A comparison of des and SD for simulating construction operation

H. Alzraiee, O. Moselhi, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Different simulation methods and related software systems are used to model construction operations, such as Discrete Event Simulation (DES), System Dynamics (SD), Agent-Based Modeling (ABM), and Hybrid Simulation. After the introduction of the simulation methodology CYCLONE, which is more suited to model cyclic and repetitive operations, DES was adopted to address such limitations and has been used for over three decades to model a wide range of construction operations. SD has been recently introduced to augment the capabilities of DES. This paper focuses primarily on presenting qualitative comparison between DES and SD simulation methods from three perspectives: 1) system structure; 2) problem nature; and 3) simulation method. The study has identified ten potential aspects for comparison and pointed out the strength and weakness of each method. Six criteria selected form the conducted comparison, depicting the heterogeneous nature of construction projects, are found to cover most aspects of modeling construction operations using simulation. Selection of the appropriate simulation method is then performed based on those criteria. An example of earthmoving project is presented to show how the developed criteria can be applied. The findings of the study are expected to provide those involved in simulation with criteria-driven process for selecting the most appropriate simulation method for their respective operations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings, Annual Conference - Canadian Society for Civil Engineering
PublisherCanadian Society for Civil Engineering
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2013: Know-How - Savoir-Faire, CSCE 2013 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 29 May 20131 Jun 2013


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2013: Know-How - Savoir-Faire, CSCE 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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