You are on page 1of 6

Subject: ENGG953

Assignment 2: Simulation Based Decision-Making


To gain knowledge and approaches to solving given problems using discrete event simulation.

Learning objectives covered:

2. Understanding of the uses and limitation of decision models and simulation techniques.
3. Working knowledge of the basic tools for modelling decisions in engineering
5. Working knowledge of basic simulation methods (discrete event simulation modelling).
6. Capability to identify possible modelling and simulation approaches that might be
suitable for specific engineering management problems (MS Excel, SimQuick and
Crystal Ball) investigation.


Problem 1 (20 marks)

An emergency room of a hospital in Sydney has one receptionist, one doctor, and one nurse on
duty. The emergency room opens 24 hours per day. Patients arrive at the emergency room
according to the probability distribution as given in Table Q1.1.

The attention needed by a patient who comes to the emergency room is defined by the following
probability distribution as shown in Table Q1.2.

Table Q1.1 Distribution of time between Table Q1.2 Probability distribution of

arrivals (min) attention needed
Time between arrivals Probability Patient needs to see Probability
5 0.10 Doctor alone 0.40
10 0.15 Nurse alone 0.35
15 0.22 Both 0.25
20 0.25 1.00
25 0.18
30 0.10

Spring 2018 – ENGG953 – Tieling Zhang
If a patient needs to see both the doctor and the nurse, he or she cannot see one before the other
 that is, the patient must wait to see both together.

The length of the patient’s visit (in minute) is defined by the following probability distributions:

Doctor Probability Nurse Probability Both Probability

10 0.20 5 0.10 15 0.08
15 0.30 10 0.25 20 0.15
20 0.25 15 0.50 25 0.21
25 0.15 20 0.15 30 0.28
30 0.10 1.00 35 0.18
1.00 40 0.10

1) Simulate the arrival of 50 patients to the emergency room (assume there is no patient when
the simulation starts). (8.0 marks)
2) Compute the probability that a patient must wait and the average waiting time.
(3.0 marks)
3) Suppose the process continues with enough number of patients, what is the optimum
minimum number of simulation trials (i.e. number of patients)? (6.0 marks)
4) Based on the simulation results, does it appear that this system provides adequate patient
care? (3.0 marks)

Problem 2 (20 marks)

The IEEE Association in Power Electronics (IAPE) is going to hold its annual conference
at the Hilton Hotel in Hong Kong in 2019. Based on historical data, the IAPE believes the
number of rooms it will need for its members attending the conference is normally distributed,
with a mean of 700 and a standard deviation of 120. The IAPE can reserve rooms now (one year
prior to the conference) for $120; however, for any rooms not reserved now, the cost will be at
the hotel’s regular room rate of $200. The IAPE guarantees the room rate of $120 to its members.
If its members reserve fewer than the number of rooms it reserves, IAPE must pay the hotel for
the difference with a discount, at the $80 room rate.

1) Using Crystal Ball, determine whether the IAPE should reserve 500, 600, 700, 800 or
900 rooms in advance to realize the lowest total cost. (10 marks)
2) Can you determine a more exact value for the number of rooms to reserve to minimize
cost? (10 marks)

Problem 3 (20 marks)

National Australia Bank at city central is trying to determine whether it should install one or two
drive-through teller windows. The following probability distributions for arrival intervals and
Spring 2018 – ENGG953 – Tieling Zhang
service times have been developed from historical data:

Time Between Automobile Arrivals

(minute) Probability
2 0.25
3 0.45
4 0.20
5 0.10

Service Time (minute) Probability

2 0.10
3 0.40
4 0.20
5 0.20
6 0.10

Assume that in the two-server system, an arriving car will join the shorter queue. When the
queues are of equal length, there is a 50 – 50 chance the driver will enter the queue for either

1) Simulate both the one- and two-teller systems. Computer the average queue length, waiting
time, and percentage utilization for each system. (10 marks)
2) Discuss your results in 1), and answer the minimal simulation trials and suggest the degree
to which they could be used to make a decision about which system to be employed.
(10 marks)

Problem 4 (25 marks)

A new car registration and license issuing process for NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)
is being tested in Wollongong city. During the peak demand hours of 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, there
is one customer arriving in average every 4 minutes (on average, according to an exponential
Typically, 30% of the customers want to register their cars (only), 45% want to renew their
licenses (only), and 25% want to do both (register their cars and renew their licences).
The process is as follows:
 Each customer gets into a line (with a maximum of 20 people allowed in that line).
 Once the customer reaches the counter, he/she informs a clerk at the counter what he/ she
 The time of this discussion with the clerk can be approximated by a normal distribution
Spring 2018 – ENGG953 – Tieling Zhang
with a mean time of 1.0 minute and a standard deviation of 0.5 minutes.
 The clerk at the counter gives each customer a number and shows him/her where to sit
(there is plenty of room for customers to sit and wait).
 Those who want to do both (register their cars and renew their licences) get their licence
renewed first.
 There are specific officers dedicated to particular tasks, either licensing or registration:
o Sharon is the officer dedicated to process licence renewals and
o Peter is the officer dedicated to process car registrations.
 Sharon processes a licence according to a normal distribution with a mean of 5.0
minutes and a standard deviation of 1.0 minute.
 Peter processes a registration according to a uniform distribution with a minimum of 5.0
minutes and a maximum of 9.0 minutes.

