
Modeling and Simulation
Systems Simulation
Introduction & Summary
Computer system users, administrators, and designers usually have a goal
of highest performance at lowest cost. Modeling and simulation of system
design trade off is good preparation for design and engineering decisions in
real world jobs.
In this Web site we study computer systems modeling and simulation. We need
a proper knowledge of both the techniques of simulation modeling and the
simulated systems themselves.
The scenario described above is but one situation where computer simulation
can be effectively used. In addition to its use as a tool to better understand
and optimize performance and/or reliability of systems, simulation is also
extensively used to verify the correctness of designs. Most if not all digital
integrated circuits manufactured today are first extensively simulated before
they are manufactured to identify and correct design errors. Simulation early
in the design cycle is important because the cost to repair mistakes increases
dramatically the later in the product life cycle that the error is detected.
Another important application of simulation is in developing "virtual
environments" , e.g., for training. Analogous to the holodeck in the popular
sciencefiction television program Star Trek, simulations generate dynamic
environments with which users can interact "as if they were really there."
Such simulations are used extensively today to train military personnel for
battlefield situations, at a fraction of the cost of running exercises
involving real tanks, aircraft, etc.
Dynamic modeling in organizations is the collective ability to understand
the implications of change over time. This skill lies at the heart of
successful strategic decision process. The availability of effective visual
modeling and simulation enables the analyst and the
decisionmaker to boost their dynamic decision by rehearsing strategy to avoid
hidden pitfalls.
System Simulation is the mimicking of the operation of a real system, such
as the daytoday operation of a bank, or the value of a stock portfolio over
a time period, or the running of an assembly line in a factory, or the staff
assignment of a hospital or a security company, in a computer. Instead of
building extensive mathematical models by experts, the readily available
simulation software has made it possible to model and analyze the operation of
a real system by nonexperts, who are managers but not programmers.
A simulation is the execution of a model, represented by a computer program
that gives information about the system being investigated. The simulation
approach of analyzing a model is opposed to the analytical approach, where the
method of analyzing the system is purely theoretical. As this approach is more
reliable, the simulation approach gives more flexibility and convenience. The
activities of the model consist of events, which are activated at certain
points in time and in this way affect the overall state of the system. The
points in time that an event is activated are randomized, so no input from
outside the system is required. Events exist autonomously and they are
discrete so between the execution of two events nothing happens. The SIMSCRIPT provides a processbased approach of
writing a simulation program. With this approach, the components of the
program consist of entities, which combine several related events into one
process.
In the field of simulation, the concept of "principle of computational
equivalence" has beneficial implications for the decisionmaker. Simulated
experimentation accelerates and replaces effectively the "wait and see"
anxieties in discovering new insight and explanations of future behavior of
the real system.
Consider the following scenario. You are the designer of a new switch for
asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) networks, a new switching technology that has
appeared on the marketplace in recent years. In order to help ensure the
success of your product in this is a highly competitive field, it is important
that you design the switch to yield the highest possible performance while
maintaining a reasonable manufacturing cost. How much memory should be built
into the switch? Should the memory be associated with incoming communication
links to buffer messages as they arrive, or should it be associated with
outgoing links to hold messages competing to use the same link? Moreover, what
is the best organization of hardware components within the switch? These are
but a few of the questions that you must answer in coming up with a design.
With the integration of artificial intelligence, agents and other modeling
techniques, simulation has become an effective and appropriate decision
support for the managers. By combining the emerging science of complexity with
newly popularized simulation technology, the PricewaterhouseCoopers, Emergent
Solutions Group builds a software that allows senior management to safely play
out "what if" scenarios in artificial worlds. For example, in a consumer
retail environment it can be used to find out how the roles of consumers and
employees can be simulated to achieve peak performance.
Statistics for Correlated Data
We concern
ourselves with n realizations that are related to time, that is having n
correlated observations; the estimate of the mean is given by
mean = S X_{i} / n,
where
the sum is over i = 1 to n.
Let
A = S [1  j/(m + 1)] r_{j,x}
where the sum is over j = 1 to m, then the estimated variance is:
[1 + 2A ] S^{2} / n
Where
S^{2} = the usual variance estimate
r_{j,x} = the jth coefficient of
autocorrelation
m = the maximum time lag for which
autocorrelations are computed, such that j = 1, 2, 3, ...,
m
As a good rule of thumb, the maximum lag for which autocorrelations are
computed should be approximately 2% of the number of n realizations, although
each r_{j,x} could be tested to
determine if it is significantly different from zero.
Sample Size Determination: We can calculate the minimum sample size
required by
n = [1 + 2A ] S^{2} t^{2} / (d^{2} mean^{2})
Application: A pilot run was made of a model, observations numbered
150, the mean was 205.74 minutes and the variance S^{2} = 101, 921.54,
estimate of the lag coefficients were computed as: r_{1,x} = 0.3301 r_{2,x} = 0.2993, and r_{3,x} = 0.1987. Calculate the minimum sample size
to assure the estimate lies within +d = 10% of
the true mean with a = 0.05.
n = [(1.96)^{2} (101,921.54) {1 + 2
[(11/4) 0.3301 + (1  2/4) 0.2993 + (1 3/4) 0.1987]}] / (0.1)^{2} (205.74)^{2
}
» 1757
You may like using Statistics for Time Series, and Testing Correlation JavaScript.
What Is Central Limit Theorem?
For
practical purposes, the main idea of the central limit theorem (CLT) is that
the average of a sample of observations drawn from some population with any
shapedistribution is approximately distributed as a normal distribution if
certain conditions are met. In theoretical statistics there are several
versions of the central limit theorem depending on how these conditions are
specified. These are concerned with the types of assumptions made about the
distribution of the parent population (population from which the sample is
drawn) and the actual sampling procedure.
One of the simplest versions of the theorem says that if is a random sample
of size n (say, n larger than 30) from an infinite population, finite standard
deviation , then the standardized sample mean converges to a standard normal
distribution or, equivalently, the sample mean approaches a normal
distribution with mean equal to the population mean and standard deviation
equal to standard deviation of the population divided by the square root of
sample size n. In applications of the central limit theorem to practical
problems in statistical inference, however, statisticians are more interested
in how closely the approximate distribution of the sample mean follows a
normal distribution for finite sample sizes, than the limiting distribution
itself. Sufficiently close agreement with a normal distribution allows
statisticians to use normal theory for making inferences about population
parameters (such as the mean ) using the sample mean, irrespective of the
actual form of the parent population.
It is well known that whatever the parent population is, the standardized
variable will have a distribution with a mean 0 and standard deviation 1 under
random sampling. Moreover, if the parent population is normal, then it is
distributed exactly as a standard normal variable for any positive integer n.
The central limit theorem states the remarkable result that, even when the
parent population is nonnormal, the standardized variable is approximately
normal if the sample size is large enough (say >
30). It is generally not possible to state conditions under which the
approximation given by the central limit theorem works and what sample sizes
are needed before the approximation becomes good enough. As a general
guideline, statisticians have used the prescription that if the parent
distribution is symmetric and relatively shorttailed, then the sample mean
reaches approximate normality for smaller samples than if the parent
population is skewed or longtailed.
In this lesson, we will study the behavior of the mean of samples of
different sizes drawn from a variety of parent populations. Examining sampling
distributions of sample means computed from samples of different sizes drawn
from a variety of distributions, allow us to gain some insight into the
behavior of the sample mean under those specific conditions as well as examine
the validity of the guidelines mentioned above for using the central limit
theorem in practice.
Under certain conditions, in large samples, the sampling distribution of
the sample mean can be approximated by a normal distribution. The sample size
needed for the approximation to be adequate depends strongly on the shape of
the parent distribution. Symmetry (or lack thereof) is particularly important.
For a symmetric parent distribution, even if very different from the shape of
a normal distribution, an adequate approximation can be obtained with small
samples (e.g., 10 or 12 for the uniform distribution). For symmetric
shorttailed parent distributions, the sample mean reaches approximate
normality for smaller samples than if the parent population is skewed and
longtailed. In some extreme cases (e.g. binomial) samples sizes far exceeding
the typical guidelines (e.g., 30) are needed for an adequate approximation.
For some distributions without first and second moments (e.g., Cauchy), the
central limit theorem does not hold.
'' Central Limit Theorem Justification ''
Preamble
Define X, XBAR as a real 1dimensional arrays
Define I, J, M, N as integer variables
End
Main
Open 3 for output, Name = "CLT.OUT"
Use 3 for output
LET N=50
LET M = 1000
Reserve X(*) as N
Reserves XBAR(*) as M
For J = 1 to M
DO
For I = 1 to N
DO
X(I) = Uniform.f(1., 0., 1)
Compute
XBAR (j) as the average of X(i)
Loop
Compute
Ave as the average of XBAR(j)
Compute
ST as the standard deviation of XBAR(j)
Loop
LL = Ave 1.96*ST/SQRT.F(real.f(M))
UL = Ave + 1.96*ST/SQRT.F(real.f(M))
For J =1 to M
Do
IF XBAR(j) < LL AND XBAR(j) > XU
Let Count = Count + 1
Always
Loop
Print 1 line with Count/M thus
The Pvalue is = *****
END
What Is a Least Squares Model?
Many
problems in analyzing data involve describing how variables are related. The
simplest of all models describing the relationship between two variables is a
linear, or straightline, model. The simplest method of fitting a linear model
is to "eyeball'' a line through the data on a plot. A more elegant, and
conventional method is that of "least squares", which finds the line
minimizing the sum of distances between observed points and the fitted line.
Realize that fitting the "best'' line by eye is difficult, especially when
there is a lot of residual variability in the data.
Know that there is a simple connection between the numerical coefficients
in the regression equation and the slope and intercept of regression line.
Know that a single summary statistic like a correlation coefficient does
not tell the whole story. A scatter plot is an essential complement to
examining the relationship between the two variables.
ANOVA: Analysis of Variance
The tests we
have learned up to this point allow us to test hypotheses that examine the
difference between only two means. Analysis of Variance or ANOVA will allow us
to test the difference between 2 or more means. ANOVA does this by examining
the ratio of variability between two conditions and variability within each
condition. For example, say we give a drug that we believe will improve memory
to a group of people and give a placebo to another group of people. We might
measure memory performance by the number of words recalled from a list we ask
everyone to memorize. A ttest would compare the likelihood of observing the
difference in the mean number of words recalled for each group. An ANOVA test,
on the other hand, would compare the variability that we observe between the
two conditions to the variability observed within each condition. Recall that
we measure variability as the sum of the difference of each score from the
mean. When we actually calculate an ANOVA we will use a shortcut formula
Thus, when the variability that we predict (between the two groups) is much
greater than the variability we don't predict (within each group) then we will
conclude that our treatments produce different results.
Exponential Density Function
An important
class of decision problems under uncertainty concerns the chance between
events. For example, the chance of the length of time to next breakdown of a
machine not exceeding a certain time, such as the copying machine in your
office not to break during this week.
Exponential distribution gives distribution of time between independent
events occurring at a constant rate. Its density function is:
f(t) = l exp(lt),
where l is the average number of events per unit
of time, which is a positive number.
The mean and the variance of the random variable t (time between events)
are 1/ l, and 1/l^{2}, respectively.
Applications include probabilistic assessment of the time between
arrival of patients to the emergency room of a hospital, and arrival of ships
to a particular port.
Comments: Special case of both Weibull and gamma distributions.
You may like using Exponential
Applet to perform your computations.
You may like using the following Lilliefors
Test for Exponentially to perform the goodnessoffit test.
Poisson Process
An important class of
decision problems under uncertainty is characterized by the small chance of
the occurrence of a particular event, such as an accident. Gives probability
of exactly x independent occurrences during a given period of time if events
take place independently and at a constant rate. May also represent number of
occurrences over constant areas or volumes. The following statements describe
the Poisson Process:
 The occurrences of the events are independent. The occurrence of events
from a set of assumptions in an interval of space or time has no effect on
the probability of a second occurrence of the event in the same, or any
other, interval.
 Theoretically, an infinite number of occurrences of the event must be
possible in the interval.
 The probability of the single occurrence of the event in a given
interval is proportional to the length of the interval.
 In any infinitesimally small portion of the interval, the probability of
more than one occurrence of the event is negligible.
Poisson process are often used, for example in quality control,
reliability, insurance claim, incoming number of telephone calls, and queuing
theory.
An Application: One of the most useful applications of the Poisson
Process is in the field of queuing theory. In many situations where queues
occur it has been shown that the number of people joining the queue in a given
time period follows the Poisson model. For example, if the rate of arrivals to
an emergency room is l per unit of time period (say 1
hr), then:
P ( n arrivals) = l^{n}
e^{l }/ n!
The mean and variance of random variable n are both l
. However if the mean and variance of a random variable having equal
numerical values, then it is not necessary that its distribution is a Poisson.
Applications:
P ( 0 arrival) = e^{l}
P ( 1 arrival) = l e^{l
}/ 1!
P ( 2 arrival) = l^{2}
e^{l }/ 2!
and so on. In general:
P ( n+1 arrivals ) = l Pr ( n arrivals ) /
n.
You may like using Poisson
Applet to perform your computations.
GoodnessofFit for Poisson
Replace the numerical example data with your upto14 pairs of
Observed values & their frequencies, and then click the
Calculate button. Blank boxes are not included in the calculations.
In entering your data to move from cell to cell in the datamatrix use the
Tab key not arrow or enter keys.
For Technical Details, Back to:
Statistical Thinking for Decision Making
Uniform Density Function
Application: Gives
probability that observation will occur within a particular interval when
probability of occurrence within that interval is directly proportional to
interval length.
Example: Used to generate random numbers in sampling and Monte Carlo
simulation.
Comments: Special case of beta distribution.
The mass function of geometric mean of n independent uniforms [0,1] is:
P(X = x) = n x^{(n  1)} (Log[1/x^{n}])^{(n 1)} / (n 
1)!.
z_{L} = [U^{L}(1U)^{L}] / L is
said to have Tukey's symmetrical ldistribution.
You may like using Uniform
Applet to perform your computations.
Some Useful SPSS Commands
Test for Binomial:
NPAR TEST BINOMIAL(p)=GENDER(0, 1)
Goonessoffit for discrete r.v.:
NPAR TEST CHISQUARE=X (1,3)/EXPECTED=20 30 50
Needed information to perform the ttest:
DISCRIPTIVES X
/STATISTICS= 1 2
Two population ttest
TTEST GROUPS=GENDER(1,2)/VARIABLES=X
Plot x vs y:
PLOT FORMAT=REGRESSION/SYMBOLS='*'
/TITLE='PLOT OF Y ON X'
/VERTICAL='Y'
/HORIZONTAL='X'
/PLOT=Y WITH X
RANDOM VARIATES GENERATORS:
LOOP #I = 1 to 100.
(normal with mean = 0 and std = 1)
COMPUTE XNORM = RV.NORMAL(0,1)
(chisquare with 2 d.f.)
COMPUTE XCHISQ=RV.CHISQ(2)
(exponential with mean 2)
COMPUTE XEXPON = RV.EXP(1/2)
(binomial n = 10 and p = .50
COMPUTE XBINOM = RV.BINOM(10, 0.5).
END CASE
END LOOP
END FILE
END INOUT PROGRAM
EXAMINE VARS=ALL
/STATISTICS
/HISTOGRAM(NORMSAL)= XNORM
/HISTOGRAM(NORMSAL)= XCHISQ
/HISTOGRAM(NORMSAL)= XEXPON
/HISTOGRAM(NORMSAL)= XBINOM
NORMAL RANOM VARIATE GENERATOR, KS, AND RUNS TESTS:
SPSS/OUTPUT=HW3.OUT
TITLE 'GENERATING FROM NORMAL 0,1'
INPUT PROGRAM
LOOP I=1 TO 50
COMPUTE X2=NORMAL(1)
END CASE
END LOOP
END FILE
END INPUT PROGRAM
VAR LABLE
X2 'NORMAL VARIATE'
LIST CASE CASE=50/VARIABLE=ALL//
CONDESCRIPTIVE X2(ZX2)
STATISTICS ALL
FREQUENCIES VARIABLE=ZX2/FORMAT=NOTABLE/
HISTOGRAM MIN(3.0) MAX(+3.0) INCREMENT(0.2)/
NPAR TESTS RUNS(MEAN)=ZX2/
NPAR TESTS KS(NORMAL,0.0,1.0)=ZX2/
SAMPLE 10 FROM 50
LIST CASE CASE=10/VARIABLES=X2,ZX2/
FINISH
KS LILLIEFORS TEST FOR NORMALITY:
$SPSS/OUTPUT=L.OUT
TITLE 'KS LILLIEFORS TEST FOR NORMALITY'
DATA LIST FREE FILE='L.DAT'/X
VAR LABELS
X 'SAMPLE VALUES'
LIST CASE CASE=20/VARIABLES=ALL
CONDESCRIPTIVE X(ZX)
LIST CASE CASE=20/VARIABLES=X ZX/
SORT CASES BY ZX(A)
RANK VARIABLES=ZX/RFRACTION INTO CRANK/TIES=HIGH
COMPUTE Y=CDFNORM(ZX)
COMPUTE SPROB=CRANK
COMPUTE DA=YSPROB
COMPUTE DB=YLAG(SPROB,1)
COMPUTE DAABS=ABS(DA)
COMPUTE DBABS=ABS(DB)
COMPUTE LILLSTAT=MAX(DAABS,DBABS)
LIST VARIABLES=X,ZX,Y,SPROB,DA,DB
LIST VARIABLES=LILLSTAT
SORT CASES BY LILLSTAT(D)
LIST CASES CASE=1/VARIABLES=LILLSTAT
FINISH
KS TEST FOR EXPONENTIAL DATA WITH MEAN = 1
DATA LIST FREE FILE='Ex.DAT'/ X
DESCRIPTIVES VARIABLES=X
STATISTICS MEAN
COMPUTE Y=1.EXP(X)
NPAR TESTS KS(UNIFORM, 0.0, 1.0) Y (For large sample size)
FINISH
For more SPSS programs useful to simulation input/output analysis, visit Data Analysis
Routines.
Classical
uniform random number generators have some major defects, such as, short
period length and lack of higher dimension uniformity. However, nowadays there
are a class of rather complex generators which is as efficient as the
classical generators while enjoy the property of a much longer period and of a
higher dimension uniformity.
Computer programs that generate "random" numbers use an algorithm. That
means if you know the algorithm and the seedvalues you can predict what
numbers will result. Because you can predict the numbers they are not truly
random  they are pseudorandom. For statistical purposes "good" pseudorandom
numbers generators are good enough.
real function random()
c
c Algorithm AS 183 Appl. Statist. (1982) vol.31, no.2
c
c Returns a pseudorandom numbers with rectangular distribution.
c between 0 and 1. The cycle length is 6.95E+12 (See page 123
c of Applied Statistics (1984) vol.33), not as claimed in the
c original article.
c
c IX, IY and IZ should be set to integer values between 1 and
c 30000 before the first entry.
c
c Integer arithmetic up to 30323 is required.
c
integer ix, iy, iz
common /randc/ ix, iy, iz
c
ix = 171 * mod(ix, 177)  2 * (ix / 177)
iy = 172 * mod(iy, 176)  35 * (iy / 176)
iz = 170 * mod(iz, 178)  63 * (iz / 178)
c
if (ix .lt. 0) ix = ix + 30269
if (iy .lt. 0) iy = iy + 30307 if (iz .lt. 0) iz = iz + 30323
c
c If integer arithmetic up to 5212632 is available, the preceding
c 6 statements may be replaced by:
c
c ix = mod(171 * ix, 30269)
c iy = mod(172 * iy, 30307)
c iz = mod(170 * iz, 30323)
c
random = mod(float(ix) / 30269. + float(iy) / 30307. +
+ float(iz) / 30323., 1.0)
return
end
c
c
c
c
real function uniform()
c
c Generate uniformly distributed random numbers using the 32bit
c generator from figure 3 of: L'Ecuyer, P., 1988.
c The cycle length is claimed to be 2.30584E+18
c Seeds can be set by calling the routine set_uniform
c It is assumed that the Fortran compiler supports long variable
c names, and integer*4.
c
integer*4 z, k, s1, s2
common /unif_seeds/ s1, s2
save /unif_seeds/
c
k = s1 / 53668
s1 = 40014 * (s1  k * 53668)  k * 12211
if (s1 .lt. 0) s1 = s1 + 2147483563
c
k = s2 / 52774
s2 = 40692 * (s2  k * 52774)  k * 3791
if (s2 .lt. 0) s2 = s2 + 2147483399
c
z = s1  s2
if (z .lt. 1) z = z + 2147483562
c
uniform = z / 2147483563.
return
end
subroutine set_uniform(seed1, seed2)
c
c Set seeds for the uniform random number generator.
c
integer*4 s1, s2, seed1, seed2
common /unif_seeds/ s1, s2
save /unif_seeds/
s1 = seed1
s2 = seed2
return
end
The Random Number Generator RANECU
A FORTRAN code for a generator of uniform random numbers on [0,1]. RANECU
is multiplicative linear congruential generator suitable for a 16bit
platform. It combines three simple generators, and has a period exceeding
81012.
It is constructed for more efficient use by providing for a sequence of
such numbers, LEN in total, to be returned in a single call. A set of three
nonzero integer seeds can be supplied, failing which a default set is
employed. If supplied, these three seeds, in order, should lie in the ranges
[1,32362], [1,31726] and [1,31656] respectively.
SUBROUTINE RANECU (RVEC,LEN)
C Portable random number generator for 16 bit computer.
C Generates a sequence of LEN pseudorandom numbers, returned in
C RVEC.
DIMENSION RVEC(*)
SAVE ISEED1,ISEED2, ISEED3
DATA ISEED1,ISEED2,ISEED3/1234, 5678, 9876/
C Default values, used if none suppliedvia an ENTRY
C call at RECUIN
DO 100 I = 1,LEN
K=ISEED1/206
ISEED1 = 157 * (ISEED1  K * 206)  K * 21
IF(ISEED1.LT.0) ISEED1=ISEED1+32363
K=ISEED2/217
ISEED2 = 146 * (ISEED2  K*217)  K* 45
IF(ISEED2.LT.O) ISEED2=ISEED2+31727
K=ISEED3/222
ISEED3 = 142 * (ISEED3  K *222)  K * 133
IF(ISEED3.LT.0) ISEED3=ISEED3+31657
IZ=ISEED1ISEED2
IF(IZ.GT.706)IZ = Z  32362
IZ = 1Z+ISEED3
IF(IZ.LT.1)IZ = 1Z + 32362
RVEC(I)=REAL(IZ) * 3.0899E  5
100 CONTINUE
RETURN
ENTRY RECUIN(IS1, IS2, IS3)
ISEED1=IS1
ISEED2=IS2
ISEED3=IS3
RETURN
ENTRY RECUUT(IS1,IS2,IS3)
IS1=ISEED1
IS2=ISEED2
IS3=ISEED3
RETURN
END
The Shuffling Routine in Visual Basic
Dim Ran0Y As Double
Dim Ran0V(97) As Double
Function RandShuffle(idum As Integer)
Dim dum As Double
Dim j As Integer
If idum < 0 Then
Randomize (idum)
For j = 1 To 97
dum = Rnd()
Next
For j = 1 To 97
Ran0V(j) = Rnd()
Next
Ran0Y = Rnd()
End If
Ran0Y = Rnd()
j = 1 + Int(97 * Ran0Y)
If (j > 97) Or (j < 1) Then
MsgBox "Error"
End If
Ran0Y = Ran0V(j)
RandShuffle = Ran0Y
Ran0V(j) = Rnd()
End Function
The Square Histogram Method We are given a histogram, with
vertical bars having heights proportional to the probability with which we
want to produce a value indicated by the label at the base.
A simple such histogram, layed flat, might be:
a:********************************32
b:**************************27
c:************************26
d:************12
e:***3
The idea is to cut the bars into pieces then reassemble them into a square
histogram, all heights equal, with each final bar having a lower part, as well
as an upper part indicating where it came from. A single uniform random
variable U can then be used to choose one of the final bars and to indicate
whether to use the lower or upper part. There are many ways to do this cutting
and reassembling; the simplest seems to be the Robin Hood Algorithm: Take from
richest to bring the poorest up to average.
STEP 1: The original (horizontal) histogram, average "height" 20:
a:******************************** 32
b:************************** 27
c:************************ 26
d:************ 12
e:*** 3
Take 17 from strip 'a' to bring strip 'e' up to average. Record donor and
use old 'poor' level to mark lower part of donee:
a:*************** 15
b:************************** 27
c:************************ 26
d:************ 12
e:****************** 20 (a)
Then bring 'd' up to average with donor 'b'. Record donor and use old
'poor' level to mark lower part of donee:
a:*************** 15
b:****************** 19
c:************************ 26
d:****************** 20 (b)
e:****************** 20 (a)
Then bring 'a' up to average with donor 'c'. Record donor and use old
'poor' level to mark lower part of donee:
a:****************** 20(c)
b:******************* 19
c:********************* 21
d:****************** 20(b)
e:****************** 20(a)
Finally, bring 'b' up to average with donor 'c'. Record donor and use old
'poor' level to mark lower part of donee:
a:****************** 20(c)
b:****************** 20(c)
c:******************* 20
d:****************** 20(b)
e:****************** 20(a)
We now have a "squared histogram", i.e., a rectangle with 4 strips of equal
area, each strip with two regions. A single uniform variate U can be used to
generate a,b,c,d,e with the required probabilities, .32, .27, .26, .12 .06.
Setup: Make tables,
V[1]=a K[1]=c T[1]=0+16/20
V[2]=b K[2]=c T[2]=1+19/20
V[3]=c K[3]=c T[3]=2+20/20
V[4]=d K[4]=b T[4]=3+12/20
V[5]=e K[5]=a T[5]=4+ 6/20
Generation Process:
Let j be the integer part of 1+5*U, with U uniform in (0,1). If U < T[j] return V[j], else return V[K[j]]. In many
applications no V table is necessary: V[i]=i and the generating procedure
becomes If U < T[j] return j, else return K[j].
For more, visit the Web site: Modeling &
Simulation Resources.
References & Further Readings:
Aiello W., S. Rajagopalan, and R. Venkatesan, Design of practical and
provably good random number generators, Journal of Algorithms, 29,
358389, 1998. Dagpunar J., Principles of Random Variate Generation,
Clarendon, 1988. Fishman G., Monte Carlo, Springer, 1996. James,
Fortran version of L'Ecuyer generator, Comput. Phys. Comm., 60,
329344, 1990. Knuth D., The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 2,
AddisonWesley, 1998. L'Ecuyer P., Efficient and portable combined random
number generators, Comm. ACM, 31, 742749, 774, 1988. L'Ecuyer P., Uniform
random number generation, Ann. Op. Res., 53, 77120, 1994. L'Ecuyer
P., Random number generation. In Handbook on Simulation, J. Banks
(ed.), Wiley, 1998. Maurer U., A universal statistical test for random bit
generators, J. Cryptology, 5, 89105, 1992. Sobol' I., and Y.
Levitan, A pseudorandom number generator for personal computers, Computers
& Mathematics with Applications, 37(4), 3340, 1999. Tsang WW., A
decision tree algorithm for squaring the histogram in random number
generation, Ars Combinatoria, 23A, 291301, 1987
Test for Randomness
We need to test for
both randomness as well as uniformity. The tests can be classified in 2
categories: Empirical or statistical tests, and theoretical tests.
Theoretical tests deal with the properties of the generator used to create
the realization with desired distribution, and do not look at the number
generated at all. For example, we would not use a generator with poor
qualities to generate random numbers.
Statistical tests are based solely
on the random observations produced.
Test for Randomness:
A. Test for independence: Plot the x_{i}
realization vs x_{i+1}. If there is independence,
the graph will not show any distinctive patterns at all, but will be perfectly
scattered.
B. Runs tests.(runups, rundowns): This is a direct test of the
independence assumption. There are two test statistics to consider: one based
on a normal approximation and another using numerical approximations.
Test based on Normal approximation: Suppose you have N random
realizations. Let a be the total number of runs in a sequence. If the number
of positive and negative runs are greater than say 20, the distribution of a
is reasonably approximated by a Normal distribution with mean (2N  1) /3 and
(16N  29) / 90. Reject the hypothesis of independence or existence of runs if
 Zo > Z(1alpha/2) where Zo is the Z score.
C. Correlation tests: Do the random numbers exhibit discernible
correlation? Compute the sample Autcorrelation Function.
Frequency or Uniform Distribution Test: Use
KolmogorovSmirimov test to determine if the realizations follow a U(0,1)
References & Further Readings: Headrick T., Fast fifthorder polynomial
transforms for generating univariate and multivariate nonnormal distributions,
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 40 (4), 685711,
2002. Karian Z., and E. Dudewicz, Modern Statistical Systems and GPSS
Simulation, CRC Press, 1998. Kleijnen J., and W. van Groenendaal,
Simulation: A Statistical Perspective, Wiley, Chichester, 1992 Korn
G., Real statistical experiments can use simulationpackage software,
Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 13(1), 3954, 2005. Lewis
P., and E. Orav, Simulation Methodology for Statisticians, Operations
Analysts, and Engineers, Wadsworth Inc., 1989 Madu Ch., and ChH. Kuei,
Experimental Statistical Designs and Analysis in Simulation Modeling,
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1993. Pang K., Z. Yang, S. Hou, and P. Leung,
Nonuniform random variate generation by the vertical strip method,
European Journal of Operational Research, 142(3), 595609,
2002. Robert C., and G. Casella, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods,
Springer, 1999.
Modeling & Simulation
Simulation in general is to pretend that one deals with a real thing while
really working with an imitation. In operations research the imitation is a
computer model of the simulated reality. A flight simulator on a PC is also a
computer model of some aspects of the flight: it shows on the screen the
controls and what the "pilot" (the youngster who operates it) is supposed to
see from the "cockpit" (his armchair).
Why to use models? To fly a simulator is
safer and cheaper than the real airplane. For precisely this reason, models
are used in industry commerce and military: it is very costly, dangerous and
often impossible to make experiments with real systems. Provided that models
are adequate descriptions of reality (they are valid), experimenting with them
can save money, suffering and even time.
When to use simulations? Systems that
change with time, such as a gas station where cars come and go (called dynamic
systems) and involve randomness. Nobody can guess at exactly which time the
next car should arrive at the station, are good candidates for simulation.
Modeling complex dynamic systems theoretically need too many simplifications
and the emerging models may not be therefore valid. Simulation does not
require that many simplifying assumptions, making it the only tool even in
absence of randomness.
How to simulate? Suppose we are
interested in a gas station. We may describe the behavior of this system
graphically by plotting the number of cars in the station; the state of the
system. Every time a car arrives the graph increases by one unit while a
departing car causes the graph to drop one unit. This graph (called sample
path), could be obtained from observation of a real station, but could also be
artificially constructed. Such artificial construction and the analysis of the
resulting sample path (or more sample paths in more complex cases) consists of
the simulation.
Types of simulations: Discrete event. The
above sample path consisted of only horizontal and vertical lines, as car
arrivals and departures occurred at distinct points of time, what we refer to
as events. Between two consecutive events, nothing happens  the graph is
horizontal. When the number of events are finite, we call the simulation
"discrete event."
In some systems the state changes all the time, not just at the time of
some discrete events. For example, the water level in a reservoir with given
in and outflows may change all the time. In such cases "continuous simulation"
is more appropriate, although discrete event simulation can serve as an
approximation.
Further consideration of discrete event simulations.
How is simulation performed? Simulations
may be performed manually. Most often, however, the system model is written
either as a computer program (for an example click here) or as some kind of
input into simulator software.
System terminology:
State: A variable characterizing an attribute in the system such as level
of stock in inventory or number of jobs waiting for processing.
Event: An occurrence at a point in time which may change the state of the
system, such as arrival of a customer or start of work on a job.
Entity: An object that passes through the system, such as cars in an
intersection or orders in a factory. Often an event (e.g., arrival) is
associated with an entity (e.g., customer).
