Simulation

Oral Histories

Jump to Chapters

Chapter 1: Introduction by Ernest Page, MITRE
Chapter 2: When in the last 55 years did you get involved with simulation?
Chapter 3: Early scientific views of simulation
Chapter 4: A personal history of involvement in simulation
Chapter 5: The evolution of scientific respect for simulation
Chapter 6: Advances in computer and simulation technology
Chapter 7: Some key individuals in the evolution of simulation technology
Chapter 8: Drivers for the evolution of scientific respect
Chapter 9: Scholarly respect for simulation
Chapter 10: Advances in communication about simulation
Chapter 11: Involvement of professional societies
Chapter 12: The impact of eminent scholars in other fields
Chapter 13: The Computer Simulation Archives
Chapter 14: Contributions of simullation to other fields
Chapter 15: The future
Chapter 16: Q&A: The hybrid model (Barry Nelson)
Chapter 17: Q&A: current prominence of simulation in computer science (Michael Fu)

NOTE: The video chapter transcripts are searchable, with search results displayed as marks on the time bar above the search box. Click a mark to jump to the search word or phrase in the video and transcript, or click on any word in the transcript to jump to that point in the video.

Video courtesy of the Winter Simulation Conference.

Oral History Citation(s)

Sargent, R (2017) A Perspective on Fifty-Five Years of the Evolution of Scientific Respect for Simulation.  Winter Simulation Conference, Los Vegas, December 2017 (link)

Archives

Both Monte Carlo simulation and discrete event simulation are fundamental methodologies in operations research.  

A significant collection of historical materials on computer simulation resides at the North Carolina State University, including the following (excerpted from online material at the NCSU Libraries):

Computer Simulation Oral History Archive, 2003-2016 Collection ID: MC 00488

The Computer Simulation Oral History Archive, 2003-2016, includes video and audio interviews of computer simulation pioneers. The video oral histories of computer simulation pioneers were funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and were conducted from 2013-2016. The purpose of this grant initiative was to capture and preserve accounts of seminal projects, related pivotal events, and distinguished project contributors from the perspectives of, and the words of, individuals who witnessed the relevant history of computer simulation firsthand. The importance of collecting these accounts is also based on the remarkable degree to which computer simulation has heavily influenced the design of computing software.

The Computer Simulation Oral History Archive is a part of the Computer Simulation Archive, which was established in 1998 with substantial initial donations of papers and research materials by three pioneers in the field of computer simulation—Robert G. Sargent, Alan Pritsker, and Julian Reitman.

The Computer Simulation Oral History Archive includes interviews conducted from 2003-2016, almost all of which were funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Computer simulation was established as a separate discipline of research and practice during the mid-1950s, with many seminal works in the field published from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. Reflecting the diverse backgrounds of the field’s pioneers, simulation encompasses theory, methodology, and practice arising at the interface of applied probability, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, industrial and systems engineering, management, manufacturing engineering, operations research, and statistics. The roots of the computer simulation field are revealed in the broad diversity of current application domains in which the development and use of large-scale computer simulation models are critical to the design, improvement, and operational control of computer and telecommunications networks, financial systems, healthcare delivery systems, transportation systems, and governmental and military systems. The field comprises discrete-event simulation, Monte Carlo methods, combined discrete-continuous simulation as well as hybrid analytic/simulation computer models. It is noteworthy that as the field has matured, it has contributed significantly to the evolution of allied disciplines—for example, object-oriented programming in computer science and innovative resampling schemes in statistics.

Winter Simulation Conference Collection, 1968-2003, 2013-2014S\ Collection ID: MC 00598

This collection includes proceedings, 1968-2003, and printed final programs, including exhibit directories, 2013-2014, from the annual Winter Simulation Conference.

Paul F. Roth Papers, 1970-1995  Collection ID: MC 00494

This collection contains items documenting the professional contributions of Paul F. Roth to the field of computer simulation. It includes materials related to CONVERSIM, a teaching simulation language developed by Roth; publications by Roth and others; and proceedings of simulation conferences. Paul F. Roth retired from Virginia Tech as Associate Professor of Computer Science. He also taught at Villanova, Maryland, and South Florida. Roth was a pioneer in the field of Computer Simulation and was twice elected as Chairman of the Association for Computing Machinery's simulation sub-group. His career also included affiliation with the National Bureau of Standards, Burroughs Corporation, and General Electric.

Bernard P. Zeigler Papers, 1962-2011SCollection ID: MC 00542

The Bernard P. Zeigler Papers, 1962-2011, consists of 15 PDF files containing technical reports and early journal articles from when Zeigler was a graduate student and assistant professor at the University of Michigan. It also includes files from unpublished books, as well as presentations and related materials. Bernard P. Zeigler is Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona. In 1962, he received a B.S. in Engineering Physics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1964, and a Ph.D. in Computer/Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan in 1968. Zeigler is best known for his theoretical work concerning modeling and simulation performed according to general systems theory, and is well published in his field. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Michigan (1969-1975, 1980-1981), the Weizmann Institute in Israel (1975-1980), Wayne State University (1981-1984), The University of Arizona (1985-2010), and Arizona State University (2005-2008). While in Arizona, Zeigler served as Co-Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Modeling and Simulation (ACIMS). He is currently affiliated with the Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, Computing and Intelligence (C4I Center) at George Mason University and is also the Chief Scientist at RTSync Corp.

Alan Pritsker Professional Library, 1952-1992

This collection contains photocopies of the covers and publication information for the books from Alan Pritsker's professional library that were donated to North Carolina State University Libraries from Purdue University in 2003. Alan Pritsker made key contributions to the field of computer simulation as well as industrial engineering and operations research. He published extensively and served on the faculty of Arizona State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Purdue University. Pritsker remained active in numerous professional societies and governmental organizations. He received numerous awards in recognition of his leadership and professional contributions.

