Making simulation more accessible in manufacturing systems through a 'four phase' approach
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Describes an approach to the development of computer simulations-the 'four-phase' approach-which aims to be more accessible than established approaches to non-specialist developers in manufacturing system design. This paper briefly reviews the traditional 'three-phase' approach and highlights its potential drawbacks. It then goes on to suggest that the benefit of the four-phase approach over the more established three-phase approach that it is more suited to simulations developed through iconic representations. Such representations are seen as central to the spread of simulation modelling into application domains such as manufacturing system design. The paper also suggests that complete modelling environments can be built around those iconic representations which allow the user the opportunity to concentrate on the manufacturing system's behaviour rather than on developing computer code to support the model. This is achieved by the automatic generation of the code from the iconic representation. Modelling environments that provide such a focus are likely to be more usable by people without any specialist simulation background.