Forthcoming articles


International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling


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International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling (32 papers in press)


Regular Issues


  • Modelling and application for eclampsia with SimMom   Order a copy of this article
    by Xue Wang, Ying Pan, Liyou Song, Xiaochen Huang, Ming Liu, Anqi Liu 
    Abstract: In this paper, the issue of simulation-based education with SimMom is dealt with for training of the students and young doctors in obstetrics and gynaecology in the case of eclampsia in hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, together with the reasonable and standard drug treatment. The model is built and the practical training results are analysed and compared for the performance of two groups of students under model-based training and conventional training, respectively. The results show that there was no significant difference in the theoretical knowledge test and crossover test for the two groups of students, whereas practice test scores increased significantly (P<0.05), with the group using the model of SimMom scoring higher than the other group. It proves that the SimMom application in obstetrics eclampsia will help to improve medical students' and young doctors' clinical skills. The advanced product makes a great contribution to reducing the medical accidents, improving medicinal level and doctor-patient relationship and promoting medical education.
    Keywords: SimMom, eclampsia, simulation-based education, medical modeling, clinical skill

  • Cost models for improved vehicle assembly line performance   Order a copy of this article
    by Arun Rane 
    Abstract: The viability of any manufacturing plant is a function of time and cost. Automobile manufacturing is the most competitive sector. The objective of this paper is to provide a detailed description of the development of the relationship between: cost of failure and time lost due to equipment failure; cost of inventory and time lost due to shortages of material; cost of setup and time lost due to set up; cost of absenteeism and time lost due to absenteeism; and cost of material handling and time lost due to material handling. Relationships are established scientifically using regression modelling, simulation and discussions with domain experts. Results are validated in a reputable vehicle assembly line. In this contribution, it is demonstrated that established models follow a cubic relationship rather than hyperbolic as reported in the literature. Further, an improved model with strong 17 constraints is presented, which may be useful for managers in taking cost-based decisions to improve the throughput.
    Keywords: cost of inventory; cost of failure; cost of setup; throughput; vehicle assembly line.

  • An analytic model to investigate the demand propagation in EOI supply networks   Order a copy of this article
    by Eleonora Bottani, Roberto Montanari 
    Abstract: This paper builds upon the study by Montanari et al. (2015). These authors presented a probabilistic approach, named M.DPA.eoq, to predict the demand seen by an upper-tier echelon (e.g. a distribution centre) of a supply network, serving several lower-tier echelons (e.g. retail stores) operating according to an economic order quantity (EOQ) policy. In this paper, we investigate the case of the economic order interval (EOI) policy and thus formulate the M.DPA.eoi (Montanari Demand Probabilistic Approach in the EOI scenario) framework. The M.DPA.eoi aims at determining the distribution of the demand seen by the upper-tier echelon of the supply network. Although its analytic formulation is not so simple, the approach is quite easy to understand and can be implemented without difficulties in general-purpose software, such as Microsoft ExcelTM. Therefore, the M.DPA.eoi is expected to be directly exploited by supply network managers, to estimate the distribution of the demand the upper-tier echelon will face in a defined network structure. Students and researchers could also benefit from such a model, given its ease of use. The model is tested on four scenarios, to derive the distribution of the demand seen by the upper-tier echelon under different network structures and different behaviours of the lower-tier echelons.
    Keywords: supply network; economic order interval; demand propagation; demand distribution; M.DPA.eoi; bullwhip effect

  • An innovative simulation model for the operations of a multipurpose seaport: a case study from Port of Wilmington, USA   Order a copy of this article
    by Mir Wahed, Ardeshir Faghri, Mingxin Li 
    Abstract: The analysis of potential operating problems in a port facility is an enduring theoretical and practical problem. These issues are much more acute for multipurpose ports, where different types of cargo operate at the same time by using the same resources of the port and the same labour forces, making it difficult and complex for management to make proper decisions about the operation and management of a multipurpose seaport. Because of the complexity of the problem, many existing methods have difficulties in providing a fast and reliable analysis of potential operating problems in a multipurpose port facility. In this study, a simulation model is developed to overcome this difficulty by analysing the operation of a multipurpose regional seaport in Delaware, USA. The model is implemented to identify the possible bottlenecks and optimise the operation of the port. The simulation model generates different "what if" scenarios based on the change of different input, which shows port performance under different conditions. The "what if" scenario then tries to find the significant elements of the multipurpose terminal operation which, if changed, could most reduce the turnaround time of the vessels. The results of the simulation model are used to choose the optimal change in the significant elements (ship turnaround time, waiting time for bulk cargoes, containers, and trucks) of the terminals operation.
    Keywords: multipurpose seaport; port management; seaports operation; simulation model; transportation planning; performance evaluation.

Special Issue on: I3M 2014 Modelling and Applied Simulation for the 3rd Millennium Enhancements in Traditional Approaches and Moving towards Simulation as Service

  • A simulation optimisation-based approach for team building in cyber security   Order a copy of this article
    by Pasquale Legato, Rina Mary Mazza 
    Abstract: In this study we present a simulation optimisation (SO) approach based on direct search methods applied to cyber security. The problem consists in investigating if and when human resources (i.e. analysts) in a company should i) work alone or ii) work in consultation with teammates when responding to different attack rates and types targeting a predefined set of company cyber assets. The objective of the study is to evaluate overall attack tolerance with respect to system performance degradation and both resource training and knowledge gain. Numerical examples and experiments related to resource assignment and team formation are presented to show how the SO model can support company managers when grappling with a very common decision: make or buy cyber security knowhow.
    Keywords: simulation optimisation, cyber security, team formation and collaboration

  • SLMToolBox: enterprise service process modelling and simulation by coupling DEVS and services workflow   Order a copy of this article
    by Gregory Zacharewicz, Hassan Bazoun, Judicael Ribault, Yves Ducq, Hadrien Boyer 
    Abstract: Market competition is pushing companies to differentiate themselves from competitors by developing customised services in addition to their original production (either physical or digital). It drives the emergence of service process modelling to describe more precisely the composition of services. Nevertheless, business initiatives modelling can be very complex to set, lying at the heart of many business decisions and demanding a lot of time and effort to handle and operate unambiguously. A well-designed and well-built business model can lower the risk of operating a service process, in consequence making enterprises more successful in their objectives. To this end, this paper recalls the MDSEA methodology and presents the key concept of the transformation of EA* and BPMN concepts into simulation workflows. Then it introduces the implementation done with the SLMToolBox that is an Eclipse RCP service graphical modeller, model transformer, and simulation engine. In more detail, it runs transformation from service processes models designed by business users to BPMN models. Then the BPMN models can be transformed to DEVS models to simulate the behaviour of the entire process model. In addition, enterprises are facing situations where future (undeveloped yet) enterprise services need to be integrated with existing ones. To go further and for a better integration and deployment of service models in the enterprise, we propose to combine service process M&S with service calls execution workflow. To achieve that goal, we are mashing up simulation of services modelled with existing enterprise web services calls. The interoperability between real and simulated services is handled by the tool Taverna Workflow and HLA RTI. This step is pushing one step further the expertise in the MDSEA methodology, attempting to pave the way from service design to IT development.
    Keywords: modelling, simulation, workflow, BPMN, Taverna, service, model transformation

  • The packages clustering optimisation in the logistics of the last mile freight distribution   Order a copy of this article
    by Elvezia M. Cepolina 
    Abstract: The paper refers to the modelling and simulation of an innovative urban freight distribution scheme. Packages destined for receivers in an urban area are firstly delivered to the urban distribution centre (UDC); each package is characterised by an address and dimensions. The load units are consolidated in the UDC with packages. Each load unit is addressed to a temporary unloading bay, where receivers are thereafter in charge of collecting their packages. The paper concerns a methodology for the load units consolidation which minimises the overall distance travelled by receivers, taking into account the load unit capacity and the maximum walking distance for the receivers to accept and collect their packages. A fuzzy k-means clustering algorithm has been adopted. The fuzzy clustering algorithm is recalled by a simulation model of the proposed transport system. The methodology has been applied to the case study of historical city centre of Genoa, Italy.
    Keywords: last mile freight distribution; load units consolidation; simulation; optimisation; fuzzy clustering algorithm.

