The objective of this text is to provide a basic treatment of discrete-event simulation, one of the most widely used operations research tools presently available. The simulation of systems from the perspective of the engineer, manager, economist, or scientist has become a common application of the digital computer. Discrete-event simulation permits the evaluation of operating performance prior to the implementation of a system; it permits the comparison of various operational alternatives without perturbing the real system; it permits time compression so that timely policy decisions can be made. Finally, it can be used by many people because of its readily comprehended structure and the availability of special-purpose computer simulation languages.
However, simulation can be easily misused, and simulation results taken with more confidence than is justified. The proper collection and analysis of data, the use of analytic techniques when they will suffice, the verification and validation of models, and the appropriate design of simulation experiments are all potential pitfall areas which are treated extensively in this text.
The material in this book should be readily understandable to the reader who has a basic familiarity with differential and integral calculus, probability theory, and elementary statistics. No theorems or proofs appear in the text. However, statistical or mathematical correctness has not been sacrificed. Most topics in probability and statistics are thoroughly reviewed before being applied in the simulation context.