The model generator: a tool for simulation model definition, specification, and documentation

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The Model Generator, one of the automated tools of the Model Development Environment, supports the process of discrete event simulation model development by guiding a modeler through model definition and model specification. This research focuses on the specification process within the Model Generator.

A design is proposed and requirements are established for extending an existing generator prototype to incorporate model specification. The specification is obtained interactively by engaging a modeler in a series of dialogues. The modeler's responses are stored in a database that is structured to represent a model specification in the notation prescribed by Condition Specifications. The dialogue has been designed to solicit the specific information required for a Condition Specification. Furthermore, the dialogue has been organized according to levels with each dialogue at a given level responsible for completing the database elements prescribed for that level. The results of initial experimentation with an implementation of the design are positive. The prototype appears capable of producing a Condition Specification while offering broader support to the modeling task in concert with utilization and enforcement of the underlying philosophy imparted by the Conical Methodology.