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History and Background of Modeling and Simulation

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Simulation dates back to the 18th century around the year 1777 by a mathematician Claudio Rocchini Buffon when he posed needle problem, a simple mathematical method to reach the value of the number ? based on successive attempts. Later in the 19th century another mathematician called Pierre Simon Laplace corrected and improved the Buffon solution and since from then it is now known as the Buffon-Laplace solution.

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A statistician, who worked at the Arthur Guinness Brewery later on called William Sealy Gosset, began applying his statistical knowledge on his farming state about brewing. His main interest was in barley crops which led him to speculate that experiments should not be only aimed at improving production rate but also should rather aim at improving stronger strains of the barley, which can survive harsh climates and conditions.

This historical milestone opened the doors for the application of simulation in the field of industrial control processes as well as to synergies generated by simulation based on experimentation and analysis techniques, to discover exact solutions to typical industry and engineering problems. (Lander)

In the 20th century during the World War II period, two mathematicians Jon Von Neumann and Stanislaw Ulam used simulation when they faced with the problem of behavior of neutrons, by the time they were designing and developing a hydrogen bomb. Hence they decided to use the roulette wheel technique. In the years 1950s, computer simulation was not that much of a useful tool as simulation took too much time and a lot of skilled personnel were needed. As a result this was quiet costly in terms of both personnel and computer time. Keith Douglas Tocher in the year 1960 developed a simulation program that had a main task of simulating the operation of a production plant where machines ran under different cycles as follows: In Use, On Standby, Not available and Fault. That on its own changed the status of simulation in the changes defined the define status of the plant production.

Between the years 1960 and 1961, IBM developed the General Purpose Simulation System (GPSS). The GPSS was designed to perform teleprocessing simulations, involving, for example: Urban traffic control, management of telephone calls, reservations of plane tickets, etc (Lander). The use of the system was easier and simple hence it made it popular, as the simulation language most commonly used of that era.

In 1963 another alternative technology to GPSS called SIMSCRIPT was developed. This was based on FORTAN and aimed at users from the RAND CORPORATION who are not necessarily computer expects. The Royal Norwegian Computing Centre also in the year 1961 added to the developments carried out by RAND and IBM, with the aid of Univac by embarking on the development of the SIMULA program. SIMULA I was the result and became most probably the most important language in history. Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) in 1961 was founded and since then till now simulation language records and derived applications are filed there.

During the year 1970 simulation was a topic taught to industrial engineers but rarely being applied. Simulation as tool, its popularity increased with the number of sessions and conferences. There were two fears of simulation which were common in early 80s:

  • Only expects can use simulation as it is extremely complicated
  • Because of the programming and debugging simulation takes a lot of time

The year 1982 material requirements planning (MRP) was concentrated on by most simulation software, which considered without regard capacity limitations and considered only the timing and sizing orders. Thus hence simulation software did not advance beyond a stage that can give it a true meaning in the automated factory. In 1983 the developed of SLAMII by Pritsker and associates made simulation a powerful tool. It provided different modeling approaches which were three:

  • Discrete Event
  • Continuous and flexibility to use any combination in a single simulation model
  • Network

SIMANIV and CINEMAIV in the late 80s were developed as their focus was simulation and animation by systems modeling. The first simulation language was developed in 1984 specifically designed for modeling manufacturing systems. Micro Saint Version 2.0 as a software for Windows 95 began to stand out in the 1998 as it provided automatic data collection, optimization and new windows interface. It did not require the user the ability to write in any programming language.

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Simulation today has advanced to a stage such that the software enables modeling, execution and animation of any manufacturing system in any level of detail.

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History and Background of Modeling and Simulation. (2018, October 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2023, from
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