Managing simulation scenarios

This chapter explains functionality that is available in the Enterprise Edition .

Before running a one-case or n-case simulation, you might want to configure the data that the simulation is based on.

This can be done via simulation scenarios .

When a diagram is initially opened in the simulator, it already contains one scenario based on the diagram's attribute Cost & Resource Analysis. To define the attribute, open the diagram in the editor by clicking Graphical Editor in the user menu.

With the help of scenarios you can manage different data sets for simulating one process. You can edit the scenario data by simply clicking on the corresponding fields:

The scenario data is categorized by four different tabs:

  • The Costs tab contains granular costs of activities.
  • The Time tab contains granular execution durations of activities.
  • The Frequency tab contains frequency and probabilities of start events, of junctions after gateways and of boundary events.
  • The Resources tab allows you to define availabilities and costs of process participants in great detail:

For each role you can define costs per hour.

You can also define a detailed work schedule for each role. Click a role's work schedule in order to adjust it:

Now you can define detailed work times for any number of resources: In the example below, the role is fulfilled by two full-time (40 hours/week) employees and one part-time employee (only Mondays and Tuesdays).

Let's create the schedule for the part-time employee:

Click the dots to open the detailed schedule dialog.

Now you can define the working hours of the worker per day:

For our example, we set the working hours of Mondays and Tuesdays from 09:00 to 17:00:

After going back to the Resources overview, you can see that three employees are now available for this role, in total for 96 (2*40 + 16) hours a week:

Three employees work in total for 96 hours per week in this role.

In the Time tab of the Scenario menu at the bottom, you can define task execution times as distribution functions.

This helps you to simulate non-deterministic task execution times. For example, if a clerk typically needs approximately between five and ten minutes to reply to an email.

To open the time distribution dialog, go to the Time tab and click the '...' behind the pre-defined execution time of the corresponding task.

Set the time distribution for the task and click Accept to confirm.

The option Constant lets you define an execution time that has a specific probability. With the help of several probability-constant mappings, you can create a discrete probability distribution.

Alternatively (or in addition), you can define uniformly distributed or normally distributed execution times.

We recommend a Normal distribution in case the task execution times are likely concentrate around a certain value. In many scenarios, this is a reasonable approximation. For example, a sales manager needs most likely around 30 minutes to conduct a web demo for a prospective customer.

You can configure a Uniform distribution in case the task execution times are equally distributed within a range of two values.

To save a scenario, press Ctrl + S or select the Save scenario button on the very left side:

Alternatively, you can click the Play/Restart button - the following dialog will pop up:

Click "Save" and continue to save the edited scenario and to execute the simulation.

You can create a additional scenario by clicking on the Plus -button in the scenario tab bar:

Now you can choose between creating a scenario based on the Cost & Resource Analysis attributes (Create from template: None) or to use the data of another scenario as a starting point:

When starting a new simulation, you can now select the desired scenario from the drop down menu: