Tips for Writing Computer Simulations of Business Processes

Here's a talk I gave in 2019 in Birmingham, Alabama, on creating computer simulations of business processes. It was based on work I had been doing writing Python simulations.

Some of the more interesting sections:
22:50: The sorts of graphs I produce to understand simulated processes over time.
37:54: A spreadsheet I used as the input to a simulation engine that I wrote in Python.
55:18: An example of the animations produced by one of my simulations.

These are the tips I offered in this talk for anyone considering writing computer simulations:

  1. First consider each simulation process in isolation.
  2. Graph the simulated process over time.
  3. Incorporate animation.
  4. Consider a slot-based approach to animation.
  5. Generate videos rather than on-the-fly animations.
  6. Generate comprehensive log files.
  7. Base your iteration loop on a non-fixed time interval.
  8. Use object orientation.
  9. Try not to hardcode the simulation process.
  10. Incorporate a warmup period.
  11. Know how to use Poisson processes.
  12. Think beyond the triangular distribution.
  13. Understand the cumulating effect of agency efficiency on queue time.
  14. Anticipate the need to use multiprocessing.

If you want the details, you'll have to watch the video, sorry!