Forthcoming and Online First Articles

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling (IJSPM)

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

Regular Issues

  • Service-oriented architecture-based design of bank-ATM and its verification with Petri net   Order a copy of this article
    by Amar Nath, Santanu Kumar Rath 
    Abstract: In the present era, IT-enabled business applications are very much observed to be pervasive and felt to be essential to manage an organisation. An organisation needs to update and upgrade its strategies to meet the challenges by adopting an IT-enabled solution to meet the agile customer requirements and market demand. An organisation has to embrace and underline technology that can be updated and modified without any severe bottlenecks. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is one of the various architectural styles that provide agility to the organisation. SOA can help to meet different changes in requirements, viz., service composition, model-driven development, and service virtualisation. This paper illustrates the application of SOA in designing and implementing Automated Teller Machine (ATM) services, helpful in banking transactions. An ATM is a unit in the banking system, which is an embedded system that works on a distributed architecture. The incorporation of various services and their orchestration is implemented by using the Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) module under the OpenESB framework. However, in a complex and dynamic network environment, it is not easy to guarantee the quality of the BPEL process. So, it is very much essential to develop a proper BPEL process and validate it. In this study, the validation of the BPEL model is carried out by using the Petri net tool. The verification and validation activities are often considered essential to ensure the correctness of the system. The verification results obtained in this study are quite encouraging and prove validity.
    Keywords: design of bank-ATM; improving bank-ATM performance; service-oriented architecture; orchestration of bank's services; verification with Petri net.

  • Modelling and assessing public health policies to counteract Italian measles outbreaks   Order a copy of this article
    by Giovanni Scire' 
    Abstract: This study aims to understand, through explanatory research, the key factors that led to the 2017 measles outbreak in Italy, the causes of the low level of immunisation and the causes of possible cyclical phenomena of measles epidemics. This topic's comprehension has required a holistic approach, merging epidemiological aspects, socioeconomic aspects (including the evolution of mistrust in vaccinations, infodemy and fake news) and health law constraints. A specific SIR System Dynamics (SD) model was built to reproduce the relevant cause-and-effect relationships between social interactions, the public institutions behaviour and the measles outbreaks. SD results permit the assessment of the health policies to counteract the measles outbreaks. Findings, limits and further research recommendations are briefly reported in the conclusions.
    Keywords: system dynamics; infodemic; measles; communicable diseases; SIR model; vaccination; public health.

  • Lightweight design of semitrailer based on topology optimisation and response surface methodology   Order a copy of this article
    by Shuwen Zhou, Jichao Xu 
    Abstract: To improve the fuel economy and transportation efficiency of semitrailers, this paper conducts a lightweight study on a semitrailer frame. This paper mainly uses the finite element method and combines topology optimisation and response surface method to optimise the suspension and frame. After the optimisation analysis, the best installation size of the suspension is finally obtained, and the weight of the frame is reduced by 507.8 kg to meet the material strength, which achieves a good lightweight effect. The lightweight method of the semitrailer proposed in this paper can provide a feasible solution for the lightweight of road transport vehicles.
    Keywords: semitrailer; finite element analysis; lightweight; topology optimisation; response surface methodology.

  • DARSV: a dynamic agent routing simulator for VANETs   Order a copy of this article
    by Samira Harrabi, Ines Ben Jaafar, Khaled Ghedira 
    Abstract: In this paper, a novel Dynamic Agent Routing Simulator for Vehicular ad-hoc networks (DARSV) is presented. The main purpose of the DARSV simulator is to realise a successful large-scale simulation of the agent-based routing approach in vehicular networks. To reach this goal, the proposed simulator combines the Java Agent DEvelopment (JADE) which is a powerful Multi-Agent System (MAS) framework, with the Dynamic Ad Hoc Routing Simulator (DARS) that takes into account the dynamic nature of environment networks. The simulation results are discussed to evaluate the efficiency and the performance of the proposed simulator.
    Keywords: large-scale simulation; network simulation; agent based routing protocol; vehicular ad-hoc networks; multi-agent systems.

  • Simulation of unmanned ship real-time trajectory planning model based on Q-learning   Order a copy of this article
    by Jindong Liu, Jie Yang, Zhiqiang Guo, Hui Cao, Yongmei Ren 
    Abstract: In view of the challenge in autonomous navigation of unmanned ships where environmental conditions are complicated, this paper proposes a global trajectory planning model with local risk collision avoidance. The model establishes MAKLINK global connectivity map from an original sea area, and provides global trajectory planning strategy based on ACO algorithm, and then introduces Q-learning algorithm to realise local risk collision avoidance, thus achieving real-time trajectory planning for unmanned ships. Compared with traditional models, our proposed one reduces level of complexity in environmental modelling, without bringing path uncertainty due to the presence of reinforcement learning, and also has faster trajectory convergence and shorter path length. This work would bring meaningful insights to future autonomous navigation research.
    Keywords: unmanned ship; real-time trajectory planning; ACO algorithm; Q-learning.

  • A consolidative evaluation of extracted EGG speech signal for pathology identification   Order a copy of this article
    by Satyajit Pangaonkar, Reena Gunjan 
    Abstract: Speech as a natural and effective way of communication needs an appropriate analysis. This assessment is mainly used to quantify specific signals with various irregularities. The Electroglottograph (EGG) helps to understand the functional utility of the exact state of the vocal fold in terms of vibration stage. But noise, gender dependencies and spectral measures limitations lead to inadequate description of vibratory state of the vocal fold. The proposed integrative approach of parametric evaluation using software tools such as FonaDyn (phonatory dynamics), which analyse the vibrational modes using clustering. Also, a Multidimensional Voice Program (MDVP), which estimates normative based parametric statistics along with PRAAT (software for speech analysis in phonetics) and BioVoice (perceptual interpretation of speech signal), defines spectrographic relational stratagem. Interfacing FonaDyn, MDVP, and PRAAT and BioVoice with EGG experimentally identifies variability in the different parameters and enhances the graphical performance of the canonical grade statistical analysis for a phonatory gap pathology. The parametric accuracy of the diagnosis in terms of parameters will be effective for post-processing of the speech analysis.
    Keywords: electroglottograph; multidimensional voice program; PRAAT; BioVoice; clustering; phonatory gap.

  • Modelling and simulation of ultrasonic descaling in a heat exchanger   Order a copy of this article
    by Guorong Liu 
    Abstract: Heat exchangers are widely used in the petrochemical industry, but long cycle operation leads to the generation of scaling and the reduction of heat transfer coefficient. However, the traditional scale removal method is not convenient to operate with high cost. In this paper, a kind of ultrasonic descaling technology is designed, and the propagation model of an ultrasonic wave in the heat exchanger is established by using B-P neural network, including the propagation model of the ultrasonic load on the tube plate and the propagation model of the ultrasonic load in the medium. Based on the influence of two different ultrasonic loading modes, the propagation mechanism of the ultrasonic load on the tube plate was obtained by simulation research. Finally, the propagation mechanism model of the ultrasonic wave in the heat exchanger is established successfully through experimental verification.
    Keywords: ultrasonic scale removal; heat exchanger; B-P neural network; simulation.

  • Thermal conductivity of bimetal Al-Cu: molecular dynamics simulation   Order a copy of this article
    by Junaidi Syarif, Khaled Badawy, Mohamed Hisham, Hussien Hussien 
    Abstract: In this study, the phonon thermal conductivity of bimetal Al-Cu was modelled using molecular dynamics. The conductivities of pure Cu and Al were calculated and discussed first to verify the adopted methodology. The behaviour of the heat current autocorrelation function was discussed for the two pure metals and the bimetal. The values of thermal conductivity at different temperatures for the pure metals were reported and the results were correlated to similar computational works. The thermal conductivity was found to drop as the temperature increased. The bimetal Al-Cu thermal conductivity and the variation with temperature were reported. It was found that the bimetal Al-Cu has a very low conductivity compared with the pure metals. It was found that the drop in thermal conductivity was due to an increase in lattice defects and distortions arising from the bimetal interface. The drop in thermal conductivity as the temperature increases still holds and follows a linear relation.
    Keywords: Green Kubo relation; phonon; lattice distortion; interface.

