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Discrete Event Simulation (DES)

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 1/3/2010

Discrete event simulation permits experimentation in construction by modeling. The results of processes are determined without incurring the actual expenditures on construction. Several discrete event simulation systems have been developed for the construction industry.

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    The Requirement

    Discrete Event Simulation (DES) is a strong evaconstruction technology simulation   luator that is favorable for the designing of construction operations. Simulation analyses normally consist of the time and cost of construction, rates for the use of resources, waiting period, and other technical details. The outcome generally indicates the vital components of the operations that have a prospect for perfection, due to which reduction in cost or time may be possible. Several systems like STROBOSCOPE are presently being used to facilitate the modeling of complicated construction operations. Such systems provide complete information about the expected cost, and technical details, concerning the construction operations. Useful direction is available regarding the utilization and idleness of resources, rate of production, and the expected delays during construction. Thus, comprehensive details are available regarding the construction project without the actual commencement of the work. Due to the availability of adequate details before the real construction, the plans are flexible, and can be modified for improvements in cost and techniques.

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    Construction Simulation Techniques

    Simulation technology has advanced with other computer technologies, and has developed into one of the important tools for the analysis of various systems. Construction simulation techniques facilitate evaluation of the various control strategies for improvements in process planning. The simulation tools normally used for the construction are SLAM II, COOPS, CYCLONE, and CIPROS. The main components of construction event simulation are a clock for tracking the simulation time, a list of simulation activities, and a random number generator.

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    Limitations Of Discrete Event Simulation

    Despite the advantages of simulation techniques, there are a few limitations due to which their application has not gained greater importance in the construction industry. The construction process modeling involves the description in the appropriate language of the simulation modeling system and the mental visualization. Variations are likely to occur between the mental strategy and the actual operation. The process of model verification is difficult when the model created is compared with the actual visualization and the necessary updating is implemented. The initiator of the computer simulation model may not possess the complete understanding of the actual operation. Thus, a model may not be actually a true illustration of the reality, despite being properly verified by the initiator. At times the decision makers do not possess adequate training to validate the simulation models. Therefore, people are skeptical about the simulation analyses. The lack of reliability is one of the major restraints in the extensive use of construction simulation techniques.

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