Discrete-event simulation (DES) is a very flexible modeling method that can be used when the research question involves competition for resources, distribution of resources, complex interactions between entities, or complex timing of events. The main advantage and disadvantage of DES is its large but constrained modeling vocabulary. That is, though there is more to learn initially, there is more freedom regarding the kinds of systems one can model.

DES was originally developed in the 1960s to model industrial and business processes, finding its first home in industrial engineering and operations research. Since then, DES has been used to gain insight into a wide range of research and business questions. Because of its unique strengths, DES began to be applied to healthcare problems in the mid-1980s.

Since its ...

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