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SYSC 529/629: Business Process Modeling & Simulation

Instructor: Wayne Wakeland

Wayne Wakeland is an Associate Professor of Systems Science and has also held managerial positions in IT and in Manufacturing at local corporations. His specialty is computer simulation.


The primary emphasis is on using discrete system models to analyze administrative, decision-making, product development, manufacturing, and service delivery processes. Discrete system models characterize the system as a flow of entities that enter and move through various processes and queues according to probability functions specified by the modeler. Monte Carlo sampling is used to calculate statistical measures of system performance, such as throughput, average queue length, resource utilization, etc. Some processes may also exhibit continuous characteristics, in which case continuous model constructs may be deployed. Continuous system models utilize the numerical integration of differential equations to simulate behavior over time. Such models are often used for studying the systems containing feedback loops, where the outputs are "fed back" and compared with control inputs. Process measurement and the unique challenges of modeling the software development process will also be covered in some detail.

Lab Times: Tuesdays, 6:40 to 10 PM, NH-437

Regular attendance at the lab sessions is recommended, since some lecture material will be presented during the labs. However, all course materials will be available on the web, making it possible for a highly m otivated/resourceful student with a quantiative, mathematical, or computer background to complete the course most asynchronously.

Primary simulation language: Extend

Extend runs on both PC and Macintosh platforms, and permits both discrete and continuous logic to be used. Unