Front Matter

Copyright (C) 2021 by Simio LLC. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no parts of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.

We welcome feedback and other contributions from instructors and students to . This textbook was written for Simio 14 or later.

  • See Appendix Section C.3 for important information about obtaining Simio software.
  • See Appendix Section C.4.1 for obtaining the model and data files referenced in the book.

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This sixth edition explains how to use simulation to make better business decisions in application domains from healthcare to mining, heavy manufacturing to supply chains, and everything in between. It is written to help both technical and non-technical users better understand the concepts and usefulness of simulation. It can be used in a classroom environment or in support of independent study. Modern software makes simulation more useful and accessible than ever and this book illustrates simulation concepts with Simio (R), a leader in simulation software.

This edition is written for Simio Version 14 or later – the technical content, figures, and examples have been updated to adjust for 3 years of new releases. The most dramatic change is in format and distribution – we are now distributing this updated book in a free online format to make it accessible to everyone. We have incorporated many new features as well as reader suggestions. We have enhanced the Monte Carlo, input analysis, and output analysis content, and added new coverage of data-driven and data-generated modeling techniques. We added a section introducing the emerging technology of AI and Neural Networks in support of simulation. Finally, we updated the Simulation-based Scheduling in Industry 4.0 chapter, discussing how simulation is contributing to the creation and effective operation of digital twins and operational scheduling and control. End-of-chapter problems have been improved and expanded, and we have incorporated many reader suggestions. We have reorganized the material for an improved flow, and have updates throughout the book for many of the new Simio features recently added.

This book can serve as the primary text in first and second courses in simulation at both the undergraduate and beginning-graduate levels. It is written in an accessible tutorial-style writing approach centered on specific examples rather than general concepts, and covers a variety of applications including an international flavor. Our experience has shown that these characteristics make the text easier to read and absorb, as well as appealing to students from many different cultural and applications backgrounds.

A first simulation course would probably cover Chapter 1 through Chapter 8 thoroughly, and likely Chapters 9 through 11, particularly for upper class or graduate-level students. For a second simulation course, it might work to skip or quickly review Chapters 1-3 and 6, thoroughly cover all other chapters up to Chapter 12, and use Appendices A and B as reinforcing assignments or term projects.

The text or components of it could also support a simulation module of a few weeks within a larger survey course in programs without a stand-alone simulation course (e.g., MBA). For a simulation module that’s part of a larger survey course, we recommend concentrating on Chapters 1, 4, and 5, and then perhaps lightly touch on Chapters 7 and 8. Appendix B describes several real-world simulation applications that might be useful for context.

The extensibility introduced in Chapter 11 could provide some interesting project work for a graduate student with some programming background, as it could be easily linked to other research topics. Likewise Chapter 12 could be used as the lead-in to some advanced study or research in the latest techniques in simulation-based planning and scheduling and an exploration of simulation applications in support of Smart Factories and Industry 4.0. Appendix A could be used as student assignments or challenge problems in an applications-focused or independent-study course.

We assume basic familiarity with the Microsoft Windows (R) operating system and common applications like Microsoft Excel (R) and Microsoft Word (R). This book also assumes prior coursework in, and comfort with, probability and statistics. Readers don’t need to be experts, but do need command of the basics of probability and statistics; more specific topics are outlined at the beginning of Chapters 2 and 6.

About the Authors

Jeffrey S. Smith is the Joe W. Forehand Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Auburn University, a Technical Fellow at Simio LLC, and a founding partner of Conflexion, LLC. Prior to his position at Auburn, he was an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Texas A&M University. In addition to his academic positions, Dr, Smith has held professional engineering positions with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and Philip Morris USA. Dr. Smith has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Auburn University and MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. His primary research interests are in manufacturing systems design and analysis, and discrete-event simulation.

Dr. Smith has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Manufacturing Systems and Simulation, and his research work has been funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), Sandia National Laboratories, SEMATECH, the USDA, and the FHWA. His industrial partners on sponsored research include Alcoa, BRP, DaimlerChrysler, Siemens VDO, Continental, Rockwell Software, Systems Modeling Corporation, JC Penney, Fairchild Semiconductor, IBM, Nacom Industries, UPS, and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Dr. Smith has served as PI or Co-PI on over $10 million of sponsored research and won the annual Senior Research Award of the College of Engineering at Auburn University in 2004. In addition, he has been selected as the Outstanding Faculty Member in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Auburn four times. He has served on several national conference committees, was the General Chair for the 2004 Winter Simulation Conference, and was on the Winter Simulation Conference Board of Directors from 2010 through 2020. Dr. Smith is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and senior member of INFORMS.

David T. Sturrock co-founded and is now a Technical Fellow for Simio LLC. Until recently he was Vice-president of Products, responsible for development, support, training, and services for Simio LLC. In that role he managed new product development, taught frequent commercial courses, and managed a variety of consulting projects. He currently teaches simulation classes as a Field Faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh. With over 40 years of experience, he has applied simulation techniques in the areas of manufacturing, transportation systems, scheduling, high-speed processing, plant layout, business processes, call centers, capacity analysis, process design, health care, plant commissioning, and real-time control. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from The Pennsylvania State University with concentrations in manufacturing and automation and received the 2020 Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award.

David began his career at Inland Steel Company as a plant industrial engineer. During a time of industry consolidation, he built an innovative simulation/scheduling group to improve company-wide effectiveness and efficiency. This effort was so successful that it was expanded to also assist the steelmaker’s suppliers and customers. He subsequently joined Systems Modeling as a development lead for SIMAN and Arena products, then joined Rockwell Automation as the Product Manager for Rockwell’s entire suite of simulation and emulation products. He is an ardent promoter of simulation, having had speaking engagements in over 40 countries across six continents. David is an active member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE), APICS/ASCM, INFORMS, and other professional groups. He is also a co-author of four simulation textbooks, and volunteers with Junior Achievement (JA), BPeace, ShelterBox, and local organizations


We extend a huge thank you to Dr. W. David Kelton who made significant contributions as co-author to the first five editions of this book and to Dr. Alexander Verbraeck, who was co-author of the first edition. Dr. C. Dennis Pegden provided significant contributions to the scheduling chapter and on the topic of AI and simulation. Many other people helped us get to this point. The Simio LLC technical staff — Cory Crooks, Glenn Drake, Glen Wirth, Dave Takus, Renee Thiesing, Katie Prochaska, and Christine Watson — were great in helping us understand the features, find the best way to describe and illustrate them, and even provided proofreading and help with the case studies. Jan Burket and Alex Molnar helped us with proofreading. Eric Howard, Erica Hedderick, and Molly Arthur of Simio LLC provided great support in helping get the word out and working with early adopters. Chris Havelka helped with the conversion to online format in the sixth edition. From Auburn University, Chris Bevelle and Josh Kendrick worked on the new introductory case studies, James Christakos and Yingde Li worked on material for the first edition, Ashkan Negahban provided much support during his years as a PhD student, and Grant Romine and Samira Shirzaei provided assistance with the fifth edition. While we appreciate the participation of all of the early adopters, we’d like to give special thanks to Jim Grayson, Gary Kochenberger, Deb Medeiros, Barry Nelson, Leonard Perry, and Laurel Travis (and her students at Virginia Tech) for providing feedback to help us improve.