Data Farming 101 Workshop

Sunday, December 11, 8:30am-12:00pm

$85 – Includes refreshments, sign up when you register for the meeting


The pre-conference Data Farming 101 Workshop is designed for newcomers to simulation experiments. Data farming is the process of using computational experiments to grow data, which can then be analyzed using statistical and visualization techniques to obtain insight into complex systems. The focus of the workshop will be on gaining practical experience with setting up and running a simulation experiment. Participants will be introduced to important concepts, and jointly explore simulation models in an interactive setting.  Demonstrations and written materials will supplement guided, hands-on activities through the experiment set up, design, data collection and analyses phases.


Susan M. Sanchez, Operations Research Department, Naval Postgraduate School
Paul J. Sanchez, Operations Research Department, Naval Postgraduate School

Who Should Attend?

The target audience consists of both technical and non-technical persons who have had exposure to simulation and its applications, but have limited (if any) experience in conducting or evaluating a designed experiment. Familiarity with a high-level programming language or a statistical software package is helpful but not required. If you are a simulation client, this will open your eyes to the types of questions you can ask of your simulation. If you are a simulation practitioner, this will provide you with some practical tools for future simulation studies. If you are a simulation educator, you may find some of the examples useful for your students. If you are a simulation researcher, a data farming approach may help you organize and present your work. In all cases, you will gain insights about your model from the model itself, avoiding the need to make prior assumptions about what is or is not important.

Why Should You Attend?

Do you find yourself wishing you could quickly and easily explore a variety of “what-if” questions using simulation? Are you curious about how simulation and experimentation might augment your research? Attending this workshop will help you to learn how large-scale simulation experiments can address these types of questions. We will use a hands-on, interactive approach to demonstrate the power of data farming. Small teams will jointly explore simulation models. Demonstrations and written materials will supplement guided, hands-on activities through the experiment set up, design, data collection, and analyses phases. The workshop content is at the introductory tutorial level, but the workshop is geared toward those who desire a hands-on, interactive experience.

Bring Your Laptop

Each participant should bring a laptop to the workshop. A suite of simulation programs and utilities written specifically for Data Farming 101 will be distributed and should be installed by each participant on her/his laptop prior to the workshop. Participants will use the software throughout the workshop.

Preliminary Schedule

8:30-8:45 Overview
8:45-9:30 Setting up data farming questions (with lab)
9:30-10:00 Creating large-scale designs (with lab)
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:00 Analyzing output (with lab)
11:00-11:45 Data farming and spreadsheet simulation (with lab)
11:45-12:00 Wrap-up