Introductory Tutorials

Track Coordinator: Stewart Robinson, Loughborough University, UK

The Introductory Tutorials track is oriented toward conference delegates who are relatively new to simulation, who wish to learn about an unfamiliar area of simulation, or who wish to refresh their simulation knowledge. The tutorials will cover simulation foundations and approaches, software tools, modeling, analysis and tips on how to perform successful simulation studies.


Advanced Tutorials

Track Coordinator: Shane G. Henderson, Cornell University

The Advanced Tutorials track is oriented toward more experienced practitioners and researchers who do not necessarily specialize in simulation research, but nevertheless seek the latest modeling and analysis tools and techniques for advanced applications. Special-focus sessions within the Advanced Tutorials Track give practitioners and researchers a survey of recent fundamental advances in the theory of simulation modeling and analysis.


Simulation Education

Track Coordinators: Jeff Joines, NCSU and Margaret Loper, Georgia Tech

The Simulation Education track includes papers that discuss approaches to teaching simulation at education levels ranging from K-12 to graduate and professional workforce levels. The track also encourages papers that demonstrate the use of models and simulations in teaching subjects other than modeling and simulation. Also welcome are case studies which address practical problems that arise in simulation education or in the use of simulation as a learning tool.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Simulation educational initiatives in professional societies (e.g., NMSC, ACM SIGSIM, INFORMS)
  • M&S curriculums in K-12, trade schools and academic education
  • M&S curriculums in professional education
  • M&S initiatives in STEM/K-12
  • M&S education in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • The use of blended learning approaches in M&S education
  • Using models and simulations to teach subjects other than M&S
  • Approaches and tools for teaching conceptual model development and simulation
  • M&S certification for students and teachers
  • Game-based learning in M&S
  • Concepts for design and improvement of M&S courses


Analysis Methodology

Track Coordinators: Raghu Pasupathy, Purdue University and Zdravko Botev, University New South Wales

Simulation analysis covers a variety of mathematical, statistical, empirical, and computational methods. The Analysis Methodology track includes papers on input, output and model analysis. Input analysis tries to improve the quality of the inputs (random variates, distributions, etc.) to a simulation. Output analysis aims to meaningfully interpret simulation outputs to draw informative inferences regarding the underlying simulation model. Model analysis deals with the efficiency and appropriateness of a simulation in providing useful estimates. The main focus of this track is on how to obtain better input, estimates or inference by using efficient approaches or algorithms. We also welcome suggestions for sessions on emerging topics. Nonconventional methods are of particular interest.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Simulation of financial processes via, e.g., Multilevel Monte Carlo
  • Input process modelling
  • Random variate or process generation
  • Variance reduction
  • Rare-event simulation
  • Sensitivity analysis
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo methods
  • Analytic representations of simulation models
  • Metamodeling


Simulation Optimization

Track Coordinators: Jie Xie, George Mason University & Jeff Hong, City Univ Hong Kong

The Simulation Optimization track is interested in papers on both theoretical and applied aspects of simulation optimization. In particular, it welcomes papers with methodological elements, e.g., analyzing properties of specific simulation models that lead to new or improved optimization techniques, or developing new computational algorithms for decision-making under uncertainty spanning multiple areas of application. It also welcomes papers on specific applications from areas such as healthcare, network applications, communications, financial engineering, and energy systems, where new or existing simulation optimization techniques are developed or applied.

Methodological topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Global and black-box optimization
  • Discrete optimization via simulation
  • Random search methods
  • Sample average approximation
  • Stochastic approximation methods
  • Model-based methods
  • Metaheuristics
  • Population-based methods
  • Response surface methodology
  • Ranking & selection
  • Stochastic programming
  • Approximate dynamic programming
  • Optimal learning
  • Stochastic gradient estimation
  • Metamodels
  • Robust simulation and optimization
  • Data-driven decision making
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Optimization with stochastic constraints


Modeling Methodology

Track Chairs: Levent Yilmaz, Auburn University and Gabriel Wainer, Carleton University.

The Modeling Methodology track is interested in methodological advances with respect to the theory and practice of modeling and simulation. These may include approaches to model development, data capture, model building, verification, validation, experimentation, and optimization. Contributions to the advancement of the technology and the  software used to support modeling are also welcome as are contributions featuring guiding or unifying frameworks, the development and application of meaningful formal methods, and lessons learned. All modeling paradigms are accepted and supported. If you have an idea for a special session or a panel discussion of particular interest to the WSC participants, please send an email with a short description and references to the work of relevant experts to the track chairs.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Modeling paradigms
  • Formal modeling languages
  • Modeling approaches for real-time systems
  • Technological advances in modeling software
  • Spatial and temporal modeling
  • Multilevel modeling
  • Multi-paradigm modeling
  • Multi-formalism modeling
  • Model reuse, repositories and retrieval
  • Distributed simulation
  • Modeling with ontologies
  • Semantic tools supporting modeling methods
  • Standardization challenges
  • Epistemological perspectives
  • Modeling for augmented reality
  • Enhancing the impact of modeling and simulation
  • Grand challenges for modeling and simulation


Agent-Based Simulation

Track Coordinators: Michael North and Chick M. Macal, Argonne National Laboratories

The Agent-Based Simulation (ABS) track is interested in theoretical, methodological and applied research that involves synergistic interaction between simulation and agent technologies. Contributions to the ABS track are expected to use agent-based models of complex adaptive systems and self-organizing emergent phenomena with applications to fields such as biomedical sciences, business, engineering, environment, individual, group, organizational behavior, social systems and intelligent transportation systems. Also, of interest are contributions that demonstrate the use of agents as support facilities to enable computer assistance in simulation-based problem solving (i.e., agent-supported simulation), or the use of agents for the generation of model behavior in a simulation study. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:


  • Autonomous and adaptive systems
  • Complex adaptive systems modeling
  • Self-organizing systems
  • Simulation modeling of agent technologies at the organization, interaction (e.g., communication, negotiation, coordination, collaboration) and agent level (e.g., deliberation, social agents, computational autonomy)

Technology, Tools, Toolkits and Environments:

  • Agent infrastructures and supporting technologies (e.g., interoperability, agent-oriented simulation software engineering environments)
  • Agent architectures, platforms, and frameworks
  • Standard APIs for agent simulation programming

Theory and Methodologies:

  • High-level agent specification languages for modeling and simulation
  • Distributed simulation for multi-agent systems
  • Formal models of agents and agent societies
  • Verification, validation, testing; quality assurance; as well as failure avoidance in agent-based simulations
  • Advanced agent features for agent-directed simulation: e.g., agent-based simulation to monitor multi-simulation studies, agents in design and monitoring of simulation experiments and analysis of results


Hybrid Simulation

Track Coordinators: Navonil Mustafee, University of Exeter; Sally Brailsford, University of Southampton; and Tillal Eldabi, Brunel University

Simulation methods enable stakeholders to analyze and evaluate strategies for effective management of complex systems. It is therefore not surprising that an increasing number of studies have used techniques such as discrete-event simulation, Monte Carlo simulation, system dynamics, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods and agent-based simulation to make better and more informed decisions. However, such techniques have frequently been applied in isolation. The complexity of systems and their multi-faceted relationships may mean that the combined application of simulation methods, or hybrid simulation, will enable synergies across techniques and will provide greater insights to problem solving.