  • Stochastic modelling and availability analysis of a repairable system of a milk processing plant   Order a copy of this article
    by Narendra Kumar, P.C. Tewari, Anish Sachdeva 
    Abstract: This paper describes the performance evaluation of the pasteurising system of a milk processing plant in terms of its operational availability. For the stochastic modelling and analysis, Markov chains has been applied. Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) technique is implemented for optimising the results obtained. The optimum combinations of failure and repair rates for various subsystems can be useful in decision making, such as maintenance priorities, spare parts and repairs, etc. Based on this a Decision Support System (DSS) has been developed which indicates the most critical components of the system that need the utmost care while setting maintenance priorities.
    Keywords: availability; DSS; Markov chains; PSO; RAM.

  • Modelling deployment pipelines for co-simulations with graph-based metadata   Order a copy of this article
    by Stefan Reiterer, Michael Kalab 
    Abstract: In complex mechatronic systems, co-simulations need to be conducted to test the behaviour of larger systems. DevOps tools and methods are used to make the development of simulation models for mechatronic systems efficient. For this purpose, a graph-based metadata model is introduced to describe the process to autogenerate code for build servers. It also makes build pipelines reusable and suitable for safety critical software components. We discuss how DevOps processes for mechatronic systems are modelled as a graph, define the data structure formally and present algorithms for automatic code generation and representation within a NoSQL graph database. In addition, we compare different optimisation strategies for build and deployment schedules.
    Keywords: metadata; data sharing; computer-supported collaborative work; code generation; NoSQL graph database; mathematical process modelling; combinatorial optimisation.

  • Modelling of the balance between energy efficiency and economy and simulation analysis in electric gas production technology   Order a copy of this article
    by Jiajun Wang, Yahui Wang, Wenjie Qi 
    Abstract: The simulation optimisation analysis of electric gas production technology (P2G) was conducted by an exergy analysis method. The energy efficiency equation of electrolysis water and methanation in P2G was established. The net present value (NPV) method was used to analyse the economy of P2G, and the economy equation of P2G was established. The balance between economy and energy efficiency of the system was adjusted using the optimisation weight coefficient. The optimisation model of balance between energy efficiency and economy in P2G and its constraint equation were established, and the optimisation simulation analysis was carried out by combining Lagrange relaxation and branch-and-bound method. The analysis results have shown that the profit of the P2G is affected by the efficiency of electrolysis water and methanation as well as equipment investment. By optimising the P2G process and investing in the equipment reasonably, the maximum economic benefit of the P2G system can be obtained.
    Keywords: electric gas production technology; exergy analysis; energy efficiency; simulation.

  • Relative domain modelling based on a ship's group situation in restricted waters   Order a copy of this article
    by Xiaoyuan Wang, Yifei Sun, Gang Wang, Quanzheng Wang, Guowen He 
    Abstract: A ship's domain is the area around the ship that shouldnt be entered by other ships. In existing research methods, complex environmental factors or ship factors were not fully considered, which lead to the result that the dynamic change of the whole navigation environment couldnt be effectively or comprehensively reflected. In this paper, based on analysis of the complexity of a ship's group situation in restricted waters, a relative domain model was established to adapt to the current navigation environment. the influence of interfering ships and quay walls on the target ship was considered, and navigation dynamics of the target ship and interfering ships were both analysed. The model was verified through the combination of real ship and simulation experiments, and the results show that the model can accurately reflect the degree of navigation hazard of a ship in restricted waters, and it can provide an effective reference basis for collision avoidance of unmanned ships.
    Keywords: domain; modelling; simulation; ship's group situation; restricted waters; collision risk.

  • Performance evaluation of ODMAC protocol for WSNs powered by ambient energy   Order a copy of this article
    by Zohra Hmidi, Laid Kahloul, Saber Benharzallah, Nadia Hamani 
    Abstract: Designing a good MAC protocol remains a challenge. Such a protocol has to guarantee access to the medium while reducing energy consumption. With the appearance of Energy Harvesting-Wireless Sensor Networks (EH-WSNs), energy is no longer a problem but the challenge now is that each sensor remains in its energetically sustainable state as much as possible. This paper proposes a formal study of On Demand MAC (ODMAC) one of the well-known protocols proposed for EH-WSNs. An analysis through statistical model checking is made where properties that guarantee the protocol's correctness are verified and a performance evaluation of important aspects is achieved.
    Keywords: energy harvesting wireless sensor networks; energy neutral operation state; ENO-Max state; on-demand medium access control protocol; duty cycle; performance evaluation; formal verification.

  • Pricing the passages related to traffic restriction by using novel genetic algorithms   Order a copy of this article
    by Farzaneh Darroudi, Ali Ala, Mahdi Yousefi Nejad Attari 
    Abstract: Nowadays, a lot of transport-related data for traffic modelling are available. Many measures have been taken, which can be referred to as pricing related to traffic restrictions. According to Economic Standards in Pricing Traffic Limitation Routes, consumers who cross high-traffic routes must pay a fee proportional. The sum between the final social fee and the typical fee should optimise social network income. Therefore, in this article, we have tried to use the genetic algorithm as one of the meta-heuristic algorithms and admit more agents and classification on users, vehicles, and the combination of techniques applied in earlier investigations, an effective measure in to reduce and control traffic in busy thoroughfares. Also, using the genetic algorithm and the Frank-Wolfe algorithm adapted to the studied problem, the optimal price of the roads in the traffic constraint has been modelled. An example is used at the end of the article to implement the model.
    Keywords: road pricing; Frank-Wolfe algorithm; two-level programming; traffic plan passages; genetic algorithm.

  • Software connector as software process   Order a copy of this article
    by Ahcene Menasria, Mourad Oussalah, Abdelkrim AMIRAT, Halima BAHI 
    Abstract: In component-based architectures, interest has often been focused on the components. Recent applications are becoming more and more communicative, often reaching equivalent proportions between the interaction and functional parts. This study is interested in explicit connectors by proposing a rich semantic connector to model and implement complex communications in heterogeneous environments. We present a new structure of the connector and model its behaviour through a software process. We no longer consider it as a software product or artefact but rather as a communication process. The connector is treated as a first-class entity with the same degree of citizenship as a component. This research concentrated on the motivations and benefits of first-class connectors and some connector-centric works to arrive at the proposed solution through a Meta-model illustrated by a case study using SPEM profile.
    Keywords: software architecture; software process; software connector; meta-modelling; SPEM profile.

  • Research on inlet structure optimisation and numerical simulation of a three-phase separator   Order a copy of this article
    by Guorong Liu 
    Abstract: Three-phase separators are increasingly used in fields such as the pretreatment of oilfield produced fluids and the treatment of oily sewage in the chemical production process. As the core component of the three-phase separator, the inlet structure can make the relatively stable flow field obtained by the separator provide strong guarantee performance for subsequent separation. A better inlet structure can improve the separation effect of the separator to a certain extent. In this paper, the fluent software is used to numerically simulate the entrance structure of the three-phase separator. Through the analysis of different types of entrance structures, the general rules are summarised and the entrance structure of the three-phase separator is designed. Finally, combined with related research results, a bottom cylindrical inlet structure was developed and designed to improve the rectification performance of the inlet structure and effectively prevent the blocking of the distribution cylinder from occurring.
    Keywords: inlet structure; three-phase separator; gravity sedimentation; numerical simulation.

  • Modelling of aerosol trajectories in a mechanically ventilated study room using computational fluid dynamics in light of the COVID-19 pandemic   Order a copy of this article
    by R. M. P. S. Bandara, W. C. D. K. Fernando, R.A. Attalage 
    Abstract: Millions of people have been infected globally owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and spread of the disease indoors has become a challenging issue. In this context, this study focused on modelling the trajectories of virus-laden aerosols in a study room by the computational fluid dynamics approach under four mechanically driven ventilation strategies: cavity flow, displacement flow and two cases of mixing flow. Modelling was conducted by coupling discrete phase model with the continuous phase during simulations. Mixing flow case 1 proved to be the safest strategy as the virus-laden aerosols leave the room in a single-pass without exposing the occupants. In displacement flow and mixing flow case 2 ventilation, aerosols get entrapped in the supply air stream, causing heavy circulation while exposing many occupants. The study opens up new avenues for an extensive analysis on establishing an optimal ventilation solution in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 indoors.
    Keywords: COVID-19; aerosols; infection; trajectories; modelling; mechanically driven; ventilation strategies; computational fluid dynamics.

