Using Simulation to Design an Emergency Department - Architecturally, Operationally, and Clinically
Healthcare clients capture patient data in every department and with every process. However, hospitals often struggle with using this data analytically to improve their systems. This presentation at the INFORMS Healthcare Conference, discussed how one community hospital used analytics to influence the architectural, clinical, and operational design of its new emergency department.
See the abstract here
Cognitive Process Simulation in Wine Making
A transfer of wine from one side of a tank farm to the other could actually force wine to travel as far as a mile - potentially degrading its quality. Cognitive process simulation has been used to develop a system to move wine from one place to another in its storage facility - increasing quality and plant productivity. Learn more about how Constellation Brands increased productivity by orders of magnitude.
PCB Capacity Model
Have you ever bought a piece of expensive equipment for your factory only to discover there was no net improvement in throughput? This model built by Gray McQuarrie of Grayrock & Associates shows an alternative to doing expensive experiments on your business. True business intelligence is using your mind and this tool's intent is focused on this.
Some quotes from viewers of this video:
"Now this is how one can truly find? out what drives their system, AND provides a tool to test ideas on how to make the system run smooth! Great job!"
"After 40 some years of explaining to people PCB production is way more complicated them 99 percent of peoples minds to comprehend the whole picture we now have a product that will tell people where the real bottlenecks are and how to fix them. So? many pcb shops have so much excess equipment they never use because they never understood the real flow."
"Very interesting! I know a few companies like Chevron, Boeing and Intel have been secretly using this type of technology to get a competitive advantage in? their industry. Congratulations on being the first to help the PCB industry understand their factories in a new and exciting way so we can experiment on our business without costing a fortune."
Half Dome Visitor Use Management:
Optimizing Park Operations
and Visitor Experiences Through Empirical Evidence
The Half Dome Trail (HDT) hike has long been the setting of an iconic experience
in Yosemite National Park. The trail takes visitors up the only route accessing the
summit without technical climbing. Over time, it has transformed from a historic
multiday wilderness experience to an ambitious, and frequently epic, day hike. This
16-mile (26 km) hike ascending 4,000 ft. (1,219 m) is a significant undertaking that
ends with the last 400 ft (122 m) of the ascent exposed and on a cables structure.
In recent years as visitation has increased, numerous search-and-rescue incidents
have taken place on and around the cables. This trend led park management to
investigate visitor use on the trail system leading to Half Dome, including behaviors
on the cables.
Steve Lawson, PhD, Director, Public Lands for
RSG Inc. has been using ExtendSim to model visitor use in national parks for over a decade; including models of visitor use at Yosemite, Mount Rainier, Isle Royale, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, Muir Woods National Monument, and the Inyo National Forest.
Dr. Lawson used ExtendSim to model visitor use measurement and monitoring of
visitor movements to provide a basis for standards that frame acceptable conditions. Results are compiled in an article written by Dr. Lawson, Bret Meldrum, Nathan Reigner,
and David Pettebone and published in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Park Science magazine.
Improving Public Safety with Decision Analytics
In a strategic effort to prioritize enforcement and removal
operations toward criminal aliens (those individuals illegally present in US with
a criminal conviction), Booz Allen Hamilton began supporting Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE).Booz Allen’s implementation of analytics spanned three years and involved developing a set of models used to solve challenging problems such as forecasting the number of criminal illegal aliens, optimizing a technology deployment schedule, and minimizing the transportation costs of removal. The impact of the work resulted in a doubling of criminal alien removals, leading to greater public safety for the American people.
In addition, this Booz Allen project, “Enhancing Immigration Enforcement with Decision Analytics” won the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences’ (INFORMS) inaugural Innovation in Analytics Award in 2011.
project was selected by the INFORMS judging panel over almost 50 other entrants for its “creative and unique developments, applications or combinations of analytical techniques” and is that is was designed to “promote the awareness of the value of analytics techniques in unusual applications or in creative combination to provide unique insights and/or business value".
Learn more about how the combination of simulation and multidisciplinary experts can help government excel at achieving important mandates, such as making the country more secure.
Presentation slides of the 2012 winning project from Booz Allen Hamilton can be found on the Analytics Section of the INFORMS website; however you must be a member of the section to view these slides. The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) is the largest professional society in the world for professionals in the field of operations research, management science, and business analytics.
Visualization and Simulation Tools for Weather Satellites
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems developed tools for the simulation and visualization of National Polar-Orbiting Observation Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) weather satellite data collection and processing. The Algorithm Timing and Dependency Simulation (ATDS) created within ExtendSim, simulates multiple orbiting weather satellites, data retrieval through global receptors, and weather product generation and distribution...
The combination of ATDS with NOVA, a visualization tool that supports 3D views of astronomical objects, has been used for system performance analysis and demonstrations on the NPOESS weather satellite program.
NOVA can be dynamically commanded to display satellite scan patterns by means of an IP-based text messaging interface. A custom "wrapper" Windows DLL, developed for the NPOESS program, allows the ExtendSim ATDS simulation to access Winsock functions, permitting messaging from ExtendSim to NOVA.
ATDS analyzes processing capacity and memory, evaluates architectural alternatives, and supports cost/quality/latency trades with its unique method of modeling weather science with chains of interdependent algorithms.
ATDS has been successfully used by NPOESS to size the architecture and evaluate cost/performance trades for more than a decade.
Dam Raising Simulations
ExtendSim Consultant Ben Twomey has found that using ExtendSim for dynamic simulation to solve some types of problems can be a very fast solution. Eight hours was all that was needed to build and deliver a two site dam raising simulation that estimated completion schedule as a function of shift structure, hauler selection, and more. ExtendSim provided Ben, "Robust, rapid decision support that a spreadsheet couldn't deliver".
comprehensive middle school and high school environmental education
program coupled with support from the National Science Foundation
created an ExtendSim model simulating the effects of rainforest deforestation
and agriculture (planting pasture crops) on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere
and on animals living in the rainforest. Hence, the Rainforest
Carbon Cycling Model was born...
Carbon Cycling Model makes a tropical rain
forest come alive as carbon from the air flows through it!
Designed for users with no previous modeling experience, this
model allows users to delve into ‘What if?’ sorts
of questions about factors that limit forest production and
the effects of land-use change on carbon cycling and global
Rainforest Carbon Cycling Model History
Ann Russell, Terrestrial Ecosystems Ecologist at Iowa
State University had a dream to develop a model of carbon cycling in a tropical
rain forest using ExtendSim energy language model. Using data collected from
research in a Costa Rican rainforest, Jim Dailey of Jim
Dailey & Associates transformed the data into an animated, bilingual
model for children and the general public and called it the Rainforest Carbon
The model was distributed to 45,000 children in the Miami-Dade
County school system through an outreach program organized
by the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables,
Florida called the Fairchild
Fairfield Challenge Overview
Designed for students of diverse interests, abilities, talents
and backgrounds, the Fairchild Challenge is Fairchild Tropical
Botanic Garden's environmental education outreach program.
With separate but parallel programs for different grade levels
6 to 8 and 9 to 12, the Fairchild Challenge is composed of
multidisciplinary competitions aligned with Sunshine State
The annual Fairchild
Challenge options are intended to appeal
to students' sense of play and creativity, to encourage them
to experiment with ideas, projects and skills and to empower
them to seek information and voice opinions. This free program
was originally open to all schools in the greater Miami area.
As of January 2010, 92 middle schools and 61 high schools are
actively participating in the Fairfield Challenge. Other sites
are replicating the Fairchild Challenge model nationally and
Feedstock Information Network
(gateway to a wealth of
biomass feedstock information resources from the U.S. Department
of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other research organizations)
consortium used ExtendSim to create the Integrated
Biomass Supply Analysis & Logistics (IBSAL)
model. This biomass supply
chain model starts from defining the logistical features of the supply such as
number of farms involved, average yield, the start and progress of harvest schedule,
and the moisture content of the crop...
