C Using This Book

The the online version of this book offers some opportunities and challenges different than the print version. This appendix provides some tips on understanding the meaning behind the formatting, using the toolbar, obtaining the best Simio software to meet your needs, and locating the files and other resources referenced in this book.

C.1 Formatting Guidelines

We have standardized the formatting to help communicate the meaning of the terms being discussed.

  • We use bold formatting to introduce a new term. For example we might say “SimBits are small well-documented models.” to call your attention to the definition.
  • We use italics to emphasize a term or word to draw your attention to something you might otherwise overlook. For example, “We use Simio Processes to specify the custom logic.” or “Objects are placed from the library and defined/edited from the Navigation Window.”
  • Something that you are instructed to type or select from a predefined list would be identified in a small highlighted fixed font, sometimes referred to as code font. For example, “For the Server Name property enter Server1.” or “For the Ranking Rule select First in First Out.” This same format is used to identify file names.
  • All other terms such as element names, step names, locations, buttons, and property names, are mixed case with no special font (e.g., Material, Process Type, Project Library, Facility Window).

C.2 Using the Online Book Toolbar

At the top of the HTML document you will see a toolbar (Figure C.1). This toolbar is part of a toolkit provided by GitBook and hence is known as the GitBook toolbar. It is easy to overlook, but there are several features here that you will probably find to be helpful.

GitBook Toolbar.

Figure C.1: GitBook Toolbar.

The first (leftmost) button on the GitBook toolbar toggles the visibility of the sidebar (e.g., the table of contents). You can also hit the S key on your keyboard to do the same thing. The GitBook style remembers the visibility status of the sidebar, e.g., if you closed the sidebar, it will remain closed the next time you open the book. In fact, the GitBook style remembers many other settings as well, such as the search keyword and the font settings.

The second button on the toolbar is the search button. While you might be accustomed to using the built-in search in your browser, the toolbar search has the important ability to search the entire book rather than just the currently opened page. Its keyboard shortcut is ‘f’ (Find). When the button is clicked, you will see a search box at the top of the sidebar. As you type in the box, the sidebar will be filtered to display the sections that match the search keyword. Then you can use the Up/Down arrow keys to highlight the previous/next match in the search results. When you click the search button again (or hit f outside the search box), the search keyword will be emptied and the search box will be hidden.

The third button is for font/theme settings. You can change the font size (bigger or smaller), the font family (serif or sans serif), and the theme (White, Sepia, or Night) to the settings you find easiest to read.

The fourth button on the left side of the toolbar allows you to download a pdf version of the online textbook. This pdf may be printed if desired.

The fifth button on the toolbar is the information (‘i’) button that lists keyboard shortcuts available to navigate the document.

On the right of the toolbar, there are buttons to share a link to the selected chapter on social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. We encourage you to share book content with anyone who might find it to be helpful. Simio does not collect any information about your social media account or your contacts.

C.3 Simio Software

This textbook was written for Simio 14 or later. While you might find minor differences or even an easier way of modeling in more recent software, the concepts should be clear.

Simio Personal Edition software is available for no-cost download at https://www.simio.com/evaluate. While this is good software for exploring and learning Simio on your own, it is generally only appropriate for initial course work or for a course where only very small assignments are submitted. Personal Edition is generally not appropriate for a course which requires submission of models for grading.

Simio Academic Version is the recommended software for use with this book. It is available in several editions that differ in the model size and functional capabilities. Academic software is functionally similar to Simio’s commercial software, but it is licensed for non-commercial use only. All academic software also includes the OptQuest optimization software.

Professors desiring a grant for using the Simio Academic Version at no charge can apply at https://www.simio.com/academics/order-academic-software/. No-cost grants are licensed for use by faculty, teaching assistants, and for installation in software labs for student use. A single grant can provide the quantity of licenses needed for an instructor or department. If you have good cause to request a free upgrade from the software provided with your Simio grant, authorized faculty can request upgrades at https://www.simio.com/academics/faculty-upgrade-request.php

Simio Student Edition software is similar to the Simio Academic Versions described above, however it is licensed for use by individual students who are registered for a course. Each license is sold for a nominal fee ($25 US) and is good for a calendar year. The default license issued is capable of building moderately large models without RPS features. Students who can demonstrate good cause can request a free upgrade to allow building models of unlimited size and add some RPS capabilities at https://www.simio.com/academics/student-upgrade-request.php.