  • Tactics for approaching cash optimisation in bank branches   Order a copy of this article
    by Miguel Aguilar Zaragoza, Idalia Flores de la Mota 
    Abstract: Maintaining a pre-defined level of service in many operations can be very expensive, especially if there are severe penalties when there is a lower level of service than the target. In such cases, companies seek to achieve goals even if that means significant losses in operating efficiency. In particular, banks, through their branches, offer cash transactions as a key service, so any lack of available cash is a critical issue, which would affect the prestige of the entire bank not just of that branch in particular. This paper aims to establish a policy, called a vault policy, that lets the cash administrator of a branch know how to manage the branchs money properly, by handling orders to the central vaults with realistic assumptions and easy-to-implement criteria. In order to achieve this, we present a model based on dynamic programming principles, to represent the problem and generate an input for the vault policy. Other inputs for the policy are some parameters set according to a branch's demand for a cash transactions approach, from the perspective of a best fit between frequentist and Bayesian, the latter with a recent development that more efficiently covers the Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations. The demand of a cash transactions approach also helps to control the risk of stocking out and to project horizons of cash balances, given certain scenarios. With these inputs and a definition of some intuitive rules, we can implement and assess the vault policy. The results for 30 branches are presented.
    Keywords: dynamic programming, compound process, generalised linear models, INLA, R, cash optimisation, bank branches.

Special Issue on: I3M 2014 New Advances in Simulation and Process Modelling Integrating New Technologies and Methodologies to Enlarge Simulation Capabilities

  • Cargo dynamic stability in the container loading problem: a physics simulation tool approach   Order a copy of this article
    by António Ramos, João Jacob, Jorge Justo, José Oliveira, Rui Rodrigues, António Gomes 
    Abstract: The container loading problem (CLP) is a real-world driven, combinatorial optimisation problem that addresses the maximisation of space usage in cargo transport units. The research conducted on this problem failed to fulfill the real needs of the transportation industry, owing to the inadequate representation of practical-relevant constraints. The dynamic stability of cargo is one of the most important practical constraints. It has been addressed in the literature in an over-simplified way, which does not actually translate into real-world stability. This paper proposes a physics simulation tool based on a physics engine, which can be used to translate real-world stability into the CLP. To validate the tool, a set of benchmark tests is proposed and the results obtained with the physics simulation tool are compared with the state-of-the-art simulation engineering software Abaqus Unified FEA. Analytical calculations have been also conducted, and it was also possible to conclude that the tool proposed is a valid alternative.
    Keywords: dynamic stability, physics engine, container loading problem

Special Issue on: The Latest Technologies for Building a Smart City

  • A novel visible-infrared image fusion framework for smart cities   Order a copy of this article
    by Zhinqin Zhu, Guanqiu Qi, Yi Chai, Hongpeng Yin, Jian Sun 
    Abstract: Image fusion technology is widely used in different areas and can integrate complementary and relevant information of source images captured by multiple sensors into a unitary synthetic image. Image fusion technology, as an efficient way to integrate information from multiple images, plays a more and more important role in smart cities. The quality of the fused image affects the accuracy, efficiency, and robustness of the related applications. Existing sparse representation-based image fusion methods consist of overly complete and redundant dictionary learning and sparse coding. However, overly complete and redundant dictionary does not consider the discriminative ability of dictionaries that may seriously affect the image fusion. A good dictionary is the key to a successful image fusion technique. To construct a discriminative dictionary, a novel framework that integrates an image-patches clustering and online dictionary learning methods is proposed for visible-infrared image fusion. The comparison experiments with existing solutions are used to validate and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed solution for image fusion.
    Keywords: image fusion; sparse representation; dictionary learning; sub-space clustering; smart city.

  • Container-as-a-service architecture for business workflow   Order a copy of this article
    by Ye Tao, Xiaodong Wang, Xiaowei Xu, Guozhu Liu 
    Abstract: The massive amount of data makes the work of building a smart city more and more data-driven. However, data collection and its analysis in such a large system are often separated and executed by different vendors. Owing to volume, security and privacy reasons, data migration can be difficult. To build a bridge between data owners and data analysers, service migration is applied, which forms the infrastructures, applications and services for different vendors. This paper presents a Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) framework for data processing in a smart city environment. We design and implement a multi-layered container service construction and deployment environment, and we employ the business workflow orchestration technologies in this environment. By using containers, local cluster resources are virtualised and isolated to simplify the creation and deployment of multiple applications autonomously across multiple vendor systems. Inside a container, computational tasks and worker processes are encapsulated into web services, in order to leverage service-based workflow technologies to develop timely and effective workflows for a smart city environment. A use case of smart transportation is studied to validate the usefulness and evaluate the performance of the presented architecture. Results show that the approach can be beneficial to the scientific tasks in regard to its flexibility and re-usability.
    Keywords: container; service computing; scientific workflow; BPEL for web services; Hadoop.