Queue: A queue is not only a physical queue of people, it can also be a
task list, a buffer of finished goods waiting for transportation or any place
where entities are waiting for something to happen for any reason.
Creating: Creating is causing an arrival of a new entity to the system at
some point in time.
Scheduling: Scheduling is the act of assigning a new future event to an
existing entity.
Random variable: A random variable is a quantity that is uncertain, such as
interarrival time between two incoming flights or number of defective parts in
a shipment.
Random variate: A random variate is an artificially generated random
variable.
Distribution: A distribution is the mathematical law which governs the
probabilistic features of a random variable.
A Simple Example: Building a
simulation gas station with a single pump served by a single service man.
Assume that arrival of cars as well their service times are random. At first
identify the:
states: number of cars waiting for service and number of cars served at any
moment
events: arrival of cars, start of service, end of service
entities: these are the cars
queue: the queue of cars in front of the pump, waiting for service
random realizations: interarrival times, service times
distributions: we shall assume exponential distributions for both the
interarrival time and service time.
Next, specify what to do at each event. The above example would look like
this: At event of entity arrival: Create next arrival. If the server is free,
send entity for start of service. Otherwise it joins the queue. At event of
service start: Server becomes occupied. Schedule end of service for this
entity. At event of service end: Server becomes free. If any entities waiting
in queue: remove first entity from the queue; send it for start of service.
Some initiation is still required, for example, the creation of the first
arrival. Lastly, the above is translated into code. This is easy with an
appropriate library which has subroutines for creation, scheduling, proper
timing of events, queue manipulations, random variate generation and
statistics collection.
How to simulate? Besides the above, the program records the number of cars
in the system before and after every change, together with the length of each
event.
Discrete event systems (DES) are dynamic systems
which evolve in time by the occurrence of events at possibly irregular time
intervals. DES abound in realworld applications. Examples include traffic
systems, flexible manufacturing systems, computercommunications systems,
production lines, coherent lifetime systems, and flow networks. Most of these
systems can be modeled in terms of discrete events whose occurrence causes the
system to change from one state to another. In designing, analyzing and
operating such complex systems, one is interested not only in performance
evaluation but also in sensitivity analysis and optimization.
A typical stochastic system has a large number of control parameters that
can have a significant impact on the performance of the system. To establish a
basic knowledge of the behavior of a system under variation of input parameter
values and to estimate the relative importance of the input parameters,
sensitivity analysis applies small changes to the nominal values of input
parameters. For systems simulation, variations of the input parameter values
cannot be made infinitely small. The sensitivity of the performance measure
with respect to an input parameter is therefore defined as (partial)
derivative.
Sensitivity analysis is concerned with evaluating sensitivities
(gradients, Hessian, etc.) of performance measures with respect to parameters
of interest. It provides guidance for design and operational decisions and
plays a pivotal role in identifying the most significant system parameters, as
well as bottleneck subsystems. I have carried out research in the fields of
sensitivity analysis and stochastic optimization of discrete event systems
with an emphasis on computer simulation models. This part of lecture is
dedicated to the estimation of an entire response surface of complex discrete
event systems (DES) from a single sample path (simulation), such as the
expected waiting time of a customer in a queuing network, with respect to the
controllable parameters of the system, such as service rates, buffer sizes and
routing probabilities. With the response surfaces at hand, we are able to
perform sensitivity analysis and optimization of a DES from a single
simulation, that is, to find the optimal parameters of the system and their
sensitivities (derivatives), with respect to uncontrollable system parameters,
such as arrival rates in a queuing network. We identified three distinct
processes. Descriptive Analysis includes: Problem Identification &
Formulation, Data Collection and Analysis, Computer Simulation Model
Development, Validation, Verification and Calibration, and finally Performance
Evaluation. Prescriptive Analysis: Optimization or Goal Seeking. These are
necessary components for Postprescriptive Analysis: Sensitivity, and WhatIf
Analysis. The prescriptive simulation attempts to use simulation to prescribe
decisions required to obtain specified results. It is subdivided into two
topics Goal Seeking and Optimization. Recent developments on "singlerun"
algorithms for the needed sensitivities (i.e. gradient, Hessian, etc.) make
the prescriptive simulation feasible.
Click on the image
to enlarge it and THEN print
it.
Problem Formulation: Identify
controllable and uncontrollable inputs. Identify constraints on the decision
variables. Define measure of system performance and an objective function.
Develop a preliminary model structure to interrelate the inputs and the
measure of performance.
Click on the image
to enlarge it and THEN print
it.
Data Collection and Analysis:
Regardless of the method used to collect the data, the decision of how much to
collect is a tradeoff between cost and accuracy.
Simulation Model Development:
Acquiring sufficient understanding of the system to develop an appropriate
conceptual, logical and then simulation model is one of the most difficult
tasks in simulation analysis.
Model Validation, Verification and
Calibration: In general, verification focuses on the internal
consistency of a model, while validation is concerned with the correspondence
between the model and the reality. The term validation is applied to those
processes which seek to determine whether or not a simulation is correct with
respect to the "real" system. More prosaically, validation is concerned with
the question "Are we building the right system?". Verification, on the other
hand, seeks to answer the question "Are we building the system right?"
Verification checks that the implementation of the simulation model (program)
corresponds to the model. Validation checks that the model corresponds to
reality. Calibration checks that the data generated by the simulation matches
real (observed) data.
Validation: The process of comparing the model's output with the
behavior of the phenomenon. In other words: comparing model execution to
reality (physical or otherwise) Verification: The process of
comparing the computer code with the model to ensure that the code is a
correct implementation of the model. Calibration: The process of
parameter estimation for a model. Calibration is a tweaking/tuning of existing
parameters and usually does not involve the introduction of new ones, changing
the model structure. In the context of optimization, calibration is an
optimization procedure involved in system identification or during
experimental design.
Input and Output Analysis:
Discreteevent simulation models typically have stochastic components that
mimic the probabilistic nature of the system under consideration. Successful
input modeling requires a close match between the input model and the true
underlying probabilistic mechanism associated with the system. The input data
analysis is to model an element (e.g., arrival process, service times) in a
discreteevent simulation given a data set collected on the element of
interest. This stage performs intensive error checking on the input data,
including external, policy, random and deterministic variables. System
simulation experiment is to learn about its behavior. Careful planning, or
designing, of simulation experiments is generally a great help, saving time
and effort by providing efficient ways to estimate the effects of changes in
the model's inputs on its outputs. Statistical experimentaldesign methods are
mostly used in the context of simulation experiments.
Performance Evaluation and WhatIf
Analysis: The `whatif' analysis is at the very heart of
simulation models.
Sensitivity Estimation: Users
must be provided with affordable techniques for sensitivity analysis if they
are to understand which relationships are meaningful in complicated models.
Optimization: Traditional
optimization techniques require gradient estimation. As with sensitivity
analysis, the current approach for optimization requires intensive simulation
to construct an approximate surface response function. Incorporating gradient
estimation techniques into convergent algorithms such as RobbinsMonroe type
algorithms for optimization purposes, will be considered.
Gradient Estimation
Applications: There are a number of applications which measure
sensitivity information, (i.e., the gradient, Hessian, etc.), Local
information, Structural properties, Response surface generation, Goalseeking
problem, Optimization, Whatif Problem, and Metamodelling
Report Generating: Report
generation is a critical link in the communication process between the model
and the end user.
A Classification of Stochastic Processes
A
stochastic process is a probabilistic model of a system that evolves randomly
in time and space. Formally, a stochastic process is a collection of random
variables {X(t), t Î T} all defined on a common
sample (probability) space. The X(t) is the state while (time) t is the index
that is a member of set T.
Examples are the delay {D(i), i = 1, 2, ...} of the ith customer and number
of customers {Q(t), T ³ 0} in the queue at time t in
an M/M/1 queue. In the first example, we have a discrete time, continuous
state, while in the second example the state is discrete and time in
continuous.
The following table is a classification of various stochastic processes.
The man made systems have mostly discrete state. Monte Carlo simulation deals
with discrete time while in discrete even system simulation the time dimension
is continuous, which is at the heart of this site.

Change in the States of the System 

Continuous 
Discrete 
Time 
Continuous

Level of
water behind a dam 
Number
of customers in a bank

Discrete 
Weekdays' range
of temperature 
Sales at the
end of the day 
A
Classification of Stochastic
Processes 
Simulation Output Data and Stochastic
ProcessesTo perform statistical analysis of the simulation output
we need to establish some conditions, e.g. output data must be a covariance
stationary process (e.g. the data collected over n simulation runs).
Stationary Process (strictly stationary):
A stationary stochastic process is a stochastic process {X(t), t Î T} with the property that the joint distribution all
vectors of h dimension remain the same for any fixed h.
First Order Stationary: A stochastic
process is a first order stationary if expected of X(t) remains the same for
all t.
For example in economic time series, a process is first order stationary
when we remove any kinds of trend by some mechanisms such as differencing.
Second Order Stationary: A stochastic
process is a second order stationary if it is first order stationary and
covariance between X(t) and X(s) is function of ts only.
Again, in economic time series, a process is second order stationary when
we stabilize also its variance by some kind of transformations such as taking
square root.
Clearly, a stationary process is a second order stationary, however the
reverse may not hold.
In simulation output statistical analysis we are satisfied if the output is
covariance stationary.
Covariance Stationary: A covariance
stationary process is a stochastic process {X(t), t Î
T} having finite second moments, i.e. expected of [X(t)]^{2} be finite.
Clearly, any stationary process with finite second moment is covariance
stationary. A stationary process may have no finite moment whatsoever.
Since a Gaussian process needs a mean and covariance matrix only, it is
stationary (strictly) if it is covariance stationary.
Two Contrasting Stationary Process:
Consider the following two extreme stochastic processes:
 A sequence Y_{0}, Y_{1},....., of independent identically distributed,
randomvalue sequence is a stationary process, if its common distribution has
a finite variance then the process is covariance stationary.
 Let Z be a single random variable with known distribution function, and
set Z_{0} = Z_{1} =
....Z. Note that in a realization of this process, the first element, Z_{0,} may be random but after that there is no
randomness. The process {Z_{i}, i = 0, 1, 2, ..}
is stationary if Z has a finite variance.
Output data in simulation fall between these two type of process.
Simulation outputs are identical, and mildly correlated (how mild? It depends
on e.g. in a queueing system how large is the traffic intensity r). An example could be the delay process of the customers
in a queueing system.
Techniques for the Steady State
SimulationUnlike in queuing theory where steady state results for
some models are easily obtainable, the steady state simulation is not an easy
task. The opposite is true for obtaining results for the transient period
(i.e., the warmup period).
Gather steady state simulation output requires statistical assurance that
the simulation model reached the steady state. The main difficulty is to
obtain independent simulation runs with exclusion of the transient period .
The two technique commonly used for steady state simulation are the Method of
Batch means, and the Independent Replication.
None of these two methods is superior to the other in all cases. Their
performance depend on the magnitude of the traffic intensity. The other
available technique is the Regenerative Method, which is mostly used for its
theoretical nice properties, however it is rarely applied in actual simulation
for obtaining the steady state output numerical results.
Suppose you have a regenerative simulation consisting of m cycles of size
n_{1}, n_{2},…n_{m}, respectively. The cycle sums is:
y_{i} = S x_{ij} / n_{i},
the sum is over j=1, 2, ..,n_{i}
The overall estimate is:
Estimate = Sy_{i} / S n_{i}, the sums are over i=1, 2, ..,m
The 100(1a/2)% confidence interval using
the Ztable (or Ttable, for m less than, say 30), is:
Estimate ± Z. S/ (n. m^{½})
where,
n = S n_{i} /m,
the sum is over i=1, 2, ..,m
and the variance is:
S^{2} = S
(y_{i}  n_{i} .
Estimate)^{2}/(m1), the sum is
over i=1, 2, ..,m
Method of Batch Means: This method involves only
one very long simulation run which is suitably subdivided into an initial
transient period and n batches. Each of the batch is then treated as an
independent run of the simulation experiment while no observation are made
during the transient period which is treated as warmup interval. Choosing a
large batch interval size would effectively lead to independent batches and
hence, independent runs of the simulation, however since number of batches are
few on cannot invoke the central limit theorem to construct the needed
confidence interval. On the other hand, choosing a small batch interval size
would effectively lead to significant correlation between successive batches
therefore cannot apply the results in constructing an accurate confidence
interval.
Suppose you have n equal batches of m observations each. The means of each
batch is:
mean_{i} = S
x_{ij} / m, the sum is over j=1, 2,
..,m
The overall estimate is:
Estimate = Smean_{i} / n, the sum is over i=1, 2, ..,n
The 100(1a/2)% confidence interval using
the Ztable (or Ttable, for n less than, say 30), is:
Estimate ± Z. S
where the variance is:
S^{2} = S
(mean_{i}  Estimate)^{2}/(n1), the sum is over i=1, 2, ..,n
Method of Independent Replications: This method
is the most popularly used for systems with short transient period. This
method requires independent runs of the simulation experiment different
initial random seeds for the simulators' random number generator. For each
independent replications of the simulation run it transient period is removed.
For the observed intervals after the transient period data is collected and
processed for the point estimates of the performance measure and for its
subsequent confidence interval.
Suppose you have n replications with of m observations each. The means of
each replication is:
mean_{i} = S
x_{ij} / m, the sum is over j=1, 2,
..,m
The overall estimate is:
Estimate = Smean_{i} / n, the sum is over i=1, 2, ..,n
The 100(1a/2)% confidence interval using
the Ztable (or Ttable, for n less than, say 30), is:
Estimate ± Z. S
where the variance is:
S^{2} = S
(mean_{i}  Estimate)^{2}/(n1), the sum is over i=1, 2, ..,n
Further Reading:
Sherman
M., and D. Goldsman, Largesample normality of the batchmeans variance
estimator, Operations Research Letters, 30, 319326, 2002. Whitt W.,
The efficiency of one long run versus independent replications in steadystate
simulation, Management Science, 37(6), 645666, 1991.
Determination of the Warmup Period
To
estimate the longterm performance measure of the system, there are several
methods such as Batch Means, Independent Replications and Regenerative Method.
Batch Means is a method of estimating the steadystate characteristic from
a singlerun simulation. The single run is partitioned into equal size batches
large enough for estimates obtained from different batches to be approximately
independent. In the method of Batch Means, it is important to ensure that the
bias due to initial conditions is removed to achieve at least a covariance
stationary waiting time process. An obvious remedy is to run the simulation
for a period large enough to remove the effect of the initial bias. During
this warmup period, no attempt is made to record the output of the
simulation. The results are thrown away. At the end of this warmup period,
the waiting time of customers are collected for analysis. The practical
question is "How long should the warmup period be?". Abate and Whitt provided
a relatively simple and nice expression for the time required (t_{p}) for an M/M/1/ queue system (with traffic
intensity r) starting at the origin (empty) to reach
and remain within 100p% of the steady state limit as follows:
t_{p}(r) =
2C(r) Ln {1/[(1p)(1+2C(r))]}/(1r)^{2}
where
C(r)=[2+ r + ( r^{2} + 4r )^{½}] / 4.
Some notions of t_{p}(r) as a function of r and p, are given in following table:
Traffic
Intensity 
100p 
r 
95.0 
99.0 
99.9 
99.99 
0.10 
3.61 
6.33 
10.23 
14.12 
0.20 
5.01 
8.93 
14.53 
20.14 
0.30 
7.00 
12.64 
20.71 
28.79 
0.40 
10.06 
18.39 
30.31 
42.23 
0.50 
15.18 
28.05 
46.47 
64.89 
0.60 
24.70 
46.13 
76.79 
107.45 
0.70 
45.51 
85.87 
143.61 
201.36 
0.80 
105.78 
201.53 
338.52 
475.51 
0.90 
435.74 
838.10 
1413.70 
1989.40 
Time (t_{p}) required for
an M/M/1 queue to reach and remain with 100p% limits of the
steadystate value. 
Although this result is developed for M/M/1 queues, it has already been
established that it can serve as an approximation for more general; i.e.,
GI/G/1 queues.