  • Design, simulation and fabrication of silicone rubber colonoscope tip for medical application   Order a copy of this article
    by Puneet Kumar Singh, Pankaj Kumar Shrivastav, Chimata Murali Krishna 
    Abstract: Colonoscopy is major tool to detect colon abnormality and colon cancer in initial stages. The colonoscope tip designed in this research work is made of silicone rubber, which is hyperelastic in nature in order to achieve distal end flexibility and comfort for patients. ABAQUS 2020 software is used for designing the colonoscope tip. After inputting the necessary data, the developed colonoscope tip is simulated by applying pneumatic pressure in three holes provided at 120 apart. A central hole is also provided for camera, biopsy tools etc. Thereafter, the designed colonoscope tip is manufactured and experiments are conducted using an experimental setup. The pneumatic air from a compressor is applied to the fabricated silicone colonoscope tip via hoses with a pressure regulator and a pressure sensor mounted on them, and displacement of the tip is measured. The experimental results obtained are quite close to the simulated results and thus the simulated results are validated.
    Keywords: colonoscope; finite element method; ABAQUS; simulation; experimental setup.

  • Integrated lean manufacturing tools and discrete event simulation to examine the improvement in air conditioner split units production lines   Order a copy of this article
    by Abdulaziz Alkabaa 
    Abstract: In this article, lean tools of value stream mapping, line balancing, and root cause analysis are implemented in the production line of an air conditioner manufacturing plant aiming to improve and enhance productivity. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) lifting guidelines and activity charts are applied to assess and improve material handling processes. The lean system tools are represented using discrete event simulation. Existing and improved systems are compared using performance criteria such as idle time, production capacity, machine utilisation, and average completion time. The lean tools show significant improvements in the assembly line by increasing the system utilisation from 71% to 87%. The proposed efficient material handling reduces the processing time by 20%. The activity chart reduces the processing time by 15.6%. Compared with the existing production processes, the proposed lean tools save 35% of the used resources and significantly improve the production capacity by 33%, and reduce the idle time by 65% and the average completion time by 38%. The proposed lean tools can be used and applied to increase the productivity and profitability of such industries.
    Keywords: air conditioner split unit; lean system; simulation assembly line; NIOSH; productivity improvement; SIMIO; ergonomic risk assessment; discrete event simulation.

  • Modelling and simulation of the urban rail transit operation system based on system dynamics   Order a copy of this article
    by Liang Xue, Shengchuan Zhao, Jingyao Li 
    Abstract: Based on theories of systems engineering, the present study analyses the correlations between the variables in the urban rail transit operation system, and constructs a system dynamics model for the system. With the historical data of the urban rail transit system in Chengdu City, Sichuan Province in China as the basis, this study adjusts the variables of the four subsystems in the urban rail transit network and simulates three urban rail transit policy scenarios on the proposed model to estimate the dynamic changes in the major indicators for the operation of the urban rail transit network. The simulation result reveals that adopting different policies according to the development stages of the urban rail transit network can improve the contribution of urban rail transit services to improvement of urban transportation, enhance the performance and maximise social benefits of urban rail transit operators.
    Keywords: urban rail transit; operation system; system dynamics; modelling.

Special Issue on: ISM 2019 New Challenges and Solutions for Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing

  • Blockchain-based solutions for agri-food supply chains: a survey   Order a copy of this article
    by Giovanni Mirabelli, Vittorio Solina 
    Abstract: In recent years, interest in blockchain technology has grown considerably, owing to its multiple properties, such as transparency, immutability, traceability, and security. Considering the significant number of recently published contributions about the use of blockchain-based solutions in the agri-food sector, in this paper we aim to collect and catalogue them. The main purpose is the identification of research trends and possible barriers to the large-scale spreading of this disruptive technology. Through a well-structured four-step research methodology, we systematically review 48 papers. The main result is that blockchain can be used not only to ensure complete food traceability, but also to protect workers' rights, limit the power of supply chain intermediaries, protect market prices, and enable reward mechanisms for the development of sustainable initiatives. However, there are still some open issues that limit its large-scale diffusion: lack of shared standards, limited number of real case studies, resistance by stakeholders, and restricted scalability.
    Keywords: blockchain; agri-food supply chain; food traceability; internet of things; smart contract.

