The Activity-Entity-Impact Method: Understanding Bottleneck Behavior of Simulation Models Demonstrated by an Emergency Department Model

Clemens Gutschi, Nikolaus Furian, Dietmar Neubacher, Cameron Walker, Michael O’Sullivan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Simulation models are often used to gain a better understanding of a system’s sensitivity to changes in the input parameters. Data gathered during simulation runs is aggregated to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that allow one to assess a model’s or system’s performance. KPIs do not provide a deeper understanding of the causes of the observed output because this is not their primary objective. By contrast, dynamic bottleneck methods both identify elements that yield the largest gain in productivity with increased availability and also visualize these elements over time to enable bottlenecks to be better understood. In this paper we discuss whether dynamic bottleneck detection methods can be utilized to identify, measure, and visualize causes of observed behavior in complex models. We extend standard bottleneck detection methods, and introduce the Activity-Entity-Impact-Method. The practicality of the method is demonstrated by an example model of a typical Emergency Department setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 Winter Simulation Conference, WSC 2019
Place of PublicationNational Harbor, MD, USA
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781728132839
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
EventWinter Simulation Conference: WSC 2019 - National Harbor, United States
Duration: 8 Dec 201911 Dec 2019
Conference number: 19

Publication series

NameProceedings - Winter Simulation Conference
ISSN (Print)0891-7736


ConferenceWinter Simulation Conference
Abbreviated titleWSC'19
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modelling and Simulation

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