Further Reading:
Abate J.,
and W. Whitt, Transient behavior of regular Brownian motion, Advance
Applied Probability, 19, 560631, 1987. Chen E., and W. Kelton,
Determining simulation run length with the runs test, Simulation Modelling
Practice and Theory, 11, 237250, 2003.
Determination of the Desirable Number of Simulation
RunsThe two widely used methods for experimentation on simulation
models are method of bath means, and independent replications. Intuitively one
may say the method of independent replication is superior in producing
statistically a "good" estimate for the system's performance measure. In fact,
not one method is superior in all cases and it all depends on the traffic
intensity r.
After deciding what method is more suitable to apply, the main question is
determination of number of runs. That is, at the planning stage of a
simulation investigation of the question of number of simulation runs (n) is
critical.
The confidence level of simulation output drawn from a set of simulation
runs depends on the size of data set. The larger the number of runs, the
higher is the associated confidence. However, more simulation runs also
require more effort and resources for large systems. Thus, the main goal must
be in finding the smallest number of simulation runs that will provide the
desirable confidence.
Pilot Studies: When the needed statistics for
number of simulation runs calculation is not available from existing database,
a pilot simulation is needed.
For large pilot simulation runs (n), say over 30, the simplest number of
runs determinate is:
[(Z_{a/2})^{2} S^{2}] / d^{2}
where d is the desirable margin of
error (i.e., the absolute error), which is the halflength of the confidence
interval with 100(1 a)% confidence interval. S^{2} is the variance obtained from the pilot run.
One may use the following sample size determinate for a desirable relative
error D in %, which requires an estimate of the
coefficient of variation (C.V. in %) from a pilot run with n over 30:
[(Z_{a/2})^{2} (C.V.)^{2}] / D^{2}
These sample size determinates could also be used for simulation output
estimation of unimodal output populations, with discrete or continuous random
variables provided the pilot run size (n) is larger than (say) 30.
The aim of applying any one of the above number of runs determinates is at
improving your pilot estimates at feasible costs.
You may like using the following Applet for determination of number of
runs.
Further Reading:
DíazEmparanza I, Is a small Monte Carlo analysis a good analysis?
Checking the size power and consistency of a simulationbased test,
Statistical Papers, 43(4), 567577, 2002. Whitt W., The efficiency
of one long run versus independent replications in steadystate simulation,
Management Science, 37(6), 645666, 1991.
At the planning stage of a simulation modeling the question of number of
simulation runs (n) is critical. The following Java applets compute the needed
Runs Size based on current avialable information ontained from a pilot
simulation run, to achieve an acceptable accuracy and/or risk.
Enter the needed information, and then click the Calculate button.
The aim of applying any one of the following number of simulation runs
determinates is at improving your pilot estimates at a feasible cost.
Notes: The normality condition might be relaxed for number of
simulation runs over, say 30. Moreover, determination of number of simulation
runs for mean could also be used for other unimodal simulation output
distributions including those with discrete random variables, such as
proportion, provided the pilot run is sufficiently large (say, over 30).
Runs' Size with Acceptable Absolute
Precision
Simulation Software Selection
The vast
amount of simulation software available can be overwhelming for the new users.
The following are only a random sample of software in the market today:
ACSL, APROS, ARTIFEX, Arena, AutoMod, C++SIM, CSIM, Call$im, FluidFlow,
GPSS, Gepasi, JavSim, MJX, MedModel, Mesquite, Multiverse, NETWORK, OPNET
Modeler, POSES++, Simulat8, Powersim, QUEST, REAL, SHIFT, SIMPLE++, SIMSCRIPT,
SLAM, SMPL, SimBank, SimPlusPlus, TIERRA, Witness, SIMNON, VISSIM, and
javasim.
There are several things that make an ideal simulation package. Some are
properties of the package, such as support, reactivity to bug notification,
interface, etc. Some are properties of the user, such as their needs, their
level of expertise, etc. For these reasons asking which package is best is a
sudden failure of judgment. The first question to ask is for what purpose you
need the software? Is it for education, teaching, studentprojects or
research?
The main question is: What are the important aspects to look for in a
package? The answer depends on specific applications. However some general
criteria are: Input facilities, Processing that allows some programming,
Optimization capability, Output facilities, Environment including training and
support services, Inputoutput statistical data analysis capability, and
certainly the Cost factor.
You must know which features are appropriate for your situation, although,
this is not based on a "Yes" or "No" judgment.
For description of available simulation software, visit Simulation
Software Survey.
Reference & Further Reading:
Nikoukaran J., Software selection for simulation in manufacturing: A
review, Simulation Practice and Theory, 7(1), 114, 1999.
Animation in Systems Simulation
Animation
in systems simulation is a useful tool. Most graphically based software
packages have default animation. This is quite useful for model debugging,
validation, and verification. This type of animation comes with little or no
additional effort and gives the modeler additional insight into how the model.
This type of animation comes with little or no additional effort and gives the
modeler additional insight into how the model works. However, it augments the
modeling tools available. The more realistic animation presents qualities
which intend to be useful to the decisionmaker in implementing the developed
simulation model. There are also, good model management tools. Some tools have
been developed which combined a database with simulation to store models,
data, results, and animations. However, there is not one product that provides
all of those capabilities.
Without computer one cannot perform any realistic dynamic systems
simulation.
SIMSCRIPT II.5 is a powerful, freeformat, Englishlike simulation language
designed to greatly simplify writing programs for simulation modelling.
Programs written in SIMSCRIPT II.5 are easily read and maintained. They are
accurate, efficient, and generate results which are acceptable to users.
Unlike other simulation programming languages, SIMSCRIPT II.5 requires no
coding in other languages. SIMSCRIPT II.5 has been fully supported for over 33
years. Contributing to the wide acceptance and success of SIMSCRIPT II.5
modelling are:
DESIGN:
A powerful worldview, consisting of Entities and Processes, provides a
natural conceptual framework with which to relate real objects to the model.
PROGRAMMING:
SIMSCRIPT II.5 is a modern, freeform language with structured programming
constructs and all the builtin facilities needed for model development. Model
components can be programmed so they clearly reflect the organization and
logic of the modeled system. The amount of program needed to model a system is
typically 75% less than its FORTRAN or C counterpart.
DEBUGGER:
A well designed package of program debug facilities is provided. The
required tools are available to detect errors in a complex computer program
without resorting an error. Simulation status information is provided, and
control is optionally transferred to a user program for additional analysis
and output.
EVOLUTION:
This structure allows the model to evolve easily and naturally from simple
to detailed formulation as data becomes available. Many modifications, such as
the choice of set disciplines and statistics are simply specified in the
Preamble.
DOCUMENTATION:
You get a powerful, Englishlike language supporting a modular
implementation. Because each model component is readable and selfcontained,
the model documentation is the model listing; it is never obsolete or
inaccurate.
For more information contact SIMSCRIPT
Guidelines for Running SIMSCRIPT on the VAX
System Network Access/Utilities
Connect UBE
Username:
Password:
Get $ sign
Step 1. Create and edit your source program. Type in
$EDT PROG.SIM
Step 2. Attach SIMSCRIPT. Type in
$SIMSCRIPT
Step 3. Compile the source program file. Type in
$SIMSCOMP PROG.SIM
Check for compilation errors. To locate the errors, type in
$EDT PROG.LIST
Step 4. Link the object file. Type in
$SIMLINK PROG
now you have a file containing your program in an executable format.
Step 5. To execute the program type in
$RUN PROG
Step 6. To get your hard copy print, type
$PRINT/NAME=your own name PROG.OUT, PROG.LIS
Alternatively, use submit command to place the command procedure in the batch job que.
Create a command file say PROG.COM containing:
$SIMSCRIPT
$SIMSCOMP PROG.SIM
$SIMLINK PROG
$RUN PROG
Then, submit
$Submit PROG.COM
An Example:
'' Solving an analytic equation arising from optimization
'' of a coherent reliability system with 3 homogeneous components
Preamble
Define V as a real 1dimensional arrays
Define I, N as integer variables
End
Main
Open 3 for output, Name = "PROG.OUT"
Use 3 for ouTPUT
LET N=50
Reserve V(*) as N
LET V(1)=1.
For I = 1 to N1
DO
LET U=V(I)
LET PPRAM=9./((1+U)**2) + 9./((2.+U)**2) + 1./U**2
LET V(I+1)=V(I)+PPRAM/I
LOOP
PRINT 1 LINE WITH V(N) AND PPRAM THUS
OPTIMAL RATE IS ****.*****, DERIVATIVE IS ***.*****
END
The output
OPTIMAL RATE IS 0.76350, DERIVATIVE IS 0.00000
System Dynamics and Discrete Event
Simulation
The modeling techniques used by system dynamics and discrete event
simulations are often different at two levels: The modeler way of representing
systems might be different, the underlying simulators' algorithms are also
different. Each technique is well tuned to the purpose it is intended.
However, one may use a discrete event approach to do system dynamics and vice
versa.
Traditionally, the most important distinction is the purpose of the
modeling. The discrete event approach is to find, e.g., how many resources the
decision maker needs such as how many trucks, and how to arrange the resources
to avoid bottlenecks, i.e., excessive of waiting lines, waiting times, or
inventories. While the system dynamics approach is to prescribe for the
decision making to, e.g., timely respond to any changes, and how to change the
physical structure, e.g., physical shipping delay time, so that inventories,
sales, production, etc.
System dynamics is the rigorous study of problems in system behavior using
the principles of feedback, dynamics and simulation. In more words system
dynamics is characterized by:
 Searching for useful solutions to real problems, especially in social
systems (businesses, schools, governments,...) and the environment.
 Using computer simulation models to understand and improve such systems.
 Basing the simulation models on mental models, qualitative knowledge and
numerical information.
 Using methods and insights from feedback control engineering and other
scientific disciplines to assess and improve the quality of models.
 Seeking improved ways to translate scientific results into achieved
implemented improvement.
 Systems dynamics approach looks at systems at a very high level so is
more suited to strategic analysis. Discrete event approach may look at
subsystems for a detailed analysis and is more suited, e.g., to process
reengineering problems.
 Systems dynamics is indicative, i.e., helps us understand the direction
and magnitude of effects (i.e., where in the system do we need to make the
changes), whereas discrete event approach is predictive (i.e., how many
resources do we need to achieve a certain goal of throughout).
 Systems dynamics analysis is continuous in time and it uses mostly
deterministic analysis, whereas discrete event process deals with analysis
in a specific time horizon and uses stochastic analysis.
Some interesting and useful areas of system dynamics modeling approach are:
 Shortterm and long term forecasting of agricultural produce with
special reference to field crops and perennial fruits such as grapes, which
have significant processing sectors of different proportions of total output
where both demand and supply side perspectives are being considered.
 Long term relationship between the financial statements of balance
sheet, income statement and cash flow statement balanced against scenarios
of the stock market's need to seek a stable/growing share price combined
with a satisfactory dividend and related return on shareholder funds policy.
 Managerial applications include the development and evaluation of
shortterm and longterm strategic plans, budget analysis and assessment,
business audits and benchmarking.
A modeler must consider both as complementary tools to each other. Systems
dynamic to look at the high level problem and identify areas which need more
detailed analysis. Then, use discrete event modeling tools to analyze (and
predict) the specific areas of interest.
What Is Social Simulation?
Social
scientists have always constructed models of social phenomena. Simulation is
an important method for modeling social and economic processes. In particular,
it provides a "middle way" between the richness of discursive theorizing and
rigorous but restrictive mathematical models. There are different types of
computer simulation and their application to social scientific problems.
Faster hardware and improved software have made building complex
simulations easier. Computer simulation methods can be effective for the
development of theories as well as for prediction. For example, macroeconomic
models have been used to simulate future changes in the economy; and
simulations have been used in psychology to study cognitive mechanisms.
The field of 'social simulation' seems to be following an interesting line
of inquiry. As a general approach in the field, a 'world' is specified with
much computational detail. Then the 'world' is simulated (using computers) to
reveal some of the 'nontrivial' implications (or 'emergent properties') of
the 'world'. When these 'non trivial' implications are made known (fed back)
in world, apparently it constitutes some 'added values'.
Artificial Life is an interdisciplinary study enterprise aimed at
understanding lifeasitis and lifeasitcouldbe, and at synthesizing
lifelike phenomena in chemical, electronic, software, and other artificial
media. Artificial Life redefines the concepts of artificial and natural,
blurring the borders between traditional disciplines and providing new media
and new insights into the origin and principles of life.
Simulation allows the social scientist to experiment with ‘artificial
societies' and explore the implications of theories in ways not otherwise
possible.
Reference and Further Readings:
Gilbert N., and K. Troitzsch, Simulation for the Social
Scientist, Open University Press, Buckingham, UK, 1999. Sichman J., R.
Conte, and N. Gilbert, (eds,), MultiAgent Systems and AgentBased
Simulation, Berlin, SpringerVerlag, 1998.
What Is Webbased Simulation?
Webbased
simulation is quickly emerging as an area of significant interest for both
simulation researchers and simulation practitioners. This interest in
webbased simulation is a natural outgrowth of the proliferation of the
WorldWide Web and its attendant technologies, e.g. HTML, HTTP, CGI, etc. Also
the surging popularity of, and reliance upon, computer simulation as a problem
solving and decision support systems tools.
The appearance of the networkfriendly programming language, Java, and of
distributed object technologies like the Common Object Request Broker
Architecture (CORBA) and the Object Linking and Embedding / Component Object
Model (OLE/COM) have had particularly acute effects on the state of simulation
practice.
Currently, the researchers in the field of webbased simulation are
interested in dealing with topics such as methodologies for webbased model
development, collaborative model development over the Internet, Javabased
modeling and simulation, distributed modeling and simulation using web
technologies, and new applications.
Parallel and Distributed Simulation
The
increasing size of the systems and designs requires more efficient simulation
strategies to accelerate the simulation process. Parallel and distributed
simulation approaches seem to be a promising approach in this direction.
Current topics under extensive research are:
Synchronization, scheduling, memory management, randomized and
reactive/adaptive algorithms, partitioning and load balancing.
Synchronization in multiuser distributed simulation, virtual reality
environments, HLA, and interoperability.
System modeling for parallel simulation, specification, reuse of
models/code, and parallelizing existing simulations.
Language and implementation issues, models of parallel simulation,
execution environments, and libraries.
Theoretical and empirical studies, prediction and analysis, cost models,
benchmarks, and comparative studies.
Computer architectures, VLSI, telecommunication networks, manufacturing,
dynamic systems, and biological/social systems.
Web based distributed simulation such as multimedia and real time
applications, fault tolerance, implementation issues, use of Java, and CORBA.
References & Further Readings: Bossel H., Modeling & Simulation,
A. K. Peters Pub., 1994. Delaney W., and E. Vaccari, Dynamic Models and
Discrete Event Simulation, Dekker, 1989. Fishman G., DiscreteEvent
Simulation: Modeling, Programming and Analysis, SpringerVerlag, Berlin,
2001. Fishwick P., Simulation Model Design and Execution: Building
Digital Worlds, PrenticeHall, Englewood Cliffs, 1995. Ghosh S., and
T. Lee, Modeling & Asynchronous Distributed Simulation: Analyzing
Complex Systems, IEEE Publications, 2000. Gimblett R., Integrating
Geographic Information Systems and AgentBased Modeling: Techniques for
Simulating Social and Ecological Processes, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Harrington J., and K. Tumay, Simulation Modeling Methods: An
Interactive Guide to ResultsBased Decision, McGrawHill, 1998. Haas
P., Stochastic Petri Net Models Modeling and Simulation, Springer
Verlag, 2002. Hill D., ObjectOriented Analysis and Simulation
Modeling, AddisonWesley, 1996. Kouikoglou V., and Y. Phillis,
Hybrid Simulation Models of Production Networks, Kluwer Pub., 2001.
Law A., and W. Kelton, Simulation Modeling and Analysis,
McGrawHill, 2000. Nelson B., Stochastic Modeling: Analysis &
Simulation, McGrawHill, 1995. Oakshott L., Business Modelling and
Simulation, Pitman Publishing, London, 1997. Pidd M., Computer
Simulation in Management Science, Wiley, 1998. Rubinstein R., and B.
Melamed, Modern Simulation and Modeling, Wiley, 1998. Severance F.,
System Modeling and Simulation: An Introduction, Wiley, 2001. Van
den Bosch, P. and A. Van der Klauw, Modeling, Identification &
Simulation of Dynamical Systems, CRC Press, 1994. Woods R., and K.
Lawrence, Modeling and Simulation of Dynamic Systems, Prentice Hall,
1997.
Techniques for Sensitivity
EstimationSimulation continues to be the primary method by which
engineers and managers obtain information about complex stochastic systems,
such as telecommunication networks, health service, corporate planning,
financial modeling, production assembly lines, and flexible manufacturing
systems. These systems are driven by the occurrence of discrete events; and
complex interactions within these discrete events occur over time. For most
discrete event systems (DES) no analytical methods are available, so DES must
be studied via simulation. DES are studied to understand their performance,
and to determine the best ways to improve their performance. In particular,
one is often interested in how system performance depends on the system's
parameter v, which could be a vector.
DES's system performance is often measured as an expected value. Consider a
system with continuous parameter v Î V Í
R^{n}, where V
is an open set. Let
J(v) = E_{Y  v
}[Z (Y)]
be the steady state expected performance measure, where Y is a random
vector with known probability density function (pdf), f(y; v) depends on v,
and Z is the performance measure.
In discrete event systems, Monte Carlo simulation is usually needed to
estimate J(v) for a given value v = v_{0}. By the
law of large numbers
J(v_{0}) = 1/n S
Z (y _{i})
converges to the true value, where
y_{i}, i =
1, 2,..., n are independent, identically distributed, random vector
realizations of Y from f (y; v _{0}), and n is
the number of independent replications.
We are interested in sensitivities estimation of J(v) with respect to v.
Applications of sensitivity
informationThere are a number of areas where sensitivity
information (the gradient, Hessian, etc.) of a performance measure J(v) or
some estimate of it, is used for the purpose of analysis and control. In what
follows, we single out a few such areas and briefly discuss them.
Local information: An estimate for dJ/dv
is a good local measure of the effect of on performance. For example, simply
knowing the sign of the derivative dJ/dv at some point v immediately gives us
the direction in which v should be changed. The magnitude of dJ/d? also
provides useful information in an initial design process: If dJ/dv is small,
we conclude that J is not very sensitive to changes in , and hence focusing
concentration on other parameters may improve performance.
Structural properties: Often sensitivity
analysis provides not only a numerical value for the sample derivative, but
also an expression which captures the nature of the dependence of a
performance measure on the parameter v . The simplest case arises when dJ/dv
can be seen to be always positive (or always negative) for any sample path; we
may not be able to tell if the value of J(v) is monotonically increasing (or
decreasing) in v . This information in itself is very useful in design and
analysis. More generally, the form of dJ/dv can reveal interesting structural
properties of the DES (e.g., monotonicity, convexity). Such properties must be
exploited in order to determine optimal operating policies for some systems.
Response surface generation: Often our
ultimate goal is to obtain the function J(v), i.e., a curve describing how the
system responds to different values of v . Since J(v) is unknown, one
alternative is to obtain estimates of J(v) for as many values of v as
possible. This is clearly a prohibitively difficult task. Derivative
information, however may include not only firstorder but also higher
derivatives which can be used to approximate J(v). If such derivative
information can be easily and accurately obtained, the task of response
surface generation may be accomplished as well.
Goalseeking and Whatif problems:
Stochastic models typically depend upon various uncertain parameters that must
be estimated from existing data sets. Statistical questions of how input
parameter uncertainty propagates through the model into output parameter
uncertainty is the socalled "whatif" analysis. A good answer to this
question often requires sensitivity estimates. The ordinary simulation output
results are the solution of a direct problem: Given the underlying pdf with a
particular parameter value v , we may estimate the output function J(v). Now
we pose the goalseeking problem: given a target output value J_{0} of the system and a parameterized pdf family, find
an input value for the parameter, which generates such an output. There are
strong motivations for both problems. When v is any controllable or
uncontrollable parameter [the decision maker is, for example, interested in
estimating J(v) for a small change in v ], the so called "whatif" problem,
which is a "direct problem" and can be solved by incorporating sensitivity
information in the Taylor's expansion of J(v) in the neighborhood of v .
However, when v is a controllable input, the decision maker may be interested
in the goalseeking problem: what change in the input parameter will achieve a
desired change in output value J(v). Another application of goalseeking
arises when we want to adapt a model to satisfy a new equality constraint
(condition) for some stochastic function. The solution to the goalseeking
problem is to estimate the derivative of the output function with respect to
the input parameter for the nominal system; use this estimate in a Taylor's
expansion of the output function in the neighborhood of the parameter; and
finally, use RobbinsMonro (RM) type of stochastic approximation algorithm to
estimate the necessary controllable input parameter value within the desired
accuracy.
Optimization: Discreteevent simulation
is the primary analysis tool for designing complex systems. However,
simulation must be linked with a mathematical optimization technique to be
effectively used for systems design. The sensitivity dJ/dv can be used in
conjunction with various optimization algorithms whose function is to
gradually adjust v until a point is reached where J(v) is maximized (or
minimized). If no other constraints on v are imposed, we expect dJ/dv = 0 at
this point .
Click on the image
to enlarge it and THEN print
it.
Finite difference approximation
Kiefer and
Wolfowitz proposed a finite difference approximation to the derivative. One
version of the KieferWolfwitz technique uses twosided finite differences.
The first fact to notice about the KW estimate is that it requires 2N
simulation runs, where N is the dimension of vector parameter q. If the decision maker is interested in gradient
estimation with respect to each of the components of q, then 2N simulations must be run for each component of v
. This is inefficient. The second fact is that it may have a very poor
variance, and it may result in numerical calculation difficulties.
Simultaneous perturbation methods
The
simultaneous perturbation (SP) algorithm introduced by Dr. J. Spall has attracted considerable
attention. There has recently been much interest in recursive optimization
algorithms that rely on measurements of only the objective function to be
optimized, not requiring direct measurements of the gradient of the objective
function. Such algorithms have the advantage of not requiring detailed
modeling information describing the relationship between the parameters to be
optimized and the objective function. For example, many systems involving
complex simulations or human beings are difficult to model, and could
potentially benefit from such an optimization approach. The simultaneous
perturbation stochastic approximation (SPSA) algorithm operates in the same
framework as the above KW methods, but has the strong advantage of requiring
a much lower number of simulation runs to obtain the same quality of result.
The essential feature of SPSA, which accounts for its power and relative ease
of use in difficult multivariate optimization problemsis the underlying
gradient approximation that requires only TWO objective function measurements
regardless of the dimension of the optimization problem (one variation of
basic SPSA uses only ONE objective function measurement per iteration). The
underlying theory for SPSA shows that the Nfold savings in simulation runs
per iteration (per gradient approximation) translates directly into an Nfold
savings in the number of simulations to achieve a given quality of solution to
the optimization problem. In other words, the KW method and SPSA method take
the same number of iterations to converge to the answer despite the Nfold
savings in objective function measurements (e.g., simulation runs) per
iteration in SPSA.
Perturbation analysis
Perturbation analysis
(PA) computes (roughly) what simulations would have produced, had v been
changed by a "small" amount without actually making this change. The intuitive
idea behind PA is that a sample path constructed using v is frequently
structurally very similar to the sample path using the perturbed v . There is
a large amount of information that is the same for both of them. It is
wasteful to throw this information away and to start the simulation from
scratch with the perturbed v . In PA, moreover, we can let the change approach
zero to get a derivative estimator without numerical problems. We are
interested in the affect of a parameter change on the performance measure.
However, we would like to realize this change by keeping the order of events
exactly the same. The perturbations will be so small that only the duration,
not the order, of the states will be affected. This effect should be observed
in three successive stages:
Step 1: How does a change in the value of
a parameter vary the sample duration related to that parameter?
Step 2: How does the change in an
individual sample duration reflect itself as a change in a subsequent
particular sample realization?
Step 3: Finally, what is the relationship
between the variation of the sample realization and its expected value?
Score function methods
Using the score
function method, the gradient can be estimated simultaneously, at any number
of different parameter values, in a singlerun simulation. The basic idea is
that, the gradient of the performance measure function, J'( v ), is expressed
as an expectation with respect to the same distribution as the performance
measure function itself. Therefore, the sensitivity information can be
obtained with little computational (not simulation) cost, while estimating the
performance measure. It is wellknown that the crude form of the SF estimator
suffers from the problem of linear growth in its variance as the simulation
run increases. However, in the steadystate simulation the variance can be
controlled by run length. Furthermore, information about the variance may be
incorporated into the simulation algorithm. A recent flurry of activity has
attempted to improve the accuracy of the SF estimates. Under regenerative
conditions, the estimator can easily be modified to alleviate this problem,
yet the magnitude of the variance may be large for queueing systems with heavy
traffic intensity. The heuristic idea is to treat each component of the system
(e.g. each queue) separately, which synchronously assumes that individual
components have "local" regenerative cycles. This approach is promising since
the estimator remains unbiased and efficient while the global regenerative
cycle is very long.
Now we look at the general (nonregenerative) case. In this case any
simulation will give a biased estimator of the gradient, as simulations are
necessarily finite. If n (the length of the simulation) is large enough, this
bias is negligible. However, as noted earlier, the variance of the SF
sensitivity estimator increases with increase in n so, a crude SF estimator is
not even approximately consistent. There are a number of ways to attack this
problem. Most of the variations in an estimator comes from the score function.
The variation is especially high, when all past inputs contribute to the
performance and the scores from all are included. When one uses batch means,
the variation is reduced by keeping the length of the batch small.
A second way is to reduce the variance of the score to such an extent that
we can use simulations long enough to effectively eliminate the bias. This is
the most promising approach. The variance may be reduced further by using the
standard variance reduction techniques (VRT), such as importance sampling.
Finally, we can simply use a large number of iid replications of the
simulation.
Harmonic analysis
Another strategy for
estimating the gradient simulation is based on the frequency domain method,
which differs from the time domain experiments in that the input parameters
are deterministically varied in sinusoidal patterns during the simulation run,
as opposed to being kept fixed as in the time domain runs. The range of
possible values for each input factor should be identified. Then the values of
each input factor within its defined range should be changed during a run. In
time series analysis, t is the time index. In simulation, however, t is not
necessarily the simulation clock time. Rather, t is a variable of the model,
which keeps track of certain statistics during each run. For example, to
generate the interarrival times in a queueing simulation, t might be the
variable that counts customer arrivals.
Frequency domain simulation experiments identify the significant terms of
the polynomial that approximates the relationship between the simulation
output and the inputs. Clearly, the number of simulation runs required to
identify the important terms by this approach is much smaller than those of
the competing alternatives, and the difference becomes even more conspicuous
as the number of parameters increases.
Conclusions & Further Readings
PA and
SF (or LR) can be unified. Further comparison of the PA and SF approaches
reveals several interesting differences. Both approaches require an
interchange of expectation and differentiation. However, the conditions for
this interchange in PA depend heavily on the nature of the problem, and must
be verified for each application, which is not the case in SF. Therefore, in
general, it is easier to satisfy SF unbiased conditions. PA assumes that the
order of events in the perturbed path is the same as the order in the nominal
path, for a small enough change in v , allowing the computation of the
sensitivity of the sample performance for a particular simulation. For
example, if the performance measure is the mean number of customer in a busy
period, the PA estimate of the gradient with respect to any parameter is zero!
The number of customers per busy period will not change if the order of events
does not change.
In terms of ease of implementation, PA estimators may require considerable
analytical work on the part of algorithm developer, with some "customization"
for each application, whereas SF has the advantage of remaining a general
definable algorithm whenever it can be applied.
Perhaps the most important criterion for comparison lies in the question of
accuracy of an estimator, typically measured through its variance. If an
estimator is strongly consistent, its variance is gradually reduced over time
and ultimately approaches to zero. The speed with which this happens may be
extremely important. Since in practice, decisions normally have to be made in
a limited time, an estimator whose variance decreases fast is highly
desirable. In general, when PA does provide unbiased estimators, the variance
of these estimators is small. PA fully exploits the structure of DES and their
state dynamics by extracting the needed information from the observed sample
path, whereas SF requires no knowledge of the system other than the inputs and
the outputs. Therefore when using SF methods, variance reduction is necessary.
The question is whether or not the variance can be reduced enough to make the
SF estimator useful in all situations to which it can be applied. The answer
is certainly yes. Using the standard variance reduction techniques can help,
but the most dramatic variance reduction occurs using new methods of VR such
as conditioning, which is shown numerically to have a mean squared error that
is essentially the same as that of PA.
For more, visit the Web site: Modeling &
Simulation Resources.
References & Further Readings:
Arsham H., Algorithms for Sensitivity Information in DiscreteEvent
Systems Simulation, Simulation Practice and Theory, 6(1), 122, 1998.
Fu M., and JQ. Hu, Conditional Monte Carlo: Gradient Estimation and
Optimization Applications, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997.
Rubinstein R., and A. Shapiro, Discrete Event Systems: Sensitivity
Analysis and Stochastic Optimization by the Score Function Method, John
Wiley & Sons, 1993. Whitt W., Minimizing delays in the GI/G/1 queue,
Operations Research, 32(1), 4151, 1984.
Simulationbased Optimization
TechniquesDiscrete event simulation is the primary analysis tool
for designing complex systems. Simulation, however, must be linked with a
optimization techniques to be effectively used for systems design. We present
several optimization techniques involving both continuous and discrete
controllable input parameters subject to a variety of constraints. The aim is
to determine the techniques most promising for a given simulation model.
Many manmade systems can be modeled as Discrete Event Systems (DES);
examples are computer systems, communication networks, flexible manufacturing
systems, production assembly lines, and traffic transportation systems. DES
evolve with the occurrence of discrete events, such as the arrival of a job or
the completion of a task, in contrast with continuously variable dynamic
processes such as aerospace vehicles, which are primarily governed by
differential equations. Owing to the complex dynamics resulting from
stochastic interactions of such discrete events over time, the performance
analysis and optimization of DES can be difficult tasks. At the same time,
since such systems are becoming more widespread as a result of modern
technological advances, it is important to have tools for analyzing and
optimizing the parameters of these systems.
Analyzing complex DES often requires computer simulation. In these systems,
the objective function may not be expressible as an explicit function of the
input parameters; rather, it involves some performance measures of the system
whose values can be found only by running the simulation model or by observing
the actual system. On the other hand, due to the increasingly large size and
inherent complexity of most manmade systems, purely analytical means are
often insufficient for optimization. In these cases, one must resort to
simulation, with its chief advantage being its generality, and its primary
disadvantage being its cost in terms of time and money. Even though, in
principle, some systems are analytically tractable, the analytical effort
required to evaluate the solution may be so formidable that computer
simulation becomes attractive. While the price for computing resources
continue to dramatically decrease, one nevertheless can still obtain only a
statistical estimate as opposed to an exact solution. For practical purposes,
this is quite sufficient.
These manmade DES are costly, and therefore it is important to operate
them as efficiently as possible. The high cost makes it necessary to find more
efficient means of conducting simulation and optimizing its output. We
consider optimizing an objective function with respect to a set of continuous
and/or discrete controllable parameters subject to some constraints.
Click on the image
to enlarge it and THEN print
it. The above figure illustrates the feedback loop application.
Although the feedback concept is not a simulation but a systemic concept,
however, whatever paradigm we use one can always incorporate feedback. For
example, consider a discrete event system (DES) model that employs resources
to achieve certain tasks/processes, by only incorporating decision rules
regarding how to manage the stocks and thence how the resource will be
deployed depending on the stock level, clearly, in the system structure there
are feedback loops.
Usually when modelers choose a DES approach they often model the system as
open loop or nearly open loop system, making the system behave as if there
where no superior agent controlling the whole production/service/ process.
Closing the loops should be an elemental task that simulation modeler should
take care of, even if the scope does not involve doing it, there must be
awareness of system behavior, particularly if there is known to be that the
system if under human decision making processes/activities.
In almost all simulation models, an expected value can express the
system's performance. Consider a system with continuous parameter v Î V, where V is the feasible region. Let
J(v) = E_{Y  v }
[Z (Y)]
be the steady state expected performance measure, where Y is a random
vector with known probability density function (pdf), f(y; v) depends on v,
and Z is the performance measure.