Complete the following tasks:

1) Draw a flow diagram for the above process. (5 marks)
2) Develop a simulation model using SimQuick software for the peak time period (3-hour
time period); perform 400 simulations to determine: (12 marks)
• The overall average waiting time in the process for customers;
• the number of customers served during the 3-hour time peak period;
• the number of customers who have already seen the clerk at the counter but waiting to be
served at the end of the 3-hour peak period;
• the utilisation of these three employees, i.e.
o The clerk at the counter
o Sharon
o Peter
If the management is considering adding a new trained officer, Mary, who can renew licences as
well as process a car registration. Mary’s approach is to keep an eye on both the registration and
licencing queues and then serves the next person in the longer queue. The amount of time that
Mary processes either a licence renewal or a car registration can be approximated by the
following distribution:

Time taken by Mary to process either a licence or

3 4 5 6 7
registration for a car, y (min)
Probability, f(y) 0.15 0.30 0.25 0.20 0.10

1) Use SimQuick simulation model to decide whether or not the management team should
employ Mary (use 500 simulations). (4 marks)
2) How best should the Mary’s time be utilised if the management team decides to employ
her? (4 marks)

Spring 2018 – ENGG953 – Tieling Zhang
Problem 5 (15 marks)

In many instances the quality of the finished product is a function of the temperature and
pressure at which the chemical reactions take place.
It is to model the quality, Y, of a product as a function of temperature, x1 (F), and the pressure
x2 (psi) at which it is produced.
Four inspectors independently assign a quality score (%) to each sample and the quality, Y, is
evaluated by averaging the four (4) scores. The resultant data is given in the data table below.

Pressure, x2 (psi)
Temperature, x1
(F) 50 60 70
200 52.8 58.7 55.4 92.4 90.9 90.9 74.5 73 71.2
250 63.4 61.6 63.4 93.8 92.1 97.4 70.9 68.8 71.3
300 46.6 49.1 46.4 69.8 72.5 73.2 38.7 42.5 41.4

1) Specify algebraically the complete second order model for the data. (5 marks)
2) Use JMP to determine the best model. (5 marks)
3) Produce two bivariate plots: Product quality versus temperature (x1) and product quality
versus pressure (x2). Describe the shape of each graph and comment on what this
indicates about the adequacy of the possible linear model
Y = b + b1 x1+ b2 x2 +  . (3 marks)
4) From the model obtained in 2), what temperature and/or pressure would you recommend?
(2 marks)

Learning Guides

In order to complete the assignment tasks, you need to review Weeks 6 ~12 materials covered in
class and posted into the Moodle. You must also read Chapter 14 of the prescribed textbook
“Introduction to Management Science” by Bernard W. Taylor. While you are reading, you need
to understand or answer the following questions:
1) What is Monte Carlo simulation?
2) What are the basic steps of Monte Carlo simulation?
3) How to draw a process map (a flow diagram) and how to construct a simulation model?
4) What is discrete event simulation process?
5) Learn the solution process of a simulation model using a software tool such as Excel,
SimQuick and Crystal Ball for Windows.
6) Learn, practise and gain skills to reformulate a real problem into a simulation process.

Spring 2018 – ENGG953 – Tieling Zhang
7) Practise and gain skills to get solution of a complicated problem using Excel, SimQuick
Crystal Ball, or other simulation tools which you are familiar with.
8) Consider how to make a decision given the simulation results.
9) Learn and gain the skills to interpret the solution results to the people who do not have
professional knowledge in engineering management.
10) What is one-Way ANOVA and what is two-Way ANOVA?
11) How to conduct ANOVA using JMP?
12) How to verify a model and how to interpret the model in ANOVA?

• This is an individual assignment.
• You must submit your solution report in WORD or PDF format.
• This assignment is due by electronic submission into ASSIGNMENT 2 drop box in the
subject eLearning site. You must submit all files, including process map(s) and your answers
to all questions. When you submit, you can upload the zipped folder including all files
• The due date is indicated in the subject outline.
• For additional information and assistance, contact Tieling Zhang by email: or phone: +02 4221 4821.

Spring 2018 – ENGG953 – Tieling Zhang