  • Construction logistics: a simulation case study to improve performance process   Order a copy of this article
    by Kamal Jaafar 
    Abstract: Logistics in construction in general is an old topic, which has been researched and studies by many scientists, engineers, and researchers. However, little attention was given to logistics management in the precast industry and was relatively ignored, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), compared with the conventional construction industry (cast in-situ). This paper will talk in details about the forgotten part in construction logistics, which is the precast construction logistics management: specifically, the management of the precast stockyard layout in the precast concrete products industry. Designing an effective precast stockyard with effective storage and structural precast element retrieval is a very complex process. The complexity is because of the massive heavy precast elements products, unique lifting and tilting requirements, and the large number of panels produced and stocked. Thus, the paper will discuss how to ensure efficient storage and dispatch of precast elements, ease of rotation of precast elements within the precast stockyard, and a smooth precast element retrieval process from any stockyard. In addition, the paper will show how an effective stockyard layout can reduce the dispatch time, loading time, and queuing time of the precast elements within the stockyard. Finally, the paper will include simulation modelling using ARENA software to optimise, design, and test the new stockyard layout that we established and compare it with the current status of the precast stockyard. A 'what if' analysis will be implemented from the simulation model in order to cover various stockyard conditions, such as increased product production in the future.
    Keywords: logistics; process optimisation; ARENA; stockyard management; construction.

Special Issue on: I3M2020/ISM2020 Smart Interaction for the 4.0 Domains Modelling and Simulating the Content of the Future

  • A simulation study on how to optimally storage products in a warehouse of a fashion supply chain selling through an e-commerce channel   Order a copy of this article
    by Eleonora Bottani, Letizia Tebaldi, Mariachiara Rossi, Giorgia Casella 
    Abstract: Where is it the most convenient to allocate a determined product? This paper, by means of a simulation tool, makes an attempt to answer this question, for the specific case of an e-commerce warehouse in which fashion items are stored. According to the typical steps of the Deming cycle, after having studied the current situation (AS IS scenario) of items allocation, a simulated one (TO BE scenario) was developed for studying a new allocation strategy, and for its assessment four key performance indicators (KPIs) were considered: the storage and picking productivity (both expressed in terms of processed units per hour), the percentage of FIFO batch for multi-customer orders and the time spent for batching (measured in hours). Results from the implementation show an improvement of the KPIs under investigation, as well as the observation of the specific targets set, and consequently an optimisation of picking activities
    Keywords: warehouse optimisation; picking optimisation; PDCA; product allocation optimisation; logistics; e-commerce; fashion supply chain; simulation; case study.

  • An information-based model to assess human cognitive capacity and information processing speed of operators in Industry 4.0   Order a copy of this article
    by Daniela Cavallo, Salvatore Digiesi, Francesco Facchini, Giovanni Mummolo 
    Abstract: The fourth industrial revolution introduced a new paradigm in manufacturing systems. In the new production environments, operators are supported by new digital technologies, and the physical context is strictly related to the cyber one. In the digital society, recent studies show that individuals have to perform tasks based on the information gathered by a huge amount of data and the operators are employed in more cognitive than physical tasks. Therefore, the purpose of this paper consists in developing an information-based analytical framework to assess the human cognitive capacity occupancy and the human processing time of correct information when the quality performance is known. The model has been tested on case studies. The results show its effectiveness in evaluating the human mental workload imposed by the task performed and the processing speed of correct information with varying quality performance.
    Keywords: cognitive task; mental workload; human information processing speed; smart operator; information theory model.