The model also requires
daily weather data such as temperature, relative humidity, wind
speed, rainfall and snow fall. A spreadsheet containing equipment
specifications provides data for calculating service times. This
information is used in calculating drying and wetting of the
biomass and workability of the soil. The user also defines the
safe moisture content for baling and minimum temperature below
which farm operations will cease. Once all input parameters are
identified, the model calculates costs per ton of biomass, energy
input and emissions (CO2) from equipment.
and Policy Integration for Coastal Assessment)
year project (to be completed in January of 2011) set up by the
European Union. 54 partner institutes in 21 countries are using
ExtendSim to study 18 coastal sites in the EU project SPICOSA.
This project will assist Europe in its goal of achieving Sustainable
Development by developing and testing a conceptual methodological
framework for transition in coastal zones. The SPICOSA initiative
originates from the fact that coastal systems are under increasing
human pressure and policy has not been able to respond properly
to the resulting negative impacts on ecological, social and economic
SPICOSA´s overall aim is to develop a self-evolving,
holistic research approach and support tools for the assessment
of policy options for sustainable management through a balanced
consideration of the ecological, social and economic aspects
of Coastal Zone Systems (Integrated Coastal Zone Management).
18 study sites of SPICOSA are now well underway with the design
of their ExtendSIM® models to describe a variety of coastal
processes ranging from eutrophication, fisheries, and beach attractiveness
to clam culture. A generic model library is a complete set of
reusable model components which can be used to (re)build coastal
models for new study areas, not much unlike the well-known Lego
The population of such a model library is one of the key challenges
of the project and serves several purposes:
||existing models are easier to expand or maintain
||new models are easier to build
||quick exchange of models within the scientific community
||avoidance of unnecessary modelling (not “reinventing
The principles of generic modelling have been elaborated during
the SPICOSA Cluster Workshops.
For more information about ExtendSim use and its history in SPICOSA projects,
read the series of newsletters
on the SPICOSA site.
and Policy Integration for Coastal Assessment)
Billet Casthouse Design
Designing a casthouse for billet is a complex activity. The billet casthouse must be properly sized to optimize the metal flow, and continuously feed the homogenization shop, while bearing in mind that oversizing adds no value and is costly. To solve this problem, it is necessary to accurately analyze the operations of the casthouse in real time and this requires a discrete simulation
Gwenola Jaouen of Rio Tinto Alcan Smelter Technology in Voreppe Cedex, France developed an ExtendSim model containing a library that includes all the necessary equipment: conveyors, continuous and batch furnaces, finishing
stations. The model was used to design an expended casthouse which requests the management of complex product mixes and which challenges the robustness and flexibility of the installation. By combining this model with the metal flow sizing model, it was possible to validate the performance of the design and its impact on casthouse operation. This resulted in a shop designed for customer needs, at optimal cost.
Project details were presented at TMS (The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society) 2011 Annual Meeting & Exhibition in March of 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California.
U.S. Air Force Process Modeling for Intelligence, Surveillance,
and Reconnaissance (ISR)
Since 1998, the SRA Adroit C4ISR Center has provided systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) support to the Air Staff and the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Agency to help plan and manage the Air Force DCGS Enterprise. This includes the one-of-a-kind Process, Exploit, Disseminate System (PEDS) model developed and sustained by SRA. PEDS is a fully executable model
of the current Air Force DCGS enterprise.
It enables analysis
of various reconnaissance data flows,
communications capacities, ground crew
composition and other key components.
The Air Force has used PEDS to
support planning of DCGS involvement
in Air Force ISR operations in both
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
developed the modeling and analysis methodology using ExtendSim.
Delivery Point Capacity Analysis
The United States Air Force, in accordance with the Department of Defense's mission to
modernize its processes, systems, and information flows, began an effort to replace
legacy systems with two Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems (USDoD, 2007a).
Nova Technology Solutions (NovaTech), an Information Technology (IT) and Analytics
firm, recognized the Air Force's need for a repeatable, reliable, tool to aid decisionmaking
during the planning, installation, and sustainment of these ERP systems, thus
proposing the use of modeling and simulation...
ExtendSim was used to create a simple simulation model to analyze the impact of ERP
increased workload on network performance, specifically at the Air Force Service
Delivery Points (SDPs). Many bases faced saturation at 95% during peak hours causing a bottleneck in the
communication network. The implementation of the AF ERP systems was expected to
cause an increase in traffic through the SDPs. Thus, it was necessary to analyze the
capability of each SDP to determine how the increased traffic will affect Air Force (AF)
To analyze the impact of increased ERP workload on SDP performance and enduser
response time, a discrete event ExtendSim simulation model was used to simulate the flow of
data packets across the AF communications network.
|Read Ms. Harper's
complete thesis here
Results from the NovaTech model show that a 15%
increase in current workload, or current network traffic, will cause a 250% increase in
end-user response time (Fitzgerald & Harper, 2008). Further enhancements were made to the model by Tiffany Jill Harper for a thesis submitted in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Engineering at
Wright State University, 2008. Her thesis, Implementation of Simulation for Network Service
Delivery Point Capacity Analysis, showed a 98%, 209%, and 352% increase in response time when the current workload is
increased by 10%, 20%, and 30%, respectively. In an experiment investigating the impact
of capacity expansion in the model with the double resource SDP, it was determined that
for a 30% increased workload a 42.5% increase in SDP bandwidth capacity at the base
hosting the application server resulted in a 75% decrease in average end-user response
time during the peak traffic hour.
Zone Scalability Study
to a request from the Internet
Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board,
the Security and Stability Advisory Committee
(SSAC) and the
Root Server System Advisory Committee
a study of the potential impact on the operation of the root
server system of adding IPv6 address records, IDN top level
names, other new TLDs, and new records to support DNS security
to the root zone...
A team of experts, known as the Root Scaling Study Team, commissioned
an independent research organization from the Netherlands, TNO (the
Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) to
conduct research into the scalability
of the root zone.
Root Scaling model developed by TNO shows how the different
parts of the root server system are related and how changing
something in one part affects each of the other parts. The
model can be used to quantitatively assess – and therefore
prioritize – risks involved when changing
the value of one or more variables (e.g., the rate at which
new TLDs are added to the root, or the expected frequency
of emergency key rollover events in a signed root) on each
of the component of the root server system. Partly on the
basis of the initial results, ICANN has been advised to temporize
and monitor the developments already initiated.
Security: An Agent-Based Model for Airport Defense
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
shifted the focus of airport security
in 2004 to incorporate the need to continuously and rapidly adapt security to
shifting threats. MITRE corporation
has developed a Dynamic Security Airport
Simulation as part of a MITRE-sponsored research project in which attacker and
defense behavior in the airport environment are modeled...
The simulation accepts
threat vectors (path-weapon combinations) from other software
or the user and models the performance of the airport defense
against those threat vectors. The simulation includes two intelligent
agents: the attacker and the defense. These agents model the
behavior of those two entities; their logic includes both decision
making and learning.
University Medical Group
closely with the nine-physician outpatient clinic staff at the
Indiana University Medical Group
at Grassy Creek, the MBA class at Purdue
University mapped clinic patient and physician flow. By identifying
bottlenecks and flow improvement factors, the recommendations they
made helped the clinic serve 37 percent more patients
on a given day.
Technology Center/Automation Institute
Baosteel, the largest iron and steel company in China and a global 500 company,
used ExtendSim in a melt iron transportation logistics analysis project. This was
the first discrete event simulation project Baosteel built with an off-the-shelf
commercial tool. Edgestone
Information Technologies Co., Ltd. teamed with the Baosteel Technology Center
to lead the project in modeling and analytical experiments producing meaningful
results in their capacity expansion evaluation project. Baosteel is pleased with
the scalability of ExtendSim and the results of this project.
KLSS under contracts from The
Boeing Company developed
a number of simulations utilizing ExtendSim.
The Depot Process Model was
developed to allow simulation of a wide variety of maintenance
depot setups and configurations, starting from the same generic
model. The model processes and logically controls the movement
of vehicles through a depot according to variable task requirements
and the availability of resources (personnel, support equipment,
parts, and physical space). As data from an actual depot
operation is applied to the model, it will assist with the identification
of process improvement opportunities which will improve vehicle
throughput capacity and platform (tank, aircraft, etc.) availability.
Net-Centric Logistics Land Platform
In addition to the Depot Process
Model, KLSS developed
the net-centric logistics (NCL) land platform model using ExtendSim.
This simulation of the logistics of an U.S. Army’s battlefield includes all
of the platforms, personnel, logistics, and supplies needed to
support a heavy armor company. The model specifically includes
spare vehicle parts as well as commodities (food, fuel, water,
ammunition). It enables the customer to determine the benefits
and explore the implementation of NCL concepts during a wartime
deployment. The model also allows for the identification of potential
logistics bottlenecks and the measurement of a unit’s platform
availability and resource consumption.
Both models utilize the functions of ExtendSim’s embedded
database extensively and its capability to interact with Microsoft
Excel for model inputs and outputs.
Hormel Foods Corporation
Over-utilized inventory locations at one of its grocery products
facilities was causing problems with Hormel Foods product flow.
Product mix and number of supply items had grown creating an imbalance
in storage locations for the inventory. Inputing data from a sampling
of time, they used ExtendSim to model the
different systems that were supplying and demanding material from
bay locations at various rates, quantities, and shifts of operation.
Hormel was able to determine the best alternative solution while
verifying adequate inventory turns, minimizing equipment and material
handling costs, and meeting capacity requirements.
Focused_On Health Limited
"We did a very
detailed appraisal of the available products and decided to use
this choice were based on the extensive range of general purpose "blocks" available,
the sophisticated structure of the internal TimeSet
(enabling models of many thousand blocks to be efficiently handled)
the ease with which the general purpose blocks could be moulded
specific Health provision needs. A number of years of experience
confirms that this was a good decision as the product is advancing
and the support can only be described as excellent." excerpt
from the Focused_On
Health web site.
Health built a feasibility model in ExtendSim for North Hampshire
Hospitals new Emergency Assessment Centre. The model evaluated
staffing requirements, beds, number of cubicles, overall size of
the facilities, and future growth. Surveyors and engineers used
model results to plan the facility.
Care Unit - Demand and Capacity Planning
with a CCU OutReach Nurse, Focused_On Health built an ExtendSim model
showing main PatientFlow pathways in a care unit (Definite MI,
Suspected MI, LVF, and Arrhythmia). The FlowModel was built to
investigate the impact of bed blockages in the Medical Ward on
the ability of the unit to deliver its specialized care.
Modeling Perioperative Systems in a Hospital
Utilizing data from a study containing a large dataset (90,000+
records of 30,000+ patients) culled from hospital patient logs
and electronic data collection systems, ExtendSim was used to evaluate
alternate process flows, policies, staffing, and resource
allocation, for the cases flowing through a renovated space.
This level of fidelity increased team buy-in and increased certainty
that savings estimates would be real, providing an accurate understanding
of resource allocation as it relates to revenue. The effort’s
positive outcome showed the importance of involving nursing staff
and facility administration with the healthcare planning, architecture,
and simulation modeling team. The result is improved patient care
and patient flow with better use of personnel and other resources.
IBM Global Services Australia - Olympic Program
Sydney 2000 Olympics print distribution was modeled in ExtendSim to
delivery times, resource requirements, duty rosters, and capacity
to meet Service
Lockheed Martin has created an ExtendSim model that estimates the cost of testing
Savannah River Technology Center
The Savannah River Site (SRS) deals with dispositioning a
substantial quantity of the nation’s plutonium. An effort
was initiated over a decade ago to model plutonium processing
and storage to present to Congress and the Defense Nuclear Facility
Safety Board an optimum option for plutonium management in the
Nuclear Weapons Complex.
Along with efforts to develop information using spreadsheets,
a plutonium disposition and storage model was developed using Extend.
ExtendSim was chosen for this task because its hierarchical nature
allowed development of a modular model which was easy to explain
and understand. The power of the
discrete event modeling approach was observed when adding shipping and process
schedule logic, determining bottlenecks in the process, and making rapid changes
to the model to assess the impact of different decisions.
Andy Mather, currently with The Epitec Group, learned to
use ExtendSim and
built a huge model for DTE that
covered field, shop, office, and supply chain functions relating
metering equipment in just 6 short weeks. Management was wowed
by the animation level of the
ExtendSim model during demonstrations. But the results were more impressive.
With this model, DTE was able to predict the effects of potential
regulations, weather, labor rules, and staffing levels. The model
accurately predicted the type, number, and severity of problems
resulted a year later!
Landmark Healthcare Study
National contract with two major healthcare organizations using
RFID to track nurses at 38 hospitals across the country. The
goal of the study is to analyze and find ways to improve nurses'
time with patients at the bedside on medical and surgical floors.
The principal investigator plans to demonstrate, through simulation
modeling of existing data if the nursing care process and/or
the physical space can be improved.
This project is being carried out by a consortium of experts in
the medical modeling field from Purdue (conducting data analysis),
a team of simulation engineers from industry, and architectural
experts. This project is still in progress. Full details will be
disclosed as they become available.
Saves $100 million annually by improving the effectiveness of capital
Accurately simulated complex recipes and flows, allowing management
to explore operating strategies. Optimized productivity resulting
in a 32% reduction in cycle time.
Used at numerous aerospace companies like TRW on programs modeling
satellites and mission data processing. One particular model
simulates more than 3 terabytes of weather sensor data collected
by satellites, transmitted to ground stations, and processed
into science products.
Integrated in courses at the undergraduate, MBA, and executive
MBA levels by prestigious universities such as Stanford and Harvard.
Fortune 100 Consumer Products Company
Saved $1 billion across operations by improving manufacturing reliability.
Allowed company to introduce technology at a faster pace.
Validated the process design for a $5.7 billion capital project.
Models hospital and emergency medical services throughout a major
Analyzes staffing levels at a refugee camp in Croatia.
Major Beverage Retailer
Simulates demand and optimizes staffing at retail locations worldwide.
Manages their ever-growing supply chain with an ExtendSim model showing
stores, distribution centers, and assembly line constraints and
delays of their consumer and professional paint application tools.
Optimizes the design of suspension systems by comparing the model’s
simulated results to real-time data transmitted by sensors on automobiles.
High Speed Processing
A popular cookie producer
models their packaging line to understand the dynamics and capacity
of their system. Their model shows the effect of changing the speed
of a piece of equipment, the failure and repair rates for that
piece of equipment, the size of in-line storage, and the mixing
of different products.
Simulated arrest and arraignment procedures for a major US city’s
criminal justice system, resulting in more efficient processing.
Major Medical Equipment Producer
Laboratory automation equipment models allow sales forces to customize
equipment for customers, increasing the rate of sales successes.
Then, the customer can use these same models to replicate their
operations and explore opportunities to improve testing processes
in lab analysis.
Airport Security Agency
Evaluated the effects on passenger flow of new airport security
checkpoint equipment and procedures.
Pulp and Paper Mill
A New Zealand mill models their integrated pulp mill, recycle facility,
and sack kraft machine to determine the optimum mix of products
and grades for specific economic conditions. This mill now boasts
bleached softwood kraft production costs in the bottom quartile
Determined how to be responsive to its Call Center customers
while managing costs.
Simulated fleets of cargo aircraft in a major war scenario and minimized risk
to aircraft and personnel.
Reengineered the DOE Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Reduced expenses,
decreased need-fulfillment time, and improved the storage and
dissemination of information.
A consultant for a large defense contractor modeled a
training continuum, results of which were one of the important
inputs into convincing a customer
that changing the training would result in increased throughput,
performance and efficiencies. This lead to the customer agreeing
changed training continuum resulting in a significant scope increase
the consulting agency.
ExtendSim model aided a defense agency to
identify choke points accurately and take corrective actions. This
helped increase creditability in aircrew training.