In discrete event systems, Monte Carlo simulation is usually needed to
estimate J(v) for a given value v = v _{0}. By
the law of large numbers
J(v_{0}) = 1/n S
Z (y _{i})
converges to the true value, where y_{i}, i =
1, 2,..., n are independent, identically distributed, random vector
realizations of Y from f (y; v _{0}), and n is
the number of independent replications.
The aim is to optimize J(v) with respect to v .
We shall group the optimization techniques for simulation into seven broad
categories; namely, Deterministic Search, Pattern Search, Probabilistic
Search, Evolutionary Techniques, Stochastic Approximation, Gradient Surface,
and some Mixtures of the these techniques;
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Deterministic search techniques
A common
characteristic of deterministic search techniques is that they are basically
borrowed from deterministic optimization techniques. The deterministic
objective function value required in the technique is now replaced with an
estimate obtained from simulation. By having a reasonably accurate estimate,
one hopes that the technique will perform well.
Deterministic search techniques include heuristic search, complete
enumeration, and random search techniques.
Heuristic search technique
The heuristic search technique is probably most commonly used in optimizing
response surfaces. It is also the least sophisticated scheme mathematically,
and it can be thought of as an intuitive and experimental approach. The
analyst determines the starting point and stopping rule based on previous
experience with the system. After setting the input parameters (factors) to
levels that appear reasonable, the analyst makes a simulation run with the
factors set at those levels and computes the value of the response function.
If it appears to be a maximum (minimum) to the analyst, the experiment is
stopped. Otherwise the analyst changes parameter settings and makes another
run. This process continues until the analyst believes that the output has
been optimized. Suffice it to say that, if the analyst is not intimately
familiar with the process being simulated, this procedure can turn into a
blind search and can expend an inordinate amount of time and computer
resources without producing results commensurate with input. The heuristic
search can be ineffective and inefficient in the hand of a novice.
Complete enumeration and random
techniquesThe complete enumeration technique is not applicable to
continuous cases, but in discrete space v it does yield the optimal value of
the response variable. All factors ( v ) must assume a finite number of values
for this technique to be applicable. Then, a complete factorial experiment is
run. The analyst can attribute some degree of confidence to the determined
optimal point when using this procedure. Although the complete enumeration
technique yields the optimal point, it has a serious drawback. If the number
of factors or levels per factor is large, the number of simulation runs
required to find the optimal point can be exceedingly large. For example,
suppose that an experiment is conducted with three factors having three, four,
and five levels, respectively. Also suppose that five replications are desired
to provide the proper degree of confidence. Then 300 runs of the simulator are
required to find the optimal point. Hence, this technique should be used only
when the number of unique treatment combinations is relatively small or a run
takes little time.
The random search technique resembles the complete enumeration technique
except that one selects a set of inputs at random. The simulated results based
on the set that yields the maximum (minimum) value of the response function is
taken to be the optimal point. This procedure reduces the number of simulation
runs required to yield an 'optimal' result; however, there is no guarantee
that the point found is actually the optimal point. Of course, the more points
selected, the more likely the analyst is to achieve the true optimum. Note
that the requirement that each factor assumes only a finite number of values
is not a requirement in this scheme. Replications can be made on the treatment
combinations selected, to increase the confidence in the optimal point. Which
strategy is better, replicating a few points or looking at a single
observation on more points, depends on the problem.
Response surface search
Response surface
search attempts to fit a polynomial to J(v). If the design space v is suitably
small, the performance function J(v) may be approximated by a response
surface, typically a first order, or perhaps quadratic order in v , possibly
after transformation, e.g., log ( v ). The response surface method (RSM)
requires running the simulation in a first order experimental design to
determine the path of steepest descent. Simulation runs made along this path
continue, until one notes no improvement in J(v). The analyst then runs a new
first order experimental design around the new 'optimal' point reached, and
finds a new path of steepest descent. The process continues, until there is a
lack of fit in the fitted first order surface. Then, one runs a second order
design, and takes the optimum of the fittest second order surface as the
estimated optimum.
Although it is desirable for search procedures to be efficient over a wide
range of response surfaces, no current procedure can effectively overcome
nonunimodality (surfaces having more than one local maximum or minimum). An
obvious way to find the global optimal would be to evaluate all the local
optima. One technique that is used when nonunimodality is known to exist, is
called the "Las Vegas" technique. This search procedure estimates the
distribution of the local optima by plotting the estimated J( v ) for each
local search against its corresponding search number. Those local searches
that produce a response greater than any previous response are then identified
and a curve is fitted to the data. This curve is then used to project the
"estimated incremental" response that will be achieved by one more search. The
search continues until the value of the estimated improvement in the search is
less than the cost of completing one additional search.
It should be noted that a welldesigned experiment requires a sufficient
number of replications so that the average response can be treated as a
deterministic number for search comparisons. Otherwise, since replications are
expensive, it becomes necessary to effectively utilize the number of
simulation runs. Although each simulation is at a different setting of the
controllable variables, one can use smoothing techniques such as exponential
smoothing to reduce the required number of replications.
Pattern search techniques
Pattern search
techniques assume that any successful set of moves used in searching for an
approximated optimum is worth repeating. These techniques start with small
steps; then, if these are successful, the step size increases. Alternatively,
when a sequence of steps fails to improve the objective function, this
indicates that shorter steps are appropriate so we may not overlook any
promising direction. These techniques start by initially selecting a set of
incremental values for each factor. Starting at an initial base point, they
check if any incremental changes in the first variable yield an improvement.
The resulting improved setting becomes the new intermediate base point. One
repeats the process for each of the inputs until one obtains a new setting
where the intermediate base points act as the initial base point for the first
variable. The technique then moves to the new setting. This procedure is
repeated, until further changes cannot be made with the given incremental
values. Then, the incremental values are decreased, and the procedure is
repeated from the beginning. When the incremental values reach a prespecified
tolerance, the procedure terminates; the most recent factor settings are
reported as the solution.
Conjugate direction search
The conjugate
direction search requires no derivative estimation, yet it finds the optimum
of an Ndimensional quadratic surface after, at most, Niterations, where the
number of iterations is equal to the dimension of the quadratic surface. The
procedure redefines the n dimensions so that a single variable search can be
used successively. Single variable procedures can be used whenever dimensions
can be treated independently. The optimization along each dimension leads to
the optimization of the entire surface.
Two directions are defined to be conjugate whenever the crossproduct terms
are all zero. The conjugate direction technique tries to find a set of n
dimensions that describes the surface such that each direction is conjugate to
all others.
Using the above result, the technique attempts to find two search optima
and replace the n^{th} dimension of the quadratic
surface by the direction specified by the two optimal points. Successively
replacing the original dimension yields a new set of n dimensions in which, if
the original surface is quadratic, all directions are conjugate to each other
and appropriate for n single variable searches. While this search procedure
appears to be very simple, we should point out that the selection of
appropriate step sizes is most critical. The step size selection is more
critical for this search technique because  during axis rotation  the step
size does not remain invariant in all dimensions. As the rotation takes place,
the best step size changes, and becomes difficult to estimate.
Steepest ascent (descent)
The steepest
ascent (descent) technique uses a fundamental result from calculus ( that the
gradient points in the direction of the maximum increase of a function), to
determine how the initial settings of the parameters should be changed to
yield an optimal value of the response variable. The direction of movement is
made proportional to the estimated sensitivity of the performance of each
variable.
Although quadratic functions are sometimes used, one assumes that
performance is linearly related to the change in the controllable variables
for small changes. Assume that a good approximation is a linear form. The
basis of the linear steepest ascent is that each controllable variable is
changed in proportion to the magnitude of its slope. When each controllable
variable is changed by a small amount, it is analogous to determining the
gradient at a point. For a surface containing N controllable variables, this
requires N points around the point of interest. When the problem is not an
ndimensional elliptical surface, the paralleltangent points are extracted
from bitangents and inflection points of occluding contours. Parallel tangent
points are points on the occluding contour where the tangent is parallel to a
given bitangent or the tangent at an inflection point.
Tabu search technique
An effective
technique to overcome local optimality for discrete optimization is the Tabu
Search technique. It explores the search space by moving from a solution to
its best neighbor, even if this results in a deterioration of the performance
measure value. This approach increases the likelihood of moving out of local
optima. To avoid cycling, solutions that were recently examined are declared
tabu (Taboo) for a certain number of iterations. Applying intensification
procedures can accentuate the search in a promising region of the solution
space. In contrast, diversification can be used to broaden the search to a
less explored region. Much remains to be discovered about the range of
problems for which the tabu search is best suited.
Hooke and Jeeves type techniques
The Hooke
and Jeeves pattern search uses two kinds of moves; namely, an exploratory and
a pattern move. The exploratory move is accomplished by doing a coordinate
search in one pass through all the variables. This gives a new "base point"
from which a pattern move is made. A pattern move is a jump in the pattern
direction determined by subtracting the current base point from the previous
base point. After the pattern move, another exploratory move is carried out at
the point reached. If the estimate of J(v) is improved at the final point
after the second exploratory move, it becomes the new base point. If it fails
to show improvement, an exploratory move is carried out at the last base point
with a smaller step in the coordinate search. The process stops when the step
gets "small" enough.
Simplexbased techniques
The simplexbased
technique performs simulation runs first at the vertices of the initial
simplex; i.e., a polyhedron in the v space having N+1 vertices. A subsequent
simplex (moving towards the optimum) are formed by three operations performed
on the current simplex: reflection, contraction, and expansion. At each stage
of the search process, the point with the highest J(v) is replaced with a new
point foundvia reflection through the centroid of the simplex. Depending on
the value of J(v) at this new point, the simplex is either expanded,
contracted, or unchanged. The simplex technique starts with a set of N+1
factor settings. These N+1 points are all the same distance from the current
point. Moreover, the distance between any two points of these N+1 points is
the same. Then, by comparing their response values, the technique eliminates
the factor setting with the worst functional value and replaces it with a new
factor setting, determined by the centroid of the N remaining factor settings
and the eliminated factor setting. The resulting simplex either grows or
shrinks, depending on the response value at the new factor settings. One
repeats the procedure until no more improvement can be made by eliminating a
point, and the resulting final simplex is small. While this technique will
generally performance well for unconstrained problems, it may collapse to a
point on a boundary of a feasible region, thereby causing the search to come
to a premature halt. This technique is effective if the response surface is
generally bowl shaped even with some local optimal points.
Probabilistic search techniques
All
probabilistic search techniques select trial points governed by a scan
distribution, which is the main source of randomness. These search techniques
include random search, pure adaptive techniques, simulated annealing, and
genetic methods.
Random search
A simple, but very popular
approach is the random search, which centers a symmetric probability density
function (pdf) [e.g., the normal distribution], about the current best
location. The standard normal N(0, 1) is a popular choice, although the
uniform distribution U[1, 1] is also common.
A variation of the random search technique determines the maximum of the
objective function by analyzing the distribution of J(v) in the bounded
subregion. In this variation, the random data are fitted to an asymptotic
extremevalue distribution, and J* is estimated with a confidence statement.
Unfortunately, these techniques cannot determine the location of J* , which
can be as important as the J value itself. Some techniques calculate the mean
value and the standard deviation of J(v) from the random data as they are
collected. Assuming that J is distributed normally in the feasible region.,
the first trial, that yields a Jvalue two standard deviations within the mean
value, is taken as a nearoptimum solution.
Pure adaptive search
Various pure adaptive
search techniques have been suggested for optimization in simulation.
Essentially, these techniques move from the current solution to the next
solution that is sampled uniformly from the set of all better feasible
solutions.
Evolutionary Techniques
Nature is a robust
optimizer. By analyzing nature's optimization mechanism we may find acceptable
solution techniques to intractable problems. Two concepts that have most
promise are simulated annealing and the genetic techniques.
Simulated annealing
Simulated annealing
(SA) borrows its basic ideas from statistical mechanics. A metal cools, and
the electrons align themselves in an optimal pattern for the transfer of
energy. In general, a slowly cooling system, left to itself, eventually finds
the arrangement of atoms, which has the lowest energy. The is the behavior,
which motivates the method of optimization by SA. In SA we construct a model
of a system and slowly decrease the "temperature" of this theoretical system,
until the system assumes a minimal energy structure. The problem is how to map
our particular problem to such an optimizing scheme.
SA as an optimization technique was first introduced to solve problems in
discrete optimization, mainly combinatorial optimization. Subsequently, this
technique has been successfully applied to solve optimization problems over
the space of continuous decision variables. SA is a simulation optimization
technique that allows random ascent moves in order to escape the local minima,
but a price is paid in terms of a large increase in the computational time
required. It can be proven that the technique will find an approximated
optimum. The annealing schedule might require a long time to reach a true
optimum.
Genetic techniques
Genetic techniques (GT)
are optimizers that use the ideas of evolution to optimize a system that is
too difficult for traditional optimization techniques. Organisms are known to
optimize themselves to adapt to their environment.
GT differ from traditional optimization procedures in that GT work with a
coding of the decision parameter set, not the parameters themselves; GT search
a population of points, not a single point; GT use objective function
information, not derivatives or other auxiliary knowledge; and finally, GT use
probabilistic transition rules, not deterministic rules. GT are probabilistic
search optimizing techniques that do not require mathematical knowledge of the
response surface of the system, which they are optimizing. They borrow the
paradigms of genetic evolution, specifically selection, crossover, and
mutation.
Selection: The current points in the
space are ranked in terms of their fitness by their respective response
values. A probability is assigned to each point that is proportional to its
fitness, and parents (a mating pair) are randomly selected.
Crossover: The new point, or offspring,
is chosen, based on some combination of the genetics of the two parents.
Mutation: The location of offspring is
also susceptible to mutation, a process, which occurs with probability p, by
which a offspring is replaced randomly by a new offspring location.
A generalized GT generates p new offspring at once and kills off all of the
parents. This modification is important in the simulation environment. GT are
well suited for qualitative or policy decision optimization such as selecting
the best queuing disciplines or network topologies. They can be used to help
determine the design of the system and its operation. For applications of GT
to inventory systems, jobshop, and computer timesharing problems. GT do not
have certain shortcomings of other optimization techniques, and they will
usually result in better calculated optima than those found with the
traditionally techniques. They can search a response surface with many local
optima and find (with a high probability) the approximate global optimum. One
may use GT to find an area of potential interest, and then resort to other
techniques to find the optimum. Recently, several classical GT principles have
been challenged.
Differential Evolution: Differential Evolution
(DE) is a genetic type of algorithm for solving continuous stochastic function
optimization. The basic idea is to use vector differences for perturbing the
vector population. DE adds the weighted difference between two population
vectors to a third vector. This way, no separate probability distribution has
to be used, which makes the scheme completely selforganizing.
A short comparison
When performing search
techniques in general, and simulated annealing or genetic techniques
specifically, the question of how to generate the initial solution arises.
Should it be based on a heuristic rule or on a randomly generated one?
Theoretically, it should not matter, but in practice this may depend on the
problem. In some cases, a pure random solution systematically produces better
final results. On the other hand, a good initial solution may lead to lower
overall run times. This can be important, for example, in cases where each
iteration takes a relatively long time; therefore, one has to use some clever
termination rule. Simulation time is a crucial bottleneck in an optimization
process. In many cases, a simulation is run several times with different
initial solutions. Such a technique is most robust, but it requires the
maximum number of replications compared with all other techniques. The pattern
search technique applied to small problems with no constraints or qualitative
input parameters requires fewer replications than the GT. GT, however, can
easily handle constraints, and have lower computational complexity. Finally,
simulated annealing can be embedded within the Tabu search to construct a
probabilistic technique for global optimization.
References & Further Readings:
Choi D.H., Cooperative mutation based
evolutionary programming for continuous function optimization, Operations
Research Letters, 30, 195201, 2002. Reeves C., and J. Rowe, Genetic
Algorithms: Principles and Perspectives, Kluwer, 2002. Saviotti P.,
(Ed.), Applied Evolutionary Economics: New Empirical Methods and Simulation
Techniques, Edward Elgar Pub., 2002. Wilson W., Simulating
Ecological and Evolutionary Systems in C, Cambridge University Press,
2000.
