Business Simulation Platform

An exploration of the major structural elements of a business simulation platform.

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A business simulation platform provides the 85 to 95% of the code that is common to all simulations meaning that to develop a new simulation all that is need is to create the 5 to 15% of the code required to create the new simulation - something that shortens development time radically and improves quality. This page introduces the common software with links to detailed information.

A diagram showing the main structural elements of a business simulation

Simulation Managers Simulation Model and Parameters Role Play Simulation Managers Planning Simulation Managers Tutor Mediated Simulation Engines Direct Use Simulation Engines Display Engines Help Engines Decision Entry Engines Reporting Engine Process Simulation Managers Simulation Engines

Click on diagram to or scroll down to find out more

Simulation Managers

This is the software that control a specific type of business simulation and interfaces with the user. Over the years I have created five different managers that provide comprehensive coverage of business simulation types. The links below provide examples of learning purpose and how the simulation might be used together with meta-compositional design and simulator software structure.

Learn more about Tutor Mediated simulations
Learn more about Planning simulations
Learn more about Role Play simulations
Learn more about Process simulations
Learn more about Direct Use simulations

Simulation Engines

These are the software components that are common to all types of business simulations.

Learn more about my Display Engine
Learn more about my Decision Entry Engine
Learn more about my Reporting Engine
Learn more about my Help Engine

A Simulation Manager plus the Simulation Engines for the software that is common across simulations and account for 85% to 95% a business simulation

Simulation Model and Parameters

These specific to an individual business simulations - the part that for a new simulation must be created and accounts for 5% to 15%.

Learn more about the software aspects of Simulation Models and Parameters

Platform Architecture

The diagram below shows the architecture of my platform with common software shown in green and simulation specific software in gray. For simple simulations the common code accounts for 95% of the total code (with the simulation specific code 5%). For complex simulations the simulation specific code is 15% (and the common code 85%).

Example of simulation software architecture

Simulation Platform Benefits

Using a platform shortens development times, improves functionality, improves quality and extend the life of the simulation.

Shorter Development Time
Design metrics published on the Internet suggest each hour of simulation duration takes between 320 and 731 hours (with an average time of 490 hours). However, with 85 to 95% of the code existing and the simulation driven by data I've found my development time for a typical simulation is 80 hours per hour of simulation duration. The development time will be less if I can used existing models and much less if it is possible to customise an existing simulation. Only if the simulation is especially novel is the design time longer.

Improved Functionality
When I created my platform I incorporated features required by over two dozen existing simulations. Features that included my Tutor Support System. the ability to build a Learning Journey and provide multiple versions of each simulation.

Improved Quality
My use of a platform improves quality in several ways.

  1. When a new simulation is developed only a fraction of the code needs to be developed and as "bug risk" depends on the amount of code written this improves quality.
  2. The platform is optimised for business simulation - thus eliminating needs for work around's and bloat!.
  3. A suitable modeling language can be used and this can, minimise code, improve software and facilitate testing.

Extend Life
I have found that core business learning needs have not changed for decades but computers have (from the first one I used with 15 Kbytes of RAM) today's machines with 16 gigabytes of RAM). This has meant that I have simulation models from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that are still relevant but I have added functionality and transferred to the current Windows platform.

Overall this lead to me winning a major London innovation award!!!!

My innovation award

2015 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 18/07/15
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone +44 (0)20 7537 2982 E-mail
jeremyhall@simulations.co.uk