System Update – Delay Release within Processes has been Added

Resource options (within a Process node) now allow for a time to be specified for delaying the return of a resource to its corresponding pool once it is released by a process. This allows the model to account for situations such as when a resource has traveled a distance while being used and needs to return to a starting location or when a resource needs time to recharge before it can be used again.

This new setting is found within the Resources Required section of the Process nodes and now displays as a checkbox in the fourth column (Delay Release). If this box is not checked, then the Resource’s release remains instantaneous. If this box is checked, then a Delay Time needs to be specified at the bottom of the node as either a constant or distribution time value. Please note: the same time constant or distribution value will be used for any Resource released at this node with the Delay Resource option selected.

The Resource-Process Node Updates model aka Go-Kart Racing model (available in the Public section) showcases this new option.

Paper Link: Storytelling and Simulation Creation

The paper reports on learning simulation creation through the simulation of engaging stories.

Abstract
When learning to create simulations, we rely on real systems to emphasize their importance on reality. However, for younger students, reliance on reality is not always engaging. Reality provides context, but students’ interest quickly fades. Through the use of four case studies, we explore the idea of having students create stories in order to engage them in learning to create simulations. Applying a narrative/story context provides a mechanism for learning and maintaining student engagement. Stories can be based on original/existing games, movies, or other sources rich in narrative. Our approach includes four components: create a game/story narrative; discuss, evaluate, and expand the narrative; implement the narrative into an animated storyboard; and implement the narrative into a simulation. Lastly, we briefly discuss the utilization of sounds on both the animated storyboard and the simulation. Future work will empirically explore the effectiveness of narrative storytelling for learning simulation creation.

Paper Link: Incorporating Sound in Simulations

The paper reports on using sound (music, sound cues) in simulations.

Abstract:
In this paper, we raise the questions: how could sound influence the usability of simulations? How could sound influence the learning of simulation creation? How could sound support processes like verification? We argue that sound can support learning by relying on music/sound cues’ emotional engagement on users and verification by providing insight into the correctness of simulation execution during runtime. For instance, sound cues could indicate when certain events occur and if processes in a simulation are operating within their specifications. We explore potential benefits and challenges posed by incorporating sound into DES models. Many perceived challenges of this incorporation overlap with known visualization challenges for conveying information during runtime, as both cases deal with conveying sensory stimuli. We present conceptual examples and report on ongoing efforts to integrate sound into a DES simulation environment.

Wintersim 2017 – Incorporating Sound in Simulations

System Update – Resource Options within Processes have been Updated

We added a new functionality to CLOUDES.

Resource options (within a Process node) are now selectable for each type of Resource in the model. This allows for some resources to be used to complete a process and then let go to handle the next entity while other resources can be used by the entity and then taken further (or all the way) through the model to be let go at a later point.

There are four possible actions:

No Selection (On Resource Required): Resources are not used and a Process acts as a delay (no change from previous version).

Acquire and Release: The specified quantity of the resource is taken from the resource pool, the resource is utilized, and the resource is returned to the pool when the utilization is complete. This functionality is equivalent to the previous version’s “Release Resources on Completion” option.

Acquire Only: The resource is taken from the resource pool, but the resource is not returned to the pool when the utilization is complete. The entity retains the resource and continue with the entity through the model until separately told to release. This option is equivalent to the checked “Resources Required,” but without checking the “Release Resources on Completion” option.

Release Only: Upon exiting the Process node, the selected Resources that were already attached to an exiting Entity are returned to their Resource pool. When the process ends the entity releases the specified quantity of the resource when the utilization is complete.  It is assumed the entity had acquired the resource previously in another process. This option is new.

The Go-Kart Racing model (available in the Public section) showcases how to use the new option.

 

System Update

User interface improvements (Design Area):

  • Edges are color-coded matching the originating block. Note: Changes will be observed on new simulations.
  • Before, to connect blocks you needed to drop the edge end at the connecting point of the receiving block. Now, You can connect nodes by dropping the edge end on top of the receiving block.