The aim of this track is therefore to solicit papers that focus on combining techniques (e.g., discrete and continuous). In particular, the papers must demonstrate the need for hybrid simulation and how this approach could be used for modeling and simulating complex systems. The hybrid simulation studies may relate to application areas such as healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, military, disaster response, environment and sustainability.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Methodology, e.g., synthesis of existing literature, papers presenting the conceptualization of hybrid simulation through use of frameworks
  • Papers focusing on technology, e.g., use of parallel and distributed simulation for facilitating hybrid simulation
  • Case studies that have applied hybrid simulation in manufacturing, logistics and supply chain, healthcare, etc.
  • Papers focusing on continuous simulation/systems dynamics that incorporate discrete elements

The track coordinators also encourage papers on the combined application of simulation methods with the wider modeling techniques that are frequently used in operational research, for example, papers that have applied DES and game theory, ABS with metaheuristics, SD papers that have used soft operational research methods like problem structuring, simulation papers that have delved into statistical techniques associated with data-mining and predictive analytics.

The track will be organised into specific themes, for example:

  • Methodological aspects of hybrid simulation
  • Modeling human behavior using hybrid simulation
  • Hybrid simulation for healthcare planning
  • Hybrid simulation for planning and scheduling
  • Hybrid simulation for sustainable operations management
  • Combined application of hybrid simulation with wider operational research techniques


Social & Behavioral Simulation

Track Coordinators: Ugo Merlone, University of Torino and Stephen Davies, University of Mary Washington

Computer simulation is increasingly being adopted as a technique for achieving results in the social sciences. Formalized models enable a generative approach to science that can identify which kinds of micro-level interactions are sufficient to produce the known macro-level patterns observed in real societies. Simulation also allows social science researchers to explore out-of-equilibrium system behavior that is difficult to achieve with traditional analytical approaches.

The Social and Behavioral Simulation track will feature recent, principled work in this area. Projects related to all areas of the social and behavioral sciences will be represented, from artificial economics and cognitive process modeling to social network analysis and political science. We invite innovative and state-of-the-art contributions that model complex phenomena in any social sphere, and especially encourage implementations and demonstration of results.

Applications submitted to this track may be from various domains, including but not limited to:

  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Multi-agent modeling
  • Game theory
  • Simulation and gaming
  • Computational economics
  • Social network analysis
  • Political science
  • Cognitive sciences
  • Computational social psychology
  • Social policy
  • Decision support and analytics
  • Group dynamics
  • Sociophysics


Environmental & Sustainability Applications

Track Coordinators: Jonathan Ozik, Argonne National Lab/University of Chicago and John T. Murphy, Argonne National Lab/University of Chicago

The Environmental and Sustainability Applications track focuses on the use of modeling and simulation for the analysis of the environment, of coupled natural-human systems, and of resilient and sustainable solutions to environmental and natural resource challenges. Application areas include ecological systems, natural disasters, renewable resources, sustainable manufacturing, sustainable infrastructure, and human-environment interaction. We solicit papers presenting new ideas, concepts, models, methods, tools, standards, and applications pertaining to the evaluation and preservation of the natural environment and its resources.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the modeling, simulation, and analysis of:

  • Human-environment interaction
  • Ecological systems
  • Resilience in coupled natural-human systems
  • Natural disasters and their impact on society
  • Renewable resources and related processes
  • Human adaptation to climate change
  • Sustainable power grids/smart grids
  • Energy efficient and sustainable urban planning and design
  • Sustainable infrastructure
  • Energy/resource efficient manufacturing
  • Environmental modeling, visualization, and optimization
  • Decision support and analytics for sustainability
  • Information modeling and interoperability for sustainability applications


Healthcare Applications

Track Coordinators: Doug Morrice, University of Texas at Austin and Julie Ivy, NCSU

The Healthcare Applications track addresses an important area in which simulation can provide critical decision support for operational and strategic planning and decision making that individual providers (doctors/nurses, clinics, hospitals) face, as well as for policy issues that must be addressed by administering systems (e.g., hospitals, insurance companies and governments). Traditionally, this track has been broad in focus, incorporating Discrete Event Simulation, System Dynamics, Agent-Based Simulation, and/or Monte Carlo simulations, with a variety of applications. A common thread is the use of simulation tools to provide insight or to inform decisions for improved healthcare outcomes. New modelling tools that address challenges with the conceptualization or implementation of healthcare systems, and general healthcare simulations are welcome.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Admissions and control
  • Ancillary services
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Emergency room access
  • Epidemic modelling
  • General healthcare simulation
  • Global Health
  • Healthcare optimization
  • Healthcare systems
  • Medical decision making
  • Outpatient access
  • Outpatient capacity analysis
  • Payment/Payer models
  • Performance improvement models
  • Pricing models
  • Resource scheduling (e.g., nurse, residents, equipment, etc.)


Manufacturing Applications

Track Coordinators: Christoph Laroque, University of Applied Sciences Zwickau and Loo Hay Lee, National University of Singapore

The Manufacturing Applications track is interested in research using simulation in industrial applications found in the automotive, aircraft and shipbuilding industries, among others. Simulation is a well-established model-based methodology for analyzing dynamical inter-dependencies in manufacturing systems. Manufacturing applications relate to the model-based analysis of (i) all production and logistics processes within a company or along a supply chain, and (ii) all phases of a system life cycle, such as system acquisition, system design and planning, implementation, start of operation, ramp-up, as well as the operation itself. A contribution has to describe the aims of investigation, the investigated system, the simulation model, the experimental plan, the simulation findings and any implementation results. Additionally, specific challenges like system complexity, data collection and preparation, or verification and validation may be pointed out.

  • Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Manufacturing
  • Applications of simulation-based optimization in production
  • Factory planning
  • Production planning and scheduling
  • Lean management
  • Total quality management
  • Maintenance and Lifecycle-Assessment
  • Integration of energy and carbon footprint
  • Cyber-physical systems and Industrial Ethernet



Chairs: Reha Uzsoy, North Carolina State University and Stéphane Dauzère-Pérès, Ecole des Mines Saint-Etienne and Adar Kalir, Intel

Click here for more information about MASM.


Logistics, SCM, and Transportation

Track Coordinators: Markus Rabe, Technical University of Dortmund and David Goldsman, Georgia Institute of Technology

The nature of highly dynamic and complex networks of supply, intralogistics, and distribution leads to decreasing transparency at increasing risk. Therefore, managers who are responsible for supply chain management and logistics require effective tools to provide credible analysis in this dynamic environment. In order to facilitate the discussion of the best applications of simulation in this area, this track includes papers in logistics simulation, supply chain simulation, and simulation for planning, analyzing, and improving logistics from the intralogistics view to global supply chains.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Supply chain design
  • Supply chain responsiveness
  • Supply chain risk analysis
  • Statistical analysis of supply chains
  • Simulation-based optimization of supply chains
  • Lean supply chains
  • Supply chain operations
  • Demand and order fulfillment
  • Inventory policies
  • Multi-modal logistics systems
  • Port operations
  • Rail operations
  • Traffic and routing
  • Intralogistics
  • Advanced material flow systems


Military, Homeland Security & Emergency Response Applications

Track Coordinators: Raymond R. Hill, Air Force Institute of Technology and Matthew Berry, Argonne National Laboratory

The Military, Homeland Security and Emergency Response Applications track is interested in papers that describe the application of simulation methods to problems in the military, homeland security, and emergency response. Applications may be in any area related to military such as battlefield simulation, military logistics/transport, military man power planning, unmanned systems, etc.  For homeland and emergency response applications are sought in the protection of critical infrastructure, transportation security, bio-defense, and the phases of the emergency response lifecycle, i.e., preparation/training, response, recovery and mitigation, etc. Simulation applications that illustrate the relationships between the military and homeland security and emergency response are especially welcome.

Military Keynote

Todd CombsTodd Combs is Director of the Global Security Sciences Division (GSS) at Argonne National Laboratory.  In addition to his division management duties, Dr. Combs leads the Department of Homeland Security team within Argonne’s National Security Program and manages Argonne’s advanced grid modeling research program for the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.  Dr. Combs came to ANL from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he served as group leader of the Transportation Planning and Decision Science Group. Dr. Combs’ research has spanned energy systems analysis for DOE sponsors, and the application of modeling and simulation techniques to national and homeland security issues for Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security sponsors.  He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in operations research from the Air Force Institute of Technology.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.  Dr. Combs’ military experience includes assignments at The Air Force Research Laboratory, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Air Force Studies and Analyses Agency.


