In keeping with our continued effort to make modeling more intuitive, the new Gather and Disperse modules will make it far easier to seize and release groupings of resources.
It comes as no surprise that being organized is the key to success in project management and that means creating a functional specification. Whether you are building one model you are going to use for analysis or two or three, organization is key. A critical aspect of organization will be defining those elements that you are going to use in the model or share across models. Taking the time to define the key resources, variables, attributes and other elements will allow you to potentially create one master database to test your models, saving you time and helping to keep your analysis organized as well. Members of the Arena Consulting Team have employed this technique with great success, using one master database structure and two very different models for a client to test out potential design ideas.
Welcome back to the Arena A to Z column! This month it’s time to cover B, so we’re going to go over Boolean expressions. Boolean expressions are logical statements, such as 2 + 2 == 4, which can be evaluated as either true or false. Within the statements, AND (&&) and OR (||) can be used to build more complex expressions. With the statements built, a truth table like the one below can be developed to understand the potential results of the expressions.
There are various methods of reading in data to a model in Arena, one of the more popular methods is the Direct Read feature which allows you to read in data directly to Variables and Expressions. Variable data can be read in at the beginning of the simulation; replication or prior to the model being compiled (PreCheck). Expressions only allow you to read in data prior to the model run so the PreCheck option is the only one available and defined by default.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in Agent Based Modeling (ABM). Many people equate the type of problem to be solved with the tool. In other words, people think there is agent based simulation software and then there is discrete event simulation software. However, this is a simplistic and limited way to look at the issue. In fact, the term agent based does not describe the simulation tool, it describes the simulation problem. In its 35+ year history, Arena has implemented a number of features to model these sorts of agent based problems. In this Consultant’s Corner we will touch on some important capabilities: decision logic and control logic.