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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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7Models as Interfaces

Steffen Bayer,1 Tim Bolt,2 Sally Brailsford3 and Maria Kapsali4

1Program in Health Services & Systems Research, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

2Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, UK

3Southampton Business School, University of Southampton, UK

4Umea School of Business and Economics, Umea University, Sweden

7.1 Introduction: Models at the Interfaces or Models as Interfaces

Simulation models and simulation modelling are used in many different ways. The contexts and objectives of modelling projects vary as much as the approaches and tools used. The system modelled is only part of what determines the modelling process and the modeller often is only one of the stakeholders influencing or being influenced by the model. Others, namely model users such as decision makers or students in a teaching context or participants in a group model building project, also interact directly with the model. Further stakeholders might be influenced indirectly by decisions made based on the model.

In this chapter we pay particular attention to the use of models in group model building projects where a group of domain experts or other stakeholders come together to build a model together with a modelling expert. This chapter draws attention to how models can function as an ‘interface’ between participants in a modelling project. An interface can be understood as a point of interaction that allows two systems to communicate across a boundary. In everyday ...

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