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Recent Blog Posts

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,