IE 305/404


Spring Semester 2012


Course Description

            This course presents an introduction to discrete event simulation.  Discrete event simulation is perhaps the most useful and widely used analytic tool for the study of complex industrial systems.  It is also quite useful for simulating many other random processes that are not amenable to mathematical analysis.  Examples abound in finance, economics, communications, EE, statistics and many other fields.


Course Objectives

This course has two main objectives.  First you will gain proficiency in the use of a special purpose simulation language in order to be able to build useful models.  Specifically you will learn the ARENA system from Systems Modeling Corp / Rockwell Software.  Currently, this is the best and most advanced simulation software system available.  You will learn to build valid and credible simulation models in ARENA, and be able to use these models to solve industrial problems. 

The second goal is to learn the important theory and methodology behind simulation modeling.  This is necessary in order to build valid models, perform simulation experiments, analyze results properly, and avoid costly and sometimes subtle errors.  Main topics include output analysis, input analysis, random number generation, random variate generation, Monte Carlo simulation, and model validation and verification.  The “theory” of simulation involves probability and statistics, thus a good background in probability and statistics is a required prerequisite.


Upon completion of this course, students will:



            Homework assignments are an important aspect of this class due to the heavy use of computers.  You will do homework in groups of three, and everyone is expected to share the load.

            We will have two important and extensive projects as well.  One project will be based on a simulation contest sponsored by IIE and Rockwell Software.  I encourage each group of undergraduates to enter this contest (you will be doing all the work anyways).  Please see the handout on the Simulation Contest.

Course Information

               We will use Coursesite to distribute course notes and assignments, and for submitting assignments.  The URL for Coursesite is



               IE 121 (Engineering Statistics) or the equivalent is absolutely necessary


Course Meeting Times

Lecture: Monday, Wednesday 10:10-11:00 PA 416

Lab: Thursday, 1:10-2:25 or 2:35-3:50, Mohler 121 (on campus students)

         Friday, 10:10-11:00 (distance students)


Professor (Lecture)

               Dr. Robert H. Storer

               Office: 477 Mohler Lab

               Office Phone: (610) 758-4436


               Office Hours:        MW 11-11:40 Packard Lab Lobby

                                              Thurs 10:30-11:30, Fri 1:30-2:30 Mohler 477


Teaching Assistant (Lab instructor)

               Mr. Serdar Yildiz

               Office: Mohler 342

               Office Phone: (610) 758-6702


   Office Hours:        Wed 1 – 4 in Mohler 444



Simulation Modeling and Analysis (4th Edition), Averill M. Law, McGraw-Hill

If you have an earlier edition of the book it should not be a problem



               Lab Computer Homework Assignments 10%

               Lab Quizzes                                                          15%

               Two Projects          2@ 12.5%                             25%

               Two Hour Exams  2@ 12.5%                               25%

               Class participation and attendance                           5%

               Final Exam                                                            20%


Note: you will spend a lot of time on the computer assignments and projects.  However the 2 hour exams and the final, which cover the lecture material, constitute 45% of your grade.  It is very important that you keep up with this material.


Grading Policy: Plus and minus grading will be used.  Final grades will be curved.  Late assignments will not be accepted.  Extra credit assignments will not be given.  Students that do not show up for an exam, and do not contact me before the exam with a valid excuse, will receive a zero for the exam.

Academic Honesty:  Here is the statement of the Lehigh Student Senate on academic integrity: We, the Lehigh University Student Senate, as the standing representative body of all undergraduates, reaffirm the duty and obligation of students to meet and uphold the highest principles and values of personal, moral and ethical conduct. As partners in our educational community, both students and faculty share the responsibility for promoting and helping ensure an environment of academic integrity. As such, each student is expected to complete all academic course work in accordance to the standards set forth by the faculty and in compliance with the university's Code of Conduct.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:  If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting accommodations, please contact both your instructor and the Office of Academic Support Services, University Center 212 (610-758-4152) as early as possible in the semester.  You must have documentation from the Academic Support Services office before accommodations can be granted.

IE 305/404 Simulation Lab


The lab portion of IE 305/404 will be devoted to learning to build simulation models using the modeling language ARENA.  ARENA disks will be made available for installation on any PC.  The lab will be taught by Mr. Serdar Yildiz.  A typical day in lab might proceed roughly as follows:



All homework assignments will be done in groups of three.  Note that 2¹3 and 4¹3.  Groups up to the end of the first project will be picked/organized by the students.  After the first project is handed in, I will rearrange groups.  I usually do this based on class attendance (i.e. the 3 students with the worst attendance record will be in the same group, etc.). 


ARENA programs should be submitted through Coursesite.  Outputs and/or write ups, when requested, should also be turned in via Coursesite. 


I would guess that there would be about 7 to 9 quizzes total.  I will drop your 2 lowest quiz grades.  Note that the quizzes will be given at the beginning of lab.  If you are late, and miss the quiz, you are out of luck.  If you are sick and miss a quiz, you are out of luck.  If you are away on a job interview, you are out of luck.  That is why I drop the lowest two quiz grades.  A significant portion of the Labs will focus on the two major projects in this class.  This will be especially true in the two or three weeks prior to the project due dates.