WSC 2016: Simulating Complex Service Systems

By Todd R. Huschka

The Winter Simulation Conference (WSC) has been the premier international forum for disseminating recent advances in the field of dynamic systems modeling and simulation for almost 50 years (2017 is the 50th anniversary!). In addition to a technical program of unsurpassed scope and quality, WSC is the central meeting place for simulation researchers, practitioners and vendors spanning all disciplines and working in industry, government, military, service and academic sectors. WSC 2016 will be held Dec. 11-14 in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. The theme for WSC 2016 is “Simulating Complex Service Systems.”

The great aspect of simulation is the wide range of interests. Our academic tracks include analysis methodology, modeling methodology, simulation optimization, agent-based simulation and hybrid simulations. Our applied uses of simulation include social and behavioral simulation, defense and security, modeling and analysis of semiconductor manufacturing (MASM), healthcare application, logistics, manufacturing applications, networks and communications, project management and construction, environmental and sustainability applications, and general applications. Introductory and advanced tutorials, simulation education, case studies, Ph.D. colloquia, poster sessions and vendor tutorials will also be featured. Whatever your specialty, WSC will have something for you.

In addition to the normal lineup of great tracks and speakers, WSC 2016 will have a special cross-fertilization track where we welcome three speakers from different disciplines who work in areas that use simulation modeling or analysis methods related to simulation as part of their work. This is a special track that runs on an exception basis.

The theme, “Simulating Complex Service Systems,” is an area close to my personal background in healthcare. However, complex service systems are incorporated into almost every aspect of our lives, and as the world seems to move more and more toward service-based economic models, the use of simulation modeling has an opportunity to play a large role in the efficient development of these models.

We have a great lineup of keynote speakers for WSC 2016. Our opening keynote is Scott E. Page, professor of complex systems at the University of Michigan and an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute. His talk “Many Model Thinking,” which will discuss policy modeling, will be a great kickoff to our conference.

Our military keynote speaker is Todd Combs, director of the Global Security Sciences Division (GSS) at Argonne National Laboratory. He will speak about the role of modeling and simulation as a service to military and homeland security decision-makers.

The “Titans of Simulations,” a distinguished speaker lunchtime program, will feature professors Edward H. Kaplan and Susan Sanchez.

WSC also incorporates the Modeling and Analysis of Semiconductor Manufacturing (MASM) conference-within-a-conference. This conference features a series of sessions focused on the semiconductor field and will have Robert C. Leachman of the University of California-Berkeley as its keynote. Professor Leachman will discuss “The Engineering of Speed and Delivery.”

As mentioned earlier, we will have a special “Cross-Fertilization Track” where we welcome Paulette Clancy, the Bodman Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell; Oliver Gutsche, a staff scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; and Alexander Rutherford, scientific director, Complex Systems Modelling Group, The IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University.

The Winter Simulation Conference is designed for professionals and academics from all backgrounds and across a broad range of interests. From the extensive group of exhibitors and vendor presentations to the meetings of various professional societies and user groups, along with various social gatherings, WSC provides all attendees the opportunity to become involved in the ever-expanding activities of the international simulation community. We hope that you have the opportunity to join us in Washington, D.C., and help us continue the great tradition of WSC.

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Todd R. Huschka is general chair of WSC 2016.