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Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics for Management Decision Making by Sally Brailsford, Leonid Churilov, Brian Dangerfield

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1Introduction

Sally Brailsford,1 Leonid Churilov2 and Brian Dangerfield3

1Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, UK

2Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia; RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

3Salford Business School, University of Salford, UK

1.1 How this Book Came About

To begin at the end … the final chapter in this book, by Michael Pidd, contains both a backwards and a forwards look at system dynamics and discrete-event simulation. Historically, both modelling approaches originate from around the same time, the late 1950s and early 1960s. However, over the intervening decades they developed into separate scientific and practitioner communities, each with its own learned societies, academic journals and conferences. Discrete-event simulation (DES) has been a core subject on MSc programmes in operational research (OR) or management science (MS) from the 1970s onwards, and is a standard technique in the ‘OR/MS toolkit’. For many operational researchers, ‘simulation’ is synonymous with DES, and indeed the aim of the UK OR Society's own Journal of Simulation (quoting directly from the journal's web site) is to provide ‘a single source of accessible research and practice in the fast developing field of discrete-event simulation’ (http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jos/index.html). However, this is not true of system dynamics (SD): the SD community was, and still is to some extent, distinct from the OR community. While ...

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