Simulation researchers and practitioners meet at the ‘Simulation Workshop’
This Blog post was written by Professor Stewart Robinson.
The 19-21 March saw the 9th biennial Simulation Workshop, a conference run by the Operational Research Society. Around 70 simulation academics and practitioners met for the three-day event at the Ettington Chase Hotel in Warwickshire. The conference focuses on the latest developments and practice in discrete-event simulation, system dynamics, agent-based modelling and hybrid simulation.
I confess to having a strong vested interest in the conference, having set-up the conference series with my colleague Dr Simon Taylor (Brunel University) in 2002, and then chaired the next four conferences.
This year’s conference was chaired by Drs Tom Monks and Christine Currie from Southampton University. It is at this point that I start to feel my age – Tom was a PhD student of mine!
The conference started with a series of tutorials from leaders in their respective fields covering topics such as hybrid simulation, verification and validation of models, and simheuristics which are used for system optimisation.
We had two keynote sessions: the first was given by Professor John Fowler from Arizona State University. John presented his views on how simulation has evolved over the last 35 years and gave some ideas on how it should develop going forward.
Professor Russell Cheng gave the second keynote in which he discussed the visual presentation of the results obtained from running simulations.
The conference also involved a series of shorter presentations in which attendees describe their current research or give examples of how simulation is being used in practice. Newer researchers and practitioners also got the opportunity to present their work through posters that were displayed in the exhibition area.
There were also exhibits from sponsoring organisations – simulation software and consulting companies, and publishers.
Always a lively feature of the conference are the panel discussions where experts give their opinions on a topical subject. Pictured above is the 2018 panel on stakeholder engagement in simulation projects, which was led by Dr Kathy Kotiadis from Canterbury Christchurch University.
Two of the panellists were from the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University – myself and Dr Antuela Tako. The panellists gave their advice on how to engage better with clients and stakeholders while delivering a simulation study.
Kathy asked us all to open with an anecdote from our experience that illustrated the points we wished to make. It turned out to be a competition to see who had the most amusing and even outrageous anecdote. I won with my ‘Tale of Two Cities’ story!
Maybe having the most outrageous anecdote was not a good thing, but I did enjoy the bottle of bubbly that went with it.
Proceedings of the conference will be freely available at the OR Society’s website (www.theorsociety.com).