Special Issue on: I3M2020/ISM2020 Simulation and Process Modelling in Industry and Logistics New Advances in Theory, Methods and Applications

  • Systems of distributed artificial intelligence for analysis of oil product transportation processes: evidence from Russia   Order a copy of this article
    by Elena Serova, Daniil Shklyaev 
    Abstract: At present, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods and tools is an essential component of management information systems for a company to succeed in a rapidly changing environment. Agent-based modelling systems as systems of distributed AI must be considered nowadays as an obligatory stage of decision-making in Russian oil and gas companies, which use modern information technologies actively. The paper is focused on the description and comparative analysis of system dynamics and agent-based modelling, used for intelligent decision support systems development in transport logistics. The main goal of this research is evaluation of the multi-agent system's role for decision-making processes and management information systems development and creating the model of logistics processes (the processes of oil and oil products transportation, loading, and unloading). The work is based on a generalisation of theoretical researches in this area along with international practices and domestic experience.
    Keywords: artificial intelligence; distributed artificial intelligence systems; simulation; agent-based modelling; transport logistics; processes of oil and oil products transportation.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSPM.2021.10041319
     
  • Simulation-based cost optimisation of a risk mitigation strategy in an assembly job manufacturing process: a case study from the offshore wind industry   Order a copy of this article
    by Adolfo Lamas-Rodríguez, Javier Pernas-Álvarez, Inés Taracido-López, Santiago-José Tutor-Roca 
    Abstract: Despite holding very high expectations regarding installed capacity and planned investments, offshore wind energy is currently facing important challenges to align itself with the levelised cost of other renewable energies, such as solar power and onshore wind. In this context, we aim at putting DES optimisation at offshore winds disposal and leveraging its advantages proved in other areas. To accomplish this, we have performed a DES-based optimisation of the routing strategy and the net income of an offshore wind foundations manufacturing project affected by very important delays due to Covid-19 impact and material supply issues. The problem applies to a constraint-based multi-level assembly job shop where we use dispatching rules to model the routing decision. Overall, we have provided the company with an optimised schedule, due dates, expected penalties, expected net income and a detailed ongoing DES model to be used in further stages of the project.
    Keywords: discrete-event simulation; simulation-based optimisation; offshore wind; Industry 4.0; dispatching rules; assembly job-shop; constraint-based simulation.

  • A fuzzy cognitive map based approach to prioritise environmental objectives in the environmental management systems of ports   Order a copy of this article
    by Maria Drakaki, Panagiotis Tzionas 
    Abstract: Increased attention is being paid to the environmental and social impacts of ports, adding pressure to the port authorities towards sustainable port management and development. Environmental priorities of European ports have changed over the years, however environmental aspects such as energy consumption, carbon footprint and waste are being monitored increasingly. A certified environmental management system (EMS) and definition of objectives and targets for monitoring environmental aspects are being used to assess the environmental management performance of ports. This paper proposes a modelling methodology based on Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCM) to prioritise environmental objectives and targets as part of an EMS for a port, and shows a case study for the port of Thessaloniki. The case study builds on the results of a previous study that employed the Ecological Footprint (EF) methodology to assess the CO2 emissions-related EF of the port of Thessaloniki for the time period 2008-2009.
    Keywords: ports; fuzzy cognitive map; modelling; simulation scenarios; ecological footprint; environmental management systems; environmental objectives.

  • Discrete event simulation for the investment analysis of offshore wind manufacturing processes   Order a copy of this article
    by Adolfo Lamas-Rodríguez, Inés Taracido-López, Javier Pernas-Álvarez, Santiago-José Tutor-Roca 
    Abstract: Spreadsheets are by far the most widely employed tool to perform investment analysis. However, in operations research, their rigidness ignores the variability inherent in stochastic systems and neglects important factors that may affect the feasibility of the investment. Hence, we present here an innovative use of discrete event simulation for investment analysis by means of two case studies taken from the offshore wind industry. To do so, we implemented an algorithm on top of a 3D DES model, which performs the investment analysis in parallel with it. Results are shown by means of net present value and internal rate of return. In this way, we consider at once process variability and variable economic factors, such as discount rate, thus achieving more reliable results. Finally, we set investment parameters as target variables in the optimiser to obtain the best scenario regarding both productivity and profitability.
    Keywords: investment analysis; discrete event simulation; optimisation; offshore wind; Industry 4.0; net present value; internal rate of return.

  • Discrete-event modelling of the capacity of the toll collection exit point and the formation of congestion   Order a copy of this article
    by Alexander Talavirya, Michael Laskin 
    Abstract: The study addresses the issue of assessing toll plaza (TP) throughput capacity and traffic congestion during toll road operations. To demonstrate a methodology for transport micro-modelling, the Western High Speed Diameter (WHSD) toll road TP in St. Petersburg, Russia, was used as a case study. The discrete-event simulation model of the TP at the toll road exit was developed using AnyLogic software. We accounted for the specifics of traffic composition and user behaviour in the selected urban district. The operation of the TP at low and high traffic flow rates was analysed using the developed simulation model. The empirical data parameters for service time distribution were obtained for each situation. When a TP operates above the threshold throughput capacity, a mathematical method for determining the parameters of the traffic congestion (queue length and time, number of vehicles in the queue) was proposed.
    Keywords: discrete-event simulation; toll road; toll plaza; toll collection system; traffic congestion.

  • Robotic process automation and re-engineering Using Bizagi and UiPath: a case study on a mortgage request process   Order a copy of this article
    by Nouf Aljuhani, Fatimah Alshahrani, Amani Alharbi, Nuha Aldini, Hawazin Albalawi, Salma Elhag 
    Abstract: Recently, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become increasingly adopted by different institutions in an endeavour to improve business performance. However, banking and financial institutions are still considered a slow-developing sector lacking sufficient experience with different aspects of process automation. Therefore, the main aim of this work is to examine how RPA adoption can affect the performance of banking processes by conducting a case study on the mortgage loan application process of a bank located in Saudi Arabia. A well-established methodology inspired by the Business Process Management (BPM) lifecycle has been followed. We use the Bizagi (BPM) suite to model and analyse AS-IS and TO-BE scenarios of the process. UiPath software has been used to build and configure the RPA bot. The simulation results revealed that the adoption of the RPA within the mortgage loan application process has reduced the overall cycle time of the process by approximately 14 days.
    Keywords: business process re-engineering; robotic process automation; banking processes; performance measures; simulation; RPA bot; mortgage loan process.

  • Society 5.0: a simulation optimisation study of dynamic scheduling for a grocery store   Order a copy of this article
    by Konstantinos Mykoniatis, Anastasia Angelopoulou, Samira Shirzaei 
    Abstract: Society 5.0 refers to a technology-based human-centred society that integrates cyber-physical systems and uses advanced technology to improve everyday life. Queuing systems, such as grocery stores, will transition to Society 5.0. Waiting time in the queue of such systems makes it difficult to determine the necessary number of resources to operate cost-effectively and keep customers satisfied. This work studies a grocery store with two types of resource: cashier-staffed billing counters and self-checkout machines. The objective of the study is to dynamically schedule the required number of resources such that the arriving customers experience reduced waiting times in the queue, while the store maintains low operational costs. The work uses the Simio simulation software and the OptQuest simulation optimisation engine to determine the staffing levels and achieve the aforementioned objectives. The optimisation experiment results showed that using dynamic resource scheduling can assist in maintaining satisfactory customer waiting times and operational costs.
    Keywords: Society 5.0; discrete event simulation; queuing system; dynamic scheduling; optimization.

Special Issue on: ISSPM2020 Advances in Simulation and Process Modelling

  • A methodology to characterise simulation models for discovery and composition: a system theory based approach to model curation for integration and reuse   Order a copy of this article
    by Bernard Zeigler 
    Abstract: We make a strong assumption that we can extract the necessary and sufficient information needed to decide whether a simulation model is suitable for an analyst's problem and that it contains information on how to be configured, integrated, and executed. This assumption allows us review an approach that is founded on the theory of modelling and simulation and employs tools to develop, simulate, and apply models expressed in the Discrete Event System Specification (DEVS) formalism, a sound systems theory-based computational methodology for system-of-systems model development and deployment. This foundation allows us to discuss how to apply the well-developed theory to curate simulation models so that they can more easily be discovered from a model repository given analytical objectives. After outlining the methodology, we place it in a broader context in which web- and cloud-based technologies are employed for integration and to enable modelling and simulation as a service. Significant technical challenges are described that require continued research and development.
    Keywords: DEVS; theory of modelling and simulation; model curation; reusability; composability.