Networks and Communication

Track Coordinators: Christopher D. Carothers and Justin LaPre, RPI

The Network and Communication track focuses on technologies for modeling and simulating computer and communication networks, networked systems and applications, wireless and mobile communications, and social networks.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Distributed and networked applications and systems
  • Future internet architecture, clean-slate network design, software-defined networking
  • Wireless and mobile networks
  • Data center networking
  • Social networking
  • Network security, cyber defense applications
  • Traffic modeling and analysis
  • High-performance network modeling techniques
  • Large-scale network simulation
  • Network simulation tools and software
  • Network emulation, real-time simulation, online simulation, symbiotic simulation
  • Training and education


Project Management & Construction

Track Coordinators: Ian Flood, University of Florida and SangHyun Lee, University of Michigan

The Project Management and Construction track includes innovative research as well as practical application papers that apply computer simulation to complex project and construction management problems. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Distributed and parallel simulation
  • Hybrid simulation
  • Agent-based modeling
  • Simulation with ontology
  • Applications and case studies such as:
    • Managing off-site production/modularization
    • Human behavior and organization in construction
    • Sustainable built environment
    • Net zero energy, water and carbon
    • Project planning and control
    • Simulation as a project management education tool
    • Lean production management systems
    • Sensed environments for simulation
    • Project portfolio management
    • System optimization
    • System control
  • Simulation/emulation with sensor data
  • Simulation with BIM (Building Information Modeling)
  • Visualization of a construction process including:
    • n-D modelling
    • virtual environments
    • augmented environments


General and Scientific Applications

Track Coordinators: John Shortle, George Mason University and Soumyadip Ghosh, IBM

The General Applications track invites papers describing original work of computer-based simulation in all applications areas of engineering and science. Applications may include, but are not limited to, aerospace, alternative fuels, air transportation, biological systems, climate change, computational biology, construction, economics, energy systems, geology, manufacturing, meteorology, nano-materials, networks, nuclear systems, power systems, production, project management, social systems, sports, telecommunications, and transportation. All applications are welcome. Papers in track-specific applications (e.g., health care) may be submitted to this track as well as to the application-specific track, and there may be some coordination of papers between tracks.

Also of interest are new methodologies, tools and techniques for asynchronous and mathematical methods in traditional scientific computing problems. Algorithms, formal methods, analysis systems, frameworks, case studies, literature surveys and performance analysis studies are all of interest. Both sequential as well as parallel execution are within scope.


Vendor Track

Track Coordinator: Jeffrey Smith, Auburn University

The Vendor Track provides an opportunity for companies that market modeling and simulation technology and services to present their innovations and successful applications. The track is open only to companies that have paid for exhibit space at the conference.  For each reserved booth, vendors get a 45-minute time slot in the track.

For each slot, you have two options: submit a complete paper; or submit just an abstract. Papers are subject to the standard WSC submission timeline and review process and appear in the archival proceedings.  Abstracts are not peer reviewed and appear online and in the final program, but not the archival proceedings.

The links for submitting papers and abstracts will be provided when you make your commitment to exhibit. The deadline for submission for abstracts is August 15, 2016.  For additional information, please contact Jeff Smith at


Cross Fertilization

Track Coordinator: Russell Barton, Pennsylvania State University

The Cross-Fertilization track runs on an exceptional basis, and provides an opportunity to welcome speakers from different disciplines who are working in areas which use simulation modeling or analysis methods related to simulation as part of their work. The goal of the track is to welcome leading researchers who use simulation in ways which might stimulate new approaches in the Winter Simulation Community and new collaborations with others who also use simulation in important areas.

Click here for more information on the Cross Fertilization speakers.