Stochastic approximation techniques
Two
related stochastic approximation techniques have been proposed, one by Robbins
and Monro and one by Kiefer and Wolfowitz. The first technique was not useful
for optimization until an unbiased estimator for the gradient was found.
Kiefer and Wolfowitz developed a procedure for optimization using finite
differences. Both techniques are useful in the optimization of noisy
functions, but they did not receive much attention in the simulation field
until recently. Generalization and refinement of stochastic approximation
procedures give rise to a weighted average, and stochastic quasigradient
methods. These deal with constraints, nondifferentiable functions, and some
classes of nonconvex functions, among other things.
KieferWolfowitz type techniques
Kiefer and
Wolfowitz proposed a finite difference approximation to the derivative. One
version of the KieferWolfwitz technique uses twosided finite differences.
The first fact to notice about the KW estimate is that it requires 2N
simulation runs, where N is the dimension of vector parameter v . If the
decision maker is interested in gradient estimation with respect to each of
the components of v , then 2N simulations must be run for each component of v
. This is inefficient. The second fact is that it may have a very poor
variance, and it may result in numerical calculation difficulties.
RobbinsMonro type techniques
The original
RobbinsMonro (RM) technique is not an optimization scheme, but rather a root
finding procedure for functions whose exact values are not known but are
observed with noise. Its application to optimization is immediate: use the
procedure to find the root of the gradient of the objective function.
Interest was renewed in the RM technique as a means of optimization, with
the development of the perturbation analysis, score function (known also as
likelihood ratio method), and frequency domain estimates of derivatives.
Optimization for simulated systems based on the RM technique is known as a
"singlerun" technique. These procedures optimize a simulation model in a
single run simulation with a run length comparable to that required for a
single iteration step in the other methods. This is achieved essentially be
observing the sample values of the objective function and, based on these
observations, updating the values of the controllable parameters while the
simulation is running, that is, without restarting the simulation. This
observingupdating sequence is done repeatedly, leading to an estimate of the
optimum at the end of a singlerun simulation. Besides having the potential of
large computational savings, this technique can be a powerful tool in
realtime optimization and control, where observations are taken as the system
is evolving in time.
Gradient surface method
One may combine the
gradientbased techniques with the response surface methods (RSM) for
optimization purposes. One constructs a response surface with the aid of n
response points and the components of their gradients.
The gradient surface method (GSM) combines the virtue of RSM with that of
the single run, gradient estimation techniques such as Perturbation Analysis,
and Score Function techniques. A single simulation experiment with little
extra work yields N + 1 pieces of information; i.e., one response point and N
components of the gradient. This is in contrast to crude simulation, where
only one piece of information, the response value, is obtained per experiment.
Thus by taking advantage of the computational efficiency of singlerun
gradient estimators. In general, Nfold fewer experiments will be needed to
fit a global surface compared to the RSM. At each step, instead of using
RobbinsMonro techniques to locate the next point locally, we determine a
candidate for the next point globally, based on the current global fit to the
performance surface.
The GSM approach has the following advantages; The technique can quickly
get to the vicinity of the optimal solution because its orientation is global
[23, 39]. Thus, it produces satisfying solutions quickly; Like RSM, it uses
all accumulated information; And, in addition, it uses gradient surface
fitting, rather than direct performance responsesurface fitting via
singlerun gradient estimators. This significantly reduces the computational
efforts compared with RSM. Similar to RSM, GSM is less sensitive to estimation
error and local optimality; And, finally, it is an online technique, the
technique may be implemented while the system is running.
A typical optimization scheme involves two phases: a Search Phase and an
Iteration Phase. Most results in analytic computational complexity assume that
good initial approximations are available, and deal with the iteration phase
only. If enough time is spent in the initial search phase, we can reduce the
time needed in the iteration phase. The literature contains papers giving
conditions for the convergence of a process; a process has to be more than
convergent in order to be computationally interesting. It is essential that we
be able to limit the cost of computation. In this sense, GSM can be thought of
as helping the search phase and as an aid to limit the cost of computation.
One can adopt standard or simple devices for issues such as stopping rules.
For online optimization, one may use a new design in GSM called 'single
direction' design. Since for online optimization it may not be advisable or
feasible to disturb the system, random design usually is not suitable.
Postsolution analysis
Stochastic models
typically depend upon various uncertain and uncontrollable input parameters
that must be estimated from existing data sets. We focus on the statistical
question of how inputparameter uncertainty propagates through the model into
output parameter uncertainty. The sequential stages are descriptive,
prescriptive and postprescriptive analysis.
Rare Event Simulation
Large deviations can
be used to estimate the probability of rare events, such as buffer overflow,
in queueing networks. It is simple enough to be applied to very general
traffic models, and sophisticated enough to give insight into complex
behavior.
Simulation has numerous advantages over other approaches to performance and
dependability evaluation; most notably, its modelling power and flexibility.
For some models, however, a potential problem is the excessive simulation
effort (time) required to achieve the desired accuracy. In particular,
simulation of models involving rare events, such as those used for the
evaluation of communications and highlydependable systems, is often not
feasible using standard techniques. In recent years, there have been
significant theoretical and practical advances towards the development of
efficient simulation techniques for the evaluation of these systems.
Methodologies include: Techniques based on importance sampling, The
"restart" method, and Hybrid analytic/simulation techniques among newly
devised approaches.
Conclusions & Further Readings
With the
growing incidence of computer modeling and simulation, the scope of simulation
domain must be extended to include much more than traditional optimization
techniques. Optimization techniques for simulation must also account
specifically for the randomness inherent in estimating the performance measure
and satisfying the constraints of stochastic systems. We described the most
widely used optimization techniques that can be effectively integrated with a
simulation model. We also described techniques for postsolution analysis with
the aim of theoretical unification of the existing techniques. All techniques
were presented in stepbystep format to facilitate implementation in a
variety of operating systems and computers, thus improving portability.
General comparisons among different techniques in terms of bias, variance,
and computational complexity are not possible. However, a few studies rely on
real computer simulations to compare different techniques in terms of accuracy
and number of iterations. Total computational effort for reduction in both the
bias andvariance of the estimate depends on the computational budget allocated
for a simulation optimization. No single technique works effectively and/or
efficiently in all cases.
The simplest technique is the random selection of some points in the search
region for estimating the performance measure. In this technique, one usually
fixes the number of simulation runs and takes the smallest (or largest)
estimated performance measure as the optimum. This technique is useful in
combination with other techniques to create a multistart technique for global
optimization. The most effective technique to overcome local optimality for
discrete optimization is the Tabu Search technique. In general, the
probabilistic search techniques, as a class, offer several advantages over
other optimization techniques based on gradients. In the random search
technique, the objective function can be nonsmooth or even have
discontinuities. The search program is simple to implement on a computer, and
it often shows good convergence characteristics in noisy environments. More
importantly, it can offer the global solution in a multimodal problem, if the
technique is employed in the global sense. Convergence proofs under various
conditions are given in.
The HookeJeeves search technique works well for unconstrained problems
with less than 20 variables; pattern search techniques are more effective for
constrained problems. Genetic techniques are most robust and can produce
nearbest solutions for larger problems. The pattern search technique is most
suitable for small size problems with no constraint, and it requires fewer
iterations than the genetic techniques. The most promising techniques are the
stochastic approximation, simultaneous perturbation, and the gradient surface
methods. Stochastic approximation techniques using perturbation analysis,
score function, or simultaneous perturbation gradient estimators, optimize a
simulation model in a single simulation run. They do so by observing the
sample values of the objective function, and based on these observations, the
stochastic approximation techniques update the values of the controllable
parameters while the simulation is running and without restarting the
simulation. This observingupdating sequence, done repeatedly, leads to an
estimate of the optimum at the end of a singlerun simulation. Besides having
the potential of large savings in computational effort in the simulation
environment, this technique can be a powerful tool in realtime optimization
and control, where observations are taken as the system is evolving over time.
Response surface methods have a slow convergence rate, which makes them
expensive. The gradient surface method combines the advantages of the response
surface methods (RSM) and efficiency of the gradient estimation techniques,
such as infinitesimal perturbation analysis, score function, simultaneous
perturbation analysis, and frequency domain technique. In the gradient surface
method (GSM) the gradient is estimated, and the performance gradient surface
is estimated from observations at various points, similar to the RSM. Zero
points of the successively approximating gradient surface are then taken as
the estimates of the optimal solution. GSM is characterized by several
attractive features: it is a single run technique and more efficient than RSM;
at each iteration step, it uses the information from all of the data points
rather than just the local gradient; it tries to capture the global features
of the gradient surface and thereby quickly arrive in the vicinity of the
optimal solution, but close to the optimum, they take many iterations to
converge to stationary points. Search techniques are therefore more suitable
as a second phase. The main interest is to figure out how to allocate the
total available computational budget across the successive iterations.
For when the decision variable is qualitative, such as finding the best
system configuration, a random or permutation test is proposed. This technique
starts with the selection of an appropriate test statistic, such as the
absolute difference between the mean responses under two scenarios. The test
value is computed for the original data set. The data are shuffled (using a
different seed); the test statistic is computed for the shuffled data; and the
value is compared to the value of the test statistic for the original,
unshuffled data. If the statistics for the shuffled data are greater than or
equal to the actual statistic for the original data, then a counter c, is
incremented by 1. The process is repeated for any desired m number of times.
The final step is to compute (c+1)/(m+1), which is the significant level of
the test. The null hypothesis is rejected if this significance level is less
than or equal to the specified rejection level for the test. There are several
important aspects to this nonparametric test. First, it enables the user to
select the statistic. Second, assumptions such as normality or equality of
variances made for the ttest, rankingandselection, and multiplecomparison
procedures, are no longer needed. A generalization is the wellknown bootstrap
technique.
What Must Be Done
 computational studies of techniques for systems with a large number of
controllable parameters and constraints.
 effective combinations of several efficient techniques to achieve the
best results under constraints on computational resources.
 development of parallel and distributed schemes
 development of an expert system that incorporates all available
techniques.
For more, visit the Web site: Modeling &
Simulation Resources.
References & Further Readings:
Arsham H., Techniques for Monte Carlo Optimizing, Monte Carlo
Methods and Applications, 4(3), 181230, 1998. Arsham H., Stochastic
Optimization of Discrete Event Systems Simulation, Microelectronics and
Reliability, 36(10), 13571368, 1996. Fu M., and JQ. Hu,
Conditional Monte Carlo: Gradient Estimation and Optimization
Applications, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997. Rollans S. and D.
McLeish, Estimating the optimum of a stochastic system using simulation,
Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation, 72, 357  377,
2002. Rubinstein R., and A. Shapiro, Discrete Event Systems: Sensitivity
Analysis and Stochastic Optimization by the Score Function Method, John
Wiley & Sons, 1993.
The simulation models although simpler than the realworld system, are
still a very complex way of relating input (v) to output J(v). Sometimes a
simpler analytic model may be used as an auxiliary to the simulation model.
This auxiliary model is often referred to as a
metamodel.
In many simulation applications such as systems analysis and design
applications, the decision maker may not be interested in optimization but
wishes to achieve a certain value for J(v), say J_{0}. This is the goalseeking
problem: given a target output value J_{0}
of the performance and a parameterized pdf family, one must find an input
value for the parameter, which generates such an output.
Metamodeling
The simulation models although simpler than the realworld system, are
still a very complex way of relating input (v) to output J(v). Sometimes a
simpler analytic model may be used as an auxiliary to the simulation model.
This auxiliary model is often referred to as a
metamodel. There are several techniques available for metamodeling
including: design of experiments, response surface methodology, Taguchi
methods, neural networks, inductive learning, and kriging. Metamodeling may
have different purposes: model simplification and interpretation,
optimization, whatif analysis, and generalization to models of the same type.
The following polynomial model can be used as an auxiliary model.
J(v) = J(v_{0}) + dv.J' (v_{0}) + (dv)^{2} J' ' (v_{0}) / 2 + ...,
where
dv = vv_{0}
and the primes denote derivatives. This metamodel approximates J(v) for small
dv. To estimate J(v) in the neighborhood of v_{0} by a linear function, we need to estimate the
nominal J(v) and its first derivative. Traditionally, this derivative is
estimated by crude Monte Carlo; i.e., finite difference which requires
rerunning the simulation model. Methods which yield enhanced efficiency and
accuracy in estimating, at little additional computational (Not simulation)
cost, are presented in this site. The Score Function method of estimating the
first derivative is:
J'(v) = E_{Yv} [ Z(y(v)) .S]
where S=f'(y; v) / f(y; v)=d Lnf(y; v) / dv is the Score function and
differentiations is with respect to v, provided that, f'(y; v) exist, and f(y;
v) is positive for all v in V.
The Score function approach can be extended in estimating the second and
higher order of derivatives. For example, an estimate for the second
derivative based on the Score Function method is:
J'' (v_{0}) = E Z(y_{i}).H(y_{i} ; v_{0}),
where,
H(y_{i}; v_{0}) = f ' ' (y_{i};
v_{0}) / f (y_{i};
v_{0}).
Where S and H = S' + S^{2} are the score and
information functions, respectively, widely used in statistics literature,
such as in the construction of CramerRao bounds. By having gradient and
Hessian in our disposal, we are able to construct a second order local
metamodel using the Taylor's series.
An Illustrative Numerical Example: For most
complex reliability systems, the performance measures such as mean time to
failure (MTTF) are not available in analytical form. We resort to Monte Carlo
Simulation (MCS) to estimate MTTF function from a family of singleparameter
density functions of the components life with specific value for the
parameter. The purpose of this section is to solve the inverse problem, which
deals with the calculation of the components' life parameters (such as MTTF)
of a homogeneous subsystem, given a desired target MTTF for the system. A
stochastic approximation algorithm is used to estimate the necessary
controllable input parameter within a desired range of accuracy. The potential
effectiveness is demonstrated by simulating a reliability system with a known
analytical solution.
Consider the coherent reliability subsystem with four components component
1, and 2 are in series, and component 3 and 4 also in series, however these
two series of components are in parallel, as illustrated in the following
Figure. All components are working independently and are homogeneous; i.e.,
manufactured by an identical process, components having independent random
lifetimes Y1, Y2, Y3, and Y4, which are distributed exponentially with rates v
= v_{0} = 0.5.
The system lifetime is
Z (Y1,Y2,Y3,Y4; v_{0}) = max [min
(Y3,Y4), min (Y1,Y2)].
It is readily can be shown that the theoretical expected lifetime of this
subsystem is
J(v_{0}) = 3/(4 v_{0}).
The underlying pdf for this system is:
f(y; v) = v^{4}exp(v
Sy_{i}), the sum is over i
= 1, 2, 3, 4.
Applying the Score function method, we have:
S(y) = f ' (y; v) / f(y; v) = 4/v  S y_{i}, the sum is over i = 1, 2, 3,
4.
and
H(y) = f ' ' (y; v) / f(y; v) = [v^{2}
(S
y_{i})^{2}  8v (S y_{i}) + 12] /
v^{2}, the sums are over i = 1, 2, 3, 4.
The estimated average lifetime and its derivative for the nominal system
with v = v_{0 }
= 0.5, are:
J(v_{0
}) = S
max [min (Y_{3, j},Y_{4,
j}), min (Y_{1, j}, Y_{2, j})] / n,
J'(v_{0 }
) = S
max [min (Y_{3, j},Y_{4,
j}), min (Y_{1, j}, Y_{2, j})] . S(Y_{i,j}) /
n,
and
J"(v_{0
}) = S
max[min (Y_{3, j},Y_{4,
j}), min (Y_{1, j}, Y_{2, j})] . H(Y_{i,
j})/n,
respectively, where Y_{i, j
}is the j^{th} observation for the i^{th} component (i = 1, 2, 3, 4). We have performed a
Monte Carlo experiment for this system by generating n = 10000 independent
replications using SIMSCRIPT II.5 random number streams 1 through 4 to
generate exponential random variables Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4 , respectively, on a VAX
system. The estimated performance is J(0.5) = 1.5024, with a standard error of
0.0348. The first and second derivatives estimates are 3.0933 and 12.1177
with standard errors of 0.1126 and 1.3321, respectively.
The response surface approximation in the neighborhood of v = 0.5 is:
J(v) = 1.5024 + (v  0.5) (3.0933) + (v  0.5)^{2} (12.1177)/2 = 6.0589v^{2}  9.1522v + 4.5638
A numerical comparison based on exact and the approximation by this
metamodel reveals that the largest absolute error is only 0.33% for any v in
the range of [0.40, 0.60]. This error could be reduced by either more accurate
estimates of the derivatives and/or using a higher order Taylor expansion. A
comparison of the errors indicates that the errors are smaller and more stable
in the direction of increasing v. This behavior is partly due to the fact that
lifetimes are exponentially distributed with variance 1/v. Therefore,
increasing v causes less variance than the nominal system (with v = 0.50).
Goal seeking problem
In many systems modeling and simulation applications, the decision maker
may not be interested in optimization but wishes to achieve a certain value
for J(v), say J_{0}. This is the goalseeking problem: given a target output value J_{0} of the performance and a parameterized pdf family,
one must find an input value for the parameter, which generates such an
output. When is a controllable input, the decision maker may be interested in
the goalseeking problem: namely, what change of the input parameter will
achieve a desired change in the output value. Another application of the
goalseeking problem arises when we want to adapt a model to satisfy a new
equality constraint with some stochastic functions. We may apply the search
techniques, but the goalseeking problem can be considered as an interpolation
based on a metamodel. In this approach, one generates a response surface
function for J(v). Finally, one uses the fitted function to interpolate for
the unknown parameter. This approach is tedious, timeconsuming, and costly;
moreover, in a random environment, the fitted model might have unstable
coefficients.
For a given J(v) the estimated dv, using the first
order approximation is:
dv = [J(v)J(v_{0})] / J' (v_{0}),
provided that the denominator does not vanish for all v_{0} in set V.
The Goalseeker Module: The goalseeking problem
can be solved as a simulation problem. By this approach, we are able to apply
variance reduction techniques (VRT) used in the simulation literature.
Specifically, the solution to the goalseeking problem is the unique solution
of the stochastic equation J(v)  J_{0} = 0. The
problem is to solve this stochastic equation by a suitable experimental
design, to ensure convergence. The following is a Robbins Monro (RM) type
technique.
v_{j+1} = v_{j}+d_{j} [J_{0}  J(v_{j})] /
J'(v_{j}),
where d_{j} is any divergent sequence of
positive numbers. Under this conditions, dv =J_{0}  J(v_{j}) converges
to approach zero while dampening the effect of the simulation random errors.
These conditions are satisfied, for example, by the harmonic sequence d_{j} = 1/j. With this choice, the rate of reduction of
di is very high initially but may reduce to very small steps as we approach
the root. Therefore, a better choice is, for example d_{j} = 9 / (9 + j). This technique involves placing
experiment i+1 according to the outcome of experiment i immediately preceding
it, as is depicted in the following Figure:
Under these not unreasonable conditions, this algorithm will converge in
mean square; moreover, it is an almost sure convergence. Finally, as in
Newton's rootfinding method, it is impossible to assert that the method
converges for just any initial v = v_{0}, even
though J'(v) may satisfy the Lipschits condition over set V. Indeed, if the
initial value v_{0} is sufficiently close to the
solution, which is usually the case, then this algorithm requires only a few
iterations to obtain a solution with very high accuracy.
An application of the goalseeker module arises when we want to adapt a
model to satisfy a new equality constraint (condition) for some stochastic
function. The proposed technique can also be used to solve integral equations
by embedding the Importance Sampling techniques within a Monte Carlo sampling.
One may extend the proposed methodology to the inverse problems with two or
more unknown parameters design by considering two or more relevant outputs to
ensure uniqueness. By this generalization we could construct a linear (or even
nonlinear) system of stochastic equations to be solved simultaneously by a
multidimensional version of the proposed algorithm. The simulation design is
more involved for problems with more than a few parameters.
For more, visit the Web site: Modeling &
Simulation Resources.
References and Further Readings:
Arsham H., The Use of Simulation in Discrete
Event Dynamic Systems Design, Journal of Systems Science, 31(5),
563573, 2000. Arsham H., Input Parameters to Achieve Target Performance in
Stochastic Systems: A Simulationbased Approach, Inverse Problems in
Engineering, 7(4), 363384, 1999. Arsham H., Goal Seeking Problem in
Discrete Event Systems Simulation, Microelectronics and Reliability,
37(3), 391395, 1997. Batmaz I., and S. Tunali, Small response surface
designs for metamodel estimation, European Journal of Operational
Research, 145(3), 455470, 2003. IbidapoObe O., O. Asaolu, and A.
Badiru, A New Method for the Numerical Solution of Simultaneous Nonlinear
Equations, Applied Mathematics and Computation, 125(1), 133140,
2002. Lamb J., and R. Cheng, Optimal allocation of runs in a simulation
metamodel with several independent variables, Operations Research
Letters, 30(3), 189194, 2002. Simpson T., J. Poplinski, P. Koch, and
J. Allen, Metamodels for Computerbased Engineering Design: Survey and
Recommendations, Engineering with Computers, 17(2), 129150,
2001. Tsai CSh., Evaluation and optimisation of integrated manufacturing
system operations using Taguch's experiment design in computer simulation,
Computers And Industrial Engineering, 43(3), 591604, 2002.
"Whatif" Analysis Techniques
Introduction
The simulation models are often subject to errors caused by the estimated
parameter(s) of underlying input distribution function. "Whatif" analysis is
needed to establish confidence with respect to small changes in the parameters
of the input distributions. However the direct approach to "whatif" analysis
requires a separate simulation run for each input value. Since this is often
inhibited by cost, as an alternative, what people are basically doing in
practice is to plot results and use a simple linear
interpolation/extrapolation. This section presents some simulationbased
techniques that utilize the current information for estimating performance
function for several scenarios without any additional simulation runs.
Simulation continues to be the primary method by which system analysts
obtain information about analysis of complex stochastic systems. In almost all
simulation models, an expectedvalue can express the system's performance.
Consider a system with continuous parameter v Î V,
where V is the feasible region. Let
J(v) = E_{Y  v
}[Z (Y)]
be the steady state expected performance measure, where Y is a random
vector with known probability density function (pdf), f(y; v) depends on v,
and Z is the performance measure.
In discrete event systems, Monte Carlo simulation is usually needed to
estimate J(v) for a given value v. By the law of large numbers
J(v) = 1/n S Z (y
_{i})
where y_{i}, i = 1, 2,..., n are independent,
identically distributed, random vector realizations of Y from f (y; v ), and n
is the number of independent replications. This is an unbiased estimator for
J(v) and converges to J(v) by law of large numbers.
There are strong motivations for estimating the expected performance
measure J(v) for a small change in v to v + dv, that
is to solve the socalled "what if" problem.
The simulationist must meet managerial demands to consider model validation
and cope with uncertainty in the estimation of v. Adaptation of a model to new
environments also requires an adjustment in v.
An obvious solution to the "what if" problem is the Crude Monte Carlo (CMC)
method, which estimates J(v+ dv) for each v
separately by rerunning the system for each v+ dv.
Therefore costs in CPU time can be prohibitive The use of simulation as a tool
to design complex computer stochastic systems is often inhibited by cost.
Extensive simulation is needed to estimate performance measures for changes in
the input parameters. As as an alternative, what people are basically doing in
practice is to plot results of a few simulation runs and use a simple linear
interpolation/extrapolation.
In this section we consider the "Whatif" analysis problem by extending the
information obtained from a single run at the nominal value of parameter v to
the closed neighborhood. We also present the use of results from runs at two
or more points over the intervening interval. We refer to the former as
extrapolation and the latter as interpolation by simulation. The results are
obtained by some computational cost as opposed to simulation
cost. Therefore, the proposed techniques are for estimating a performance
measure at multiple settings from a simulation at a nominal value.
A model
based on RadonNikodym theorem to estimate J(v+ dv)
for stochastic systems in a single run is as follows:
J(v+ dv) = E_{Y  v + dv}[Z (Y)] = E_{Y 
v} [Z (Y).W]
where the likelihood ratio W is:
W = f(y; v+ dv) / f(y; v)
adjusts the sample path, provided f(y; v) does not vanish. Notice that by
this change of probability space, we are using the common realization as J(v).
The generated random vector y is roughly representative of Y, with f(v).
Each of these random observations, could also hypothetically came from f(v+
dv). W weights the observations according to this
phenomenon.
Therefore, the "Whatif" estimate is:
J(v) = 1/n S Z (y
_{i}).W_{i}
which is based on only one sample path of the system with parameter v and
the simulation for the system with v+ dv is not
required.
Unfortunately LR produces a larger variance compared with CMC. However,
since E(W)=1, the following variance reduction techniques (VRT) may improve
the estimate.
J(v) = S Z (y
_{i}).W_{i} / S W_{i}
In the statistical literature the efficient score
function is defined to be the gradient
S(y) = d Ln f(y; v) / dv
We consider the exponential (approximation) model for J(v+ dv) in a first derivative neighborhood of v by:
J(v+ dv) = E [ Z(y). exp[dvS(y)] / E[exp(dS(y))]
Now we are able to estimate J(v+ dv) based on n
independent replications as follows:
J(v+ dv) = S A_{i} / S B_{i}
where,
A_{i}= Z(y_{i}).exp[dv.S(y_{i})]
and
B_{i}= exp[dv.
S(y_{i})].
The following linear Taylor model can be used as an
auxiliary model.
J(v + dv) = J(v) + dv.J' (v) + ...,
where the prime denotes derivative. This metamodel approximates J(v +
dv)) for small dv. For this
estimate, we need to estimate the nominal J(v) and its first derivative.
Traditionally, this derivative is estimated by crude Monte Carlo; i.e., finite
difference, which requires rerunning the simulation model. Methods which yield
enhanced efficiency and accuracy in estimating, at little additional cost, are
of great value.
There are few ways to obtain efficiently the derivatives of the output with
respect to an input parameter as presented earlier on this site. The most
straightforward method is the Score Function (SF). The SF approach is the
major method for estimating the performance measure and its derivative, while
observing only a single sample path from the underlying system. The basic idea
of SF is that the derivative of the performance function, J'(v), is expressed
as expectation with respect to the same distribution as the performance
measure itself.
Therefore, for example, using the estimated values of J(v) and its
derivative J'(v), the estimated J(v + dv) is:
J(v + dv) = J(v) + dv J'(v_{0})
with variance
Var[J(v+dv) ] = Var[J(v)] + (dv)^{2} Var[J'(v)] + 2dv Cov[J(v), J'(v)].
This variation is needed for constructing a confidence interval for the
perturbed estimate.
Given two
points, v1 and v2 (scalars only) "sufficiently" close, one may simulate at
these two points then interpolates for any desired points in between. Assuming
the given v1 and v2 are sufficiently close and looks for the "best" linear
interpolation in the sense of minimum error on the interval. Clearly,
J(v) = E_{Y  v }
[Z (Y)] = f . E_{Y  v
}[Z (Y)] + (1
 f) . E_{Y  v }
[Z (Y)]
Similar to the Likelihood Ratio approach, this can be written as:
J(v) = E_{Y  v
}[Z (Y)] = f . E_{Y  v1
}[Z (Y).W1] +
(1  f) . E_{Y  v2
}[Z (Y).W2]
where the likelihood ratios W1 and W2 are W1 = f(y; v) / f(y; v1) and W2 =
f(y; v) / f(y; v2), respectively.
One obvious choice is f = f(y; v1) / [f(y;
v1)+f(y; v2)]. This method can easily extended to kpoint interpolation.
For 2point interpolation, if we let f to be
constant within the interval [0, 1], then the linear interpolated "whatif"
estimated value is:
J(v) = f . J_{1}
+ (1f) . J_{2}
where the two estimates on the RHS of are two independent Likelihood Ratio
extrapolations using the two endpoints.
We define f* as the f in
this convex combination with the minimum error in the estimate. That is, it
minimizes
Var[J(v)] = f^{2}Var[J_{1}] + (1f)^{2}Var[J_{2})]
By the first order necessary and sufficient conditions, the optimal f is:
f* = Var[J_{2}]
/ {Var[J_{1}] + Var[J_{2}]}
Thus, the "best linear" interpolation for any point in interval [v1, v2]
is:
J(v) = f* . J_{1} + (1 f*) . J_{2}
which is the optimal interpolation in the sense of having minimum variance.
Estimating system performance for several scenarios
via simulation generally requires a separate simulation run for each scenario.
In some very special cases, such as the exponential density f(y; v)=ve^{vy}, one could have obtained the perturbed estimate
using Perturbation Analysis directly as follow. Clearly, one can generate
random variate Y by using the following inverse transformation:
Y_{i}=(1/v) Ln (1/U_{i})
where Ln is the natural logarithm and U_{i} is
a random number distributed Uniformly [0,1]. In the case of perturbed v, the
counterpart realization using the same U_{i} is
Y_{i}=[1/(v+dv)]
Ln (1/U_{i}).
Clearly, this single run approach is limited, since the inverse
transformation is not always available in closed form. The following Figure
illustrates the Perturbation Analysis Method:
Since the Perturbation Analysis Approach has this serious limitation, for
this reason, we presented some techniques for estimating performance for
several scenarios using a singlesample path, such as the Likelihood Ratio
method, which is illustrated in the following Figure.
Research Topics: Items for further research include:
i) to introduce efficient variance reduction and bias reduction techniques
with a view to improving the accuracy of the existing and the proposed
methods;
ii) to incorporate the result of this study in a random search optimization
technique. In this approach one can generate a number of points in the
feasible region uniformly distributed on the surface of a hypersphere each
stage the value of the performance measure is with a specified radius centered
at a starting point. At estimated at the center (as a nominal value).
Perturbation analysis is used to estimate the performance measure at the
sequence of points on the hypersphere. The best point (depending whether the
problem is max or min) is used as the center of a smaller hyper sphere.
Iterating in this fashion one can capture the optimal solution within a
hypersphere with a specified small enough radius. Clearly, this approach
could be considered as a sequential selfadaptive optimization technique.
iii) to estimate the sensitivities i.e. the gradient, Hessian, etc. of J(v)
can be approximated using finite difference. For example the first derivative
can be obtained in a single run using the Likelihood Ratio method as follows:
J'(v) = [S(Z_{i}
W_{i}  Z_{i})]/(n
dv),
J'(v) = [S(Z_{i}
W_{i}  Z_{i})]/(dv. SW_{i}),
or
J(v) = SZ_{i}[W_{i}^{+}  W_{i}^{}] / { 2 S [(1+ dv)W_{i}^{+}  (1dv)W_{i}^{}]}
the sums are over all i, i =1, 2, 3,.., n, where
W_{i}^{+} =
f(y:v+ v)/f(y; v), and W_{i}^{} = f(y; v v)/f(y; v).
The last two estimators may induce some variance reductions.
iv) Other interpolation techniques are also possible. The most promising
one is based on Kriging. This technique gives more weight to `neighboring'
realizations, and is widely used in geostatistics.
Other items for further research include some experimentation on large and
complex systems such as a large Jacksonian network with routing that includes
feedback loops in order to study the efficiency of the presented technique.
For more, visit the Web site: Modeling &
Simulation Resources.
References & Further Readings: Arsham H., Performance Extrapolation in Discreteevent Systems
Simulation, Journal of Systems Science, 27(9), 863869, 1996.
Arsham H., A Simulation Technique for Estimation in Perturbed Stochastic
Activity Networks, Simulation, 58(8), 258267, 1992. Arsham H.,
Perturbation Analysis in DiscreteEvent Simulation, Modelling and
Simulation, 11(1), 2128, 1991. Arsham H., Whatif Analysis in
Computer Simulation Models: A Comparative Survey with Some Extensions,
Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 13(1), 101106, 1990. Arsham
H., Feuerverger, A., McLeish, D., Kreimer J. and Rubinstein R., Sensitivity
analysis and the whatif problem in simulation analysis, Mathematical and
Computer Modelling, 12(1), 193219, 1989.
