a platform for learning from these top names, but also the opportunity to meet them and get feedback on your work, either during the formal conference sessions, at the three-course conference dinner or the coffee breaks between sessions.

High quality talks – guaranteed

The conference typically features 30 high quality practitioner and researcher papers detailing applied case studies and theoretical developments in the field of computer simulation.  We ask delegates to submit a 3-10 page paper that is published in our proceedings.  Not only does this mean you get to take away 30 high quality papers in the proceedings, but it guarantees high quality talks!

Practitioner and researcher poster competition

If you don’t feel your work warrants a full oral presentation then the practitioner and researcher poster option is for you.  Poster delegates produce an A0 or A1 poster showcasing their applied or theoretical simulation work and are asked to give a 2 minute ‘elevator pitch’ presentation to argue why their poster deserves the title of SW16’s best poster.  We emphasise this competition is open to all SW16 delegates!

On behalf of the SW16 Conference Committee

  • Dr Christine Currie – Conference co-chair

  • Dr Thomas Monks – Conference co-chair

  • Dr Martin Kunc – Programme chair

  • Dr Anastasia Anagnostou – Programme chair

  • Dr Katy Hoad – Programme chair

  • Dr Anastasia Gogi – Poster Chair

Friday, 29 May 2015
Sion Cave

The UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society was formed in 1999.  Since its formation, the Chapter has held a large number of events, which have included networking events and its annual conference.  The purpose of the events is to bring together people using system dynamics for their work and research.  These events include presentations and workshops delivered by experienced system dynamics practitioners. 

The UK Chapter has brought together a list of all the presentations delivered at the events and, where possible, supporting materials.  Presentations have covered projects that have had a significant impact across the public and private sectors and innovations in the practice of system dynamics.

The list is available here:

Siôn Cave

Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Martin Kunc

Dear All,

This is the first entry into the Simulation SIG blog. I want to give you a warm welcome to all of you and suggest few ideas/rules for posts.

  1. A community needs news and ideas to thrive so you are welcome to post your ideas but don't promote your business.
  2. Events, seminars and potential activities related to sharing knowledge in a non-commercial manner are welcome.
  3. Links to knowledge sources are also welcome.
  4. Professional news such as new appointments, promotions, PhDs viva, etc. are also welcome.
  5. The topics covered in this blog include all forms of simulation methods, e.g. Discrete Event, System Dynamics, Spreadsheet, etc.

Feel free to send me a post,, if you can't do it by yourself.

Looking forward to hear from you soon,