A more thorough description of Simio’s academic products can be found at https://www.simio.com/academics/simio-academic-simulation-products.php.

C.3.1 Simio on a Mac

Simio is a Windows application, but many Simio users choose to run Simio on their Macs. Like other popular designed-for-Windows applications, the first step is to provide a Windows instance on your Mac. There are several popular approaches to that, including using Parallels, Bootcamp, Oracle VM VirtualBox, and VMware Fusion. All the alternatives will require that you obtain a Windows license and software that will be installed on your Mac. Some schools may provide a free or discounted version of Microsoft Windows. Check with your school administrator to find out additional information. If not, you can purchase Windows and download the Windows 10 ISO file from the Windows website.

Each of the other programs mentioned above has its own individual pros and cons. Some of those options might be available through your school or at an academic discount. We recommend that you research all your options so you can find the solution that works best for you!

Some additional guidance for installing and operating Simio using these approaches can be found here: https://cdn.simio.com/SimioLicenses/MacInstructions.pdf.

C.4 Book Files and Resources

C.4.1 Model and data files

The spreadsheets, example models, and data files referenced throughout the book can be found conveniently assembled in a single zip file: https://textbook.simio.com/SASMAA/files/SASMAA_StudentFiles_6e.zip

C.4.2 MMC Queueing Analysis

The mmc queueing program used in Chapter 2 can be downloaded from https://textbook.simio.com/SASMAA/files/MMC_calculator.zip.

To invoke mmc.exe you need to run the Microsoft Windows Command Prompt window (usually via the Windows Start button, then Programs or All Programs, then in the Accessories folder). It’s probably simplest to move the mmc.exe file to the “root” drive (usually C:) on your system, and then in the Command Prompt window, type cd .. repeatedly until the prompt reads just C:\(\backslash >\). If you then type just mmc at the prompt you’ll get a response telling you what the syntax is.

C.4.3 Stat::Fit Input Analysis

Stat::Fit is analytical software for fitting distributions. A commercial version is available at https://www.geerms.com/. A free student version limited to 50 data points is also available at that same web site. A slightly older but more capable (100 data points) textbook version of Stat::Fit is used in Chapter 6 – it can be downloaded from https://textbook.simio.com/SASMAA/files/StatFitTextbookVersion.zip

To get the textbook version of Stat::Fit running on your system, download the above .zip file and unzip it to a convenient folder to which you have access. You can run Stat::Fit by double-clicking on the statfit.exe file you just unzipped, or you can make it easier to run by creating a shortcut to it on your desktop: Right-click on your desktop, select New \(\triangleright\) Shortcut, and specify the location of the statfit.exe file (e.g., C:\StatFit\statfit.exe), or browse to it. Currently, there is no formal “installation” procedure for the Stat::Fit textbook software like you may be familiar with from other software.

C.4.4 @Risk Software

@Risk software is not a core part of this book, but it is briefly covered in Section 3.2.3. As of this writing Palisade offers a 15 day trial of @Risk Industrial, their full commercial software, at https://go.palisade.com/RISKDownload.html. This is valid for student use, but of course only lasts 15 days. To use it longer, you can also contact them to obtain a student license for $85. Instructors have bulk purchase options as well as access to a (more expensive) academic license.

Watch the free webinar “Introduction to Risk Analysis using @RISK” found at https://go.palisade.com/OnDemand-IntrotoRisk.html to get started fast. You can also find a large collection of @Risk videos on their YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/PalisadeCorp.

C.4.5 Solutions and Other Files For Instructors

PowerPoint slides, selected problem solutions, a ready-to-teach LMS online course, student software access codes, and many other instructor resources are available only to registered instructors. A more detailed list and access instructions is provided in the Grant Award e-mail sent to the registered instructor. Case Study Webinars suitable for featuring in a class can be found here: https://www.simio.com/resources/webinar/.