  • Software behaviour analysis method based On behaviour template   Order a copy of this article
    by Yingxu Lai, Zenghui Liu, Tao Ye 
    Abstract: This paper proposes a software behaviour analysis method based on behaviour template (SABT) which, according to the context of source code, builds a behaviour template to detect software malicious behaviour based on a function transfer map and minimum function blocks. Many methods use state transfer diagrams to build software behaviour models. Our method is based on the corresponding relationship between the functions and system call sequence, which ensures accurate detection of malicious behaviour. Compared with traditional methods, such as N-gram, FSA, and Var-gram, SABT can get higher cover rate of code and detect abnormal behaviour more effectively and efficiently.
    Keywords: software behaviour, software interrupt, behaviour template, minimum function block

  • Boundary estimating of urban road network for traffic impact analysis when reconstructing intersections: methodology and evaluation   Order a copy of this article
    by Yingying Ma, Ying Zeng 
    Abstract: Intersections are major points of conflict for road users and the key parts of urban road networks. It is necessary to reconstruct some intersections to improve capacity and safety. A methodology to estimate the boundary of a road network for traffic impact analysis of intersection improvements is discussed in this paper. Firstly, models are presented for two types of degree of correlation. The degree of saturation and free-flow travel time are considered in the model for the degree of correlation between two adjacent intersections, and the degree of correlation between any two intersections in the network is analysed using a Laplacian matrix algorithm. Secondly, a new method to estimating a road network boundary is proposed. Thirdly, two measures are adopted to evaluate the boundary of road networks: the minimum average cut degree of correlation and the minimum traffic influence on intersections outside the boundary. Finally, the method is demonstrated using a city road network. The results of the case study confirm the validity of the proposed approach.
    Keywords: boundary estimating, traffic impact analysis, intersection reconstruction, Laplacian matrix

  • Knowledge extraction based on linked open data for clinical documentation   Order a copy of this article
    by Mazen Alobaidi, Khalid Mahmood, Susan Sabra 
    Abstract: Smart cities are becoming a reality in the near future to transform many sectors and activities in our lives. Smart city systems, such as healthcare systems, will have new functionality to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Electronic health records are an essential component of healthcare systems. They are valuable for medical research, but much of the information is recorded as unstructured free text. Knowledge extraction from unstructured text in electronic health records is a problem that is well-documented but still not totally resolved. Knowledge extraction is very challenging because medical language has ungrammatical and fragmented constructions. We have implemented a unique framework knowledge extraction based on linked open data for clinical documentation (KE-LODC) that generates accurate and high quality triples transforming unstructured text from clinical documentation into well-defined and ready-to-use linked open data for diagnosis and treatment. We used Name Entity Recognition and Disambiguation (NERD) because it proved to be highly more precise than other available tools in entity recognition. Our framework proved to produce highly qualified big number of triple candidates, which improves the likelihood of better classification. Also, we evaluate our framework by comparing its precision and recall with two benchmark algorithms. The results show that KE-LODC performs better.
    Keywords: healthcare, smart city, linked open data; semantic web; knowledge extraction;

Special Issue on: I3M 2014 New Advances in Simulation and Process Modelling Integrating New Technologies and Methodologies to Enlarge Simulation Capabilities

  • Combining DEVS and model-checking: concepts and tools for integrating simulation and analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Bernard Zeigler, James Nutaro, Chungman Seo 
    Abstract: Our objectives here are to discuss the development of a formal framework that exploits the advantages of the Discrete Event System Specification (DEVS) formalism and builds upon recent extensive work on verification combining DEVS and model checking for hybrid systems. The mathematical concepts within the DEVS formalism encompass a broad class of systems that includes multi-agent discrete event components combined with continuous components such as timed automata, hybrid automata, and systems described by constrained differential equations. Moreover, DEVS offers the ability, via mathematical transformations called system morphisms, to map a system expressed in a formalism suitable for analysis (e.g., timed automata or hybrid automata) into the DEVS formalism for the purpose of simulation. Conversely, it is also possible to go from DEVS to formalism suitable for analysis for the purposes of model checking, symbolic extraction of test cases, reachability, among other analysis tasks. We discuss a probabilistic extension of the FD-DEVS formalism that enables a set of model classes and tools derived from Markov-type models. The MS4 modeling environment provides a suite of tools that support this extension, called FP-DEVS. In this paper we describe these tools and concepts underlying them. We also provide examples of application of these concepts and discuss the open opportunities for research in this direction.
    Keywords: DEVS , model-checking, verification, simulation, modeling and simulation tools, Markov models

  • Application of mobile devices within distributed simulation-based decision making   Order a copy of this article
    by Josef Brozek, Martin Jakes 
    Abstract: As a consequence of the development of the market with information technology, where users are increasingly inclined towards mobile devices at the expense of conventional stand-alone devices, increasing user literacy in the use of smartphones and tablets, and the increasing computing performance of mobile devices, a study has been created that addresses the potential of using mobile devices in a distributed simulation. The study also focuses on the possibility of applying the various technologies and architectures in a context of using mobile devices in simulation. This article provides overview information about the study itself, but it is strongly focused on technologies and paradigms that were identified as highly perspective. The paper also explains fundamental themes so that the readers could also apply the information in their home environment. Part of the work is an extensive case study carried out in collaboration with a commercial entity.
    Keywords: simulation, tablet, smartphone, mobile device, distributed simulation, heterogenic simulation, HLA, simulation-based decision making, decision making.

  • Integrated and collaborative process-based simulation framework for construction project planning   Order a copy of this article
    by Ali Ismail, Raimar Scherer, Yaseen Srewil 
    Abstract: This paper presents an integrated process-based Construction Simulation Toolkit (CST) and a collaboration platform named ProSIM to support planning of construction projects using simulation techniques. The data integration between the simulation model and the project information is based on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and multi-model data exchange approaches. CST aims to support planning of production and logistic operations of construction projects through rapid development of simulation models and efficient integration of simulation input data from various data models and real-time data, and ProSIM is a web-based portal enabling collaboration among the simulation study and project planning teams. This paper gives an overview about the whole simulation framework and focuses on the integration of simulation input data for the basic project data, namely: a product model based on IFC standards, process models based on BPMN notation, planning and resources data, and real-time data fusion technology. It discusses and presents the latest research work and the prototype implementation through study cases.
    Keywords: construction project planning, simulation, process management; simulation data integration; reference process modelling, collaborative planning, RFID, CPS.

  • Fluid flow simulation over complex shape objects using image processing to achieve mesh generation   Order a copy of this article
    by Khaoula Lassoued, Tonino Sophy, Julien Jouanguy, Luis Le-Moyne 
    Abstract: In the domain of flow simulation, avoiding the manual conception and numerisation of the domain can lead to the saving of a certain amount of time. Some processes, using heavy devices such as LASER metrology, allow the numerical reconstruction of a real object. The aim of this paper is to propose a more simple tool requiring a commercial digital camera (such as a smartphone), to transform a digital picture into a ready-to-use mesh. Besides simplicity, the tool has to be precise enough to bring accurate simulation results. Then, image processing and object detection and reconstruction are used to generate a 2D mesh that can be integrated in a finite-volume transient CFD simulation. Cars and airfoils are chosen as objects, and the DNS fluid flow Gerris solver performs the simulations. After a validation on a circular shape object, simulations, conducted at different Reynolds number, provide accurate results plotting the Von Karman alley regime.
    Keywords: flow simulation; bi-dimensional; object recognition; complex shape; car flow; circular cylinder; square cylinder; airfoil; image processing; OpenCv; mesh generation; Gerris.

  • Design and implementation of communication patterns using parallel objects   Order a copy of this article
    by Mario Rossainz Lopez, Manuel Capel Tuñon 
    Abstract: Within an environment of parallel objects, an approach of structured parallel programming with the paradigm of object orientation is presented here. The proposal includes a programming method based on High Level Parallel Compositions or HLPCs (CPANs in Spanish). C++ classes and CPANs are syntactically alike and differ in concurrency mechanisms. Different parallel programming patterns, synchronisation operations and new constructs such as futures have been discussed throughout the paper. To achieve software reusability, a series of predefined patterns that use object-oriented programming concepts have been presented. Concurrency related constraints on process synchronisation are set by only resorting to maxpar, mutex, sync primitives in the application code. By means of the method application, the implementation of commonly used parallel communication patterns is explained to finally present a library of classes for C++ applications that use POSIX threads.
    Keywords: high level parallel composition, parallel objects; communication patterns; structured parallel programming; high performance computing.

  • Enriching the formalism of coloured Petri nets for modelling alternative structural configurations of a discrete event system: disjunctive coloured Petri nets   Order a copy of this article
    by Juan Ignacio Latorre-Biel, Mercedes Perez de la Parte, Emilio Jimenez-Macias 
    Abstract: Discrete event systems (DES) provide an approximate approach for dealing with certain types of real systems. DES have been extensively and successfully used in modelling and simulation of technological systems and processes. In this field, Coloured Petri Nets (CPN) have arisen as a practical formalism for modelling DES, widely used thanks to the ease of their application, as well as the compactness of the resulting models, and the availability of computer software, ready to be used for modelling, simulation, theoretical analysis, as well as performance evaluation. This paper derives, from the CPN, a formalism focused on modelling DES with alternative structural configurations. That is to say, systems with freedom degrees in their structure, which should be solved by decision-makers, deducing the best configuration among a set of alternative structures.
    Keywords: disjunctive coloured Petri nets; alternative structural configurations; manufacturing facility; design; decision support systems; discrete event systems

Special Issue on: I3M 2014 Modelling and Applied Simulation for the 3rd Millennium Enhancements in Traditional Approaches and Moving Towards Simulation as Service

  • Competencies acquisition with simulation application in th ecourse 'Construction planning and controlling'   Order a copy of this article
    by Ailton Freire, Caroline Cavalheiro, Antônio Jungles 
    Abstract: This paper presents a report of the table simulation use to develop the students competencies in the course of Construction Planning and Controlling on a college course of Civil Engineering at a Brazilian university. The theories used are directly linked to teaching for competence, the methodology of table simulation, and planning and controlling of construction techniques. Two groups of students were compared in the study. One of the groups was submitted to the traditional teaching methodology and the other group to the teaching for competence methodology; the second method was based on the table simulation technique. The results achieved are: a) identifying and developing the civil engineers competencies specialised in construction programming and controlling, and b) confirmation that learning is more effective once it is applied in student education with exercises and techniques of simulation of professional practice.
    Keywords: simulation, table simulation, competence, construction scheduling, skills, problem-based learning.

  • A simulation-based method for inventory ownership planning of aircraft spare engines and parts   Order a copy of this article
    by Jose Ramirez-Hernandez, Steven Oakley, Mei Zhang, Alejandro Scalise 
    Abstract: The planning of spare engines and engine parts is a challenging and critical task for airlines to seamlessly support flying and engine repair operations. Engines are expensive and critical assets that make this problem important from the financial and operational perspectives. Thus, this paper presents a simulation-based method for planning the required spare ownership levels for engine spares and engine parts. The models presented are used in single and multi-location settings and can be used to provide estimations of the minimum spare ownership required to meet given service levels and performance metrics based on out-of-service aircraft events. Two levels of modelling are provided: a higher level where the repairable items are the engines as a whole, and a lower level that focuses on the repair of the individual engine components. Two simulation studies with actual industry data are also presented to illustrate the application of our models.
    Keywords: supply chain; inventory planning; simulation; spare engine and parts planning.

  • Heterogenous model ensembles for short term prediction of stock market trends   Order a copy of this article
    by Stephan Winkler, Susanne Schaller, Gabriel Kronberger, Michael Affenzeller, Bonifacio Castaño, Sergio Luengo 
    Abstract: We here discuss the identification of heterogeneous ensembles for short term prediction of trends in stock markets. The goal is to predict trends (uptrend, sideway trend, or downtrend) for the next day, the next week, and the next month. A sliding window approach is used; model ensembles are iteratively learned and tested on subsequent data points. We have applied several machine learning approaches, the models produced using these methods have been combined to heterogeneous model ensembles. The final estimation for each sample is calculated via majority voting, and the confidence in the final estimation is calculated as the relative ratio of a sample's majority vote. We use a confidence threshold that specifies the minimum confidence level that has to be reached. In the empirical section we discuss results achieved using data of the Spanish stock market recorded from 2003 to 2013.
    Keywords: financial data analysis, ensemble modelling, trend classification, machine learning

  • An interoperable and immersive simulation as training and procedure design support system in car terminals   Order a copy of this article
    by Letizia Nicoletti, Antonio Padovano 
    Abstract: Designing efficient operational procedures and training operators to be responsive and consistent with them in a timely manner is critical in many industrial sectors. Indeed, companies strive to achieve increased efficiency in the procedure design process and look for innovative valuable and cost-effective approaches that push operators to reach the plateau of such procedures learning curve as quickly as possible in order to save money and time. In particular, port terminals, and car terminals specifically, are complex systems because many operations involving coordination problems usually take place. In car terminals, complex procedures must be strictly respected and are regulated by security, reliability, optimisation and synchronisation protocols that each worker has to know and comply with when performing his tasks. Therefore, a consistent and replicable simulation-based framework is proposed for training operators in car terminals in order to improve operators efficiency and enhance the effectiveness of both training activities and procedure design processes. Cutting-edge technologies are integrated with the proposed system, thus providing the end-user with a full-immersive experience and promoting a human-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop approach.
    Keywords: marine ports, car terminal, training, simulation, design support

  • Towards energy efficiency of interdependent urban networks   Order a copy of this article
    by Michele Minichino 
    Abstract: Modernised urban networks will constitute the backbone of smart cities. The modernisation process of urban networks is a long way from being realised, and an extensive use of comprehension, and of models at an adequate level of granularity, are needed. The paper proposes a cross-domain methodology to represent and evaluate the energy efficiency of interdependent urban smart grids and gas and water networks. Models use domain simulators to faithfully represent each physical network, and transversal simulators, to represent together the three interdependent physical networks and to compute energy efficiency indicators. Models built by domain simulators are used to validate models built by transversal simulators. An actual smart grid connected to photovoltaic plants of different size and location is then modelled and its efficiency indicators are analysed and discussed. The grid model will be then interconnected with basic gas and network models to investigate the impact of interdependency on the grid efficiency indicators.
    Keywords: smart city, smart grid, gas network, water network, SCADA, energy efficiency, interdependency, model

Special Issue on: Integrating Modelling and Simulation Tools and Methodologies in Real-World Complex Systems for Solving Multidisciplinary Problems

  • Computer-aided support for the temperature control in buildings   Order a copy of this article
    by Borut Zupančič 
    Abstract: The paper briefly describes the Modelica model of a cubic room with one window. The 'physical' model was then implemented as a Modelica (Dymola) block in Matlab-Simulink environment. Simulink was used for the realisation of different control schemes, which were 'manually' and 'automatically' optimised. The experiments show that the synergetic combination of Matlab-Simulink and Dymola-Modelica environments is an efficient and powerful approach giving the possibility to realise several important goals: realisation preserving modelling in Modelica, efficient simulation with Simulink and many possibilities for control system design and optimisation using basic Matlab and appropriate Matlab toolboxes. However, the experiences with Modelica modelling taught us that Modelica models become rather complex, and therefore model reduction techniques in order to obtain usable and efficient models are desired. The last part of the paper briefly describes some research activities in this area and also our contributions.
    Keywords: object oriented modelling; multi-domain modelling; thermal flows; radiation flows; temperature control; control design; PID control; optimisation; model reduction; Modelica

  • A divide and conquer approach for simulating an airport system   Order a copy of this article
    by Paolo Maria Scala, Miguel Mujica Mota, Nico Ed Bock 
    Abstract: Airport capacity, expressed as the maximum number of air traffic movements that can be accommodated during a given period of time under given conditions, has become a hard constraint to the air transportation, owing to the scarcity of resources on the ground and restrictions in the airspace. Usually the problem of capacity at airports is studied by separating airspace operations from ground operations, but it is evident that the two areas are tied to each other. This work aims at developing a simulation model that takes into account both airspace and ground operations. The approach used is a divide and conquer approach, which allows the combination of four different models. The four models refer to the airside, and airspace operations. This approach allows to evaluate the system from different angles depending on the scope of the study, the results show the analytic potential of this approach.
    Keywords: simulation model; airport ground operations; airspace operations; divide and conquer approach; data driven decisions.

  • Extending Sim# for simulation-based optimisation of semi-automated machinery   Order a copy of this article
    by Johannes Karder, Andreas Scheibenpflug, Andreas Beham, Stefan Wagner, Michael Affenzeller 
    Abstract: Model building is a fundamental task in simulation-based optimisation. In this paper we demonstrate the application of Sim# in combination with HeuristicLab to optimise semi-automated machinery. On top of Sim#, custom simulation extensions have been implemented and are used to create a simulation model of real world machinery. These extensions enable the design of simulation components that can be reused within different simulation models. This allows to easily create multiple model implementations that reflect different designs of a machine by using a combination of already existing and adapted components. The resulting model is used as an evaluation function for single- and multi-objective optimisation using HeuristicLab. Results for different optimisation targets, e.g. job order, and quality criteria such as set-up time are compared.
    Keywords: simulation-based optimisation, genetic algorithms, machinery, Sim#, HeuristicLab

  • An intelligent serious game for a multi-device cultural heritage experience   Order a copy of this article
    by Francesco Longo, Letizia Nicoletti, Antonio Padovano, Marco Vetrano 
    Abstract: To date, digital technologies applied to cultural heritage have been mainly devoted to the reconstruction of the original appearance of artefacts and of the museum itself, thus implementing the mere concept of a virtual museum. Apart from some isolated cases, museums, and cultural institutions in general, are not so inclined to open out to virtual reality (VR) technologies because they offer the user a detached look at the art collection without actually delivering any cultural and educational content. This research work aims at presenting an innovative multi-device application based on the concept of Intelligent Serious Games (ISG). The combination of the educational potential of Serious Games (SG) with Intelligent Agents (IA), which will drive the evolution of the played scenario in accordance with the initial users' profiling and to the sequence of events generated during the museum tour, will create new patterns and promote new strategies for cultural content dissemination and fruition.
    Keywords: cultural heritage; serious games; intelligent agents; museums; virtual reality; education.

Special Issue on: New Trends of Simulation and Process Modelling in Multiple Domains From Business and Production to Healthcare, Defence and Environmental Sustainability

  • Factors affecting human error: representations of mental models for emergency management   Order a copy of this article
    by Antonella Petrillo, Fabio De Felice, Francesco Longo, Agostino Bruzzone 
    Abstract: Human reliability is a crucial element in ensuring plant performance during an emercency condition. This is even more true as technology has been evolving exponentially in recent times. In fact, it is evident that technological developments imply a decrease of accidents due to the use of redundancy and protection. But at the same time, the high technology complexity requires a sophisticated safety management systems and a high level of safety culture. The classical approaches are not sufficient to prevent the occurrence of extraordinary incidents and accidents in which the key element is represented by the human factor. Thus, in this context it is necessary to face the problem considering the human factor in an holist way as the causation of several incidents and accidents. The analysis of human factors constitute a highly interdisciplinary field of study not yet well defined. This paper deals with various aspects of human behavior that can influence operator reliability. The aim of the research is to propose a novel methodological approach to simulate human errors in emergency condition. The new model is based on an integration of fuzzy cognitive maps techniques and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a multicriteria technique for organising and analysing complex decisions.
    Keywords: human error, risk analysis, fuzzy cognitive maps, cognitive model, AHP.

  • Supply chains efficiency increasing based on the modelling of logistics operations   Order a copy of this article
    by Valery Lukinskiy, Vladislav Lukinskiy, Yuri Merkuryev 
    Abstract: For evaluating the integrated supply chains (SC) effective functioning, some new criteria are frequently used apart from the total logistics costs (TLC). These criteria characterise the quality and reliability of accomplishing logistics operations and functions. It is obvious that these metrics are connected and their separate representation is a consequence of an underdeveloped theoretical model of supply chains and, accordingly, analytical tools allowing carrying out a comprehensive assessment of these metrics. The paper presents a critical analysis of the existing approaches to the TLC evaluation and SC reliability, the methodical approach which allows evaluating the total costs indexes and supply chain reliability. This approach includes, firstly, the equation of the total logistics costs; secondly, the reliability evaluation model of a simple supply chain which is a reserved system with a renewal; thirdly, a complex of models for the evaluation of the reliability of basic logistics operations (purchase, order processing, choice of intermediaries, transportation, warehouse placement and storage). Taking into account that most indicators which describe the chain functioning are random values, to obtain the required evaluations there is a developed algorithm based on simulation.
    Keywords: supply chains, reliability, failure models, total logistics costs, simulation

  • A multi-measure and hybrid iterative procedure for marine ports (re)design   Order a copy of this article
    by Letizia Nicoletti, Antonio Padovano 
    Abstract: In view of the high costs of terminal construction and maintenance, environmental impacts and risk of shipping accidents, public bodies, port authorities, and terminal operators all around the world are looking for new decision support methodologies, especially in the case of large-scale marine port (re)design projects. The authors propose a multi-measure, hybrid, and iterative procedure, which benefits from the use of real-time simulation to drive the design engineers through a continuous and gradual improvement of the design solution. After having defined multiple performance metrics (margins for safety, pollutant emissions) as well as having designed and implemented a realistic virtual test environment, the design solutions can be generated according to throughput and traffic requirements, and then tested by key nautical experts. Criticalities as well as potential improvements of the design solution are visually reported according to a set of results statistically collected at the end of each testing session.
    Keywords: marine port; (re)design; decision support; simulation; risk-based analysis.