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Title: Comparing model reuse with model building : an empirical study of learning from simulation
Author: Monks, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 3671
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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What are the benefits of involving decision makers in simulation model development? Do decision makers learn more about their problem if they are involved in model development than if they had been excluded? This thesis presents an experiment which compares decision maker learning outcomes and process in two different types of discrete-event simulation (DES) study. The first is a traditional simulation project where decision makers take the role of domain experts and are involved in the building of a simulation model through to its use. The second is where a model is reused rather than built. Sixty four undergraduate participants were individually involved in one of three experimental conditions: development of an A&E simulation model and its subsequent use; development of the same model, but with less time for model use; or were presented with the model already developed and asked to reuse it. Participants of each condition were then allowed to run the model, change variables and review results in an attempt to improve the performance of the system. Learning was measured at two levels: attitude change, to infer learning about a business problem, and transfer of learning, to infer a deeper learning. Results indicated that, firstly, model building aided participant's discovery of aspects of the problem that were previously unconsidered. However, attitudes about these novel aspects of the problem were only converted to transferable knowledge when experimentation was not limited. Secondly, participants that reused the model learnt about the model through quick cycles of experimentation followed by validation, although these tended to be focused on factors with which participants were most familiar. In fact, model reuse participants learnt more following this approach than by scrutinizing the results of each scenario in detail. Little empirical evidence exists to support the discussions and the view that involvement in model building aids learning. This thesis contributes to this debate by providing insight into the mechanisms that in uence learning. Moreover, results suggest that learning from experimentation when reusing a model is also valid, although the process followed may be different. Of course, there are limitations to the approach used to perform the comparison. For instance, the experiment uses novice decision makers and measures attitude immediately after the experiment. Refl ection on such points is used to aid the generation of testable hypotheses that can be explored in future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; QA Mathematics