Julian Reitman Papers, 1967-1998 Collection ID: MC 00342

Professional papers of Julian Reitman documenting his work in the field of simulation. This collection consists mainly of budget reports and conference proceedings digests from Winter Simulation Conferences, 1968-1998. Additionally there are technical reprints and operational manuals used by Reitman when he was employed by the Norden Division of United Aircraft Corporation. Julian Reitman was the leader of one of the first simulation application groups in industry at the Norden Division of United Aircraft Corporation. They created numerous simulation models of real systems including naval vessel performance, anti-submarine warfare, effectiveness of airborne radar, railed automated highways, air traffic control, message switching in communications, and yield prediction for integrated circuit production. Reitman also was one of the founders of the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) in 1968. Reitman wrote one of the first simulation textbooks, Computer Simulation Applications: Discrete Event Simulation for Synthesis and Analysis of Complex Systems (1971).

Thomas J. Schriber Collection, 1968-2010 Collection ID: MC 00597

This collection of materials assembled by Dr. Thomas J. Schriber includes important periodicals on the history of computer simulation such as Simulation News Europe and Simuletter, as well as other key publications that Schriber contributed to or collected during his career. Especially significant are publications relating to GPSS (General Purpose Simulation System) program language.

Harry M. Markowitz Papers, 1963, 1965, 1967

This collection contains three simulation programming language books published in 1963, 1965, and 1967. These books are autographed by Harry M. Markowitz. Harry Max Markowitz was born on August 24, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois. He received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D.(1955) in economics from the University of Chicago with a thesis on the portfolio theory. Markowitz joined the RAND Corporation in 1952.

Links and References

Nance, R. E. & C. M. Overstreet (2017) History of Computer Simulation Software: An Initial Perspective.  In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Alexopoulos C. & W. D. Kelton (2017) A Concise History of Simulation Output Analysis. In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Barton R., M. K. Nakayama & L. Schruben (2017) History of Improving Statistical Efficiency.  In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link

Cheng, R. (2017) History of Input Modeling. In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link

Fu, M. & S. Henderson (2017) History of Seeking Better Solutions, aka Simulation Optimization. In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Goldsman D., Goldsman P, & Wilson J.R. (2017) History of the Winter Simulation Conference: Overview and Notable Facts and Figures. In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Goldsman D., Nance R. E., & Wilson J. R. (2009) A Brief History of Simulation. In Dunkin A., Hill R. R., Ingalls R. G., Johansson B.,& Rossetti M. D., eds.  Proceedings of the 2009 Winter Simulation Conference, 310-313. Association of Computing Machinery: New York. (link)

Hollocks, B. W. (2017) A History of Simulation Development in the United Kingdom.  In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Kuhl, M. (2017) History of Random Variate Generation.  In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Markowitz H. M. (2002) Effective Portfolio, Sparse Matrices, and Entities: A Retrospective. Operations Research, 50(1):154-160. (link)

Nance R. E. (1996). A history of discrete event simulation programming languages. Bergin Jr T. J. & Gibson Jr. R. G., eds. in History of Programming Languages II,  369-427. American Association of Computing Machinery: New York.

Nance R. E. & Sargent R. G. (2002) Perspectives on the Evolution of Simulation. Operations Research, 50(1): 161-172. (link)

Roberts, S. & D. Pegden (2017) The History of Simulation Modeling. In Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Sargent R. G. (2017) A Perspective on Fifty-Five Years of the Evolution of Scientific Respect for Simulation. Chan, W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Sargent, R. G., Roth, P., &  Schriber, T. J.  (2017) History of the Winter Simulation Conference: Renaissance Period (1975 – 1982). Chan W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference IEEE (link)

Schriber T. J. Reitman, J. Ockene, A. & Hixson, H. G. (2017)  History of the Winter Simulation Conference: Origins and Early Years (1967-1974).  Chan W. K. V., A. D'Ambrogio, G. Zacharewicz, N. Mustafee, G. Wainer, and E. Page, eds. Proceedings of the 2017 Winter Simulation Conference  IEEE (link)

Swain J. J. (2001) Software Survey: Simulation - Back to the Future. OR/MS Today, 38(5). (link)

NOTE: For links to additional papers from the history sessions of the 2017 50th Anniversary Winter Simulation Conference, including papers on the history of the conference, of the Computer Simulation Archive, and of selected Simulation Application Domains see the program archive.  (link

Associated Historic Individuals

Balintfy, Joseph L.
Bellman, Richard E.
Blumstein, Alfred
Caywood, Thomas E.
Conway, Richard W.
Crane, Roger R.
Drezner, Zvi
Elmaghraby, Salah E.
Ernst, Martin L.
Fishman, George S.
Flagle, Charles D.
Gaver, Donald P.
Geisler, Murray
Glover, Fred W.
Gross, Donald
Hausman, Warren H.
Hertz, David B.
Heyman, Daniel P.
Ho, Yu-Chi
Iglehart, Donald L.
Knuth, Donald
Markowitz, Harry
Maxwell, William
Nance, Richard E.
Norden, Peter V.
Pollock, Stephen M.
Robinson, Randall S.
Robinson, Stephen M.
Ross, Sheldon M.
Roy, Bernard
Saaty, Thomas L.
Sargent, Robert G.
Schrage, Linus
Shoemaker, Christine A.
Shortley, George H.
Urban, Glen L.
von Neumann, John
Wagner, Harvey M.
Walker, Warren E.
Whitt, Ward
Zionts, Stanley