Simulation in the supply chain context: matching the simulation tool to the problem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


The supply chain can be a source of competitive advantage for the firm. Simulation is an effective tool for investigating supply chain problems. The three main simulation approaches in the supply chain context are System Dynamics (SD), Discrete Event Simulation (DES) and Agent Based Modelling (ABM). A sample from the literature suggests that whilst SD and ABM have been used to address strategic and planning problems, DES has mainly been used on planning and operational problems., A review of received wisdom suggests that historically, driven by custom and practice, certain simulation techniques have been focused on certain problem types. A theoretical review of the techniques, however, suggests that the scope of their application should be much wider and that supply chain practitioners could benefit from applying them in this broader way.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 Operational Research Society simulation Workshop (SW10) : 23-24 March 2010, Worcestershire, England
EditorsMurat Gunal
PublisherOperational Research Society
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-0-903440-46-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event5th Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop, SW 2010 - Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Mar 201024 Mar 2010


Conference5th Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop, SW 2010
Abbreviated titleSW10
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note



  • agent based modelling
  • discrete event simulation
  • supply chain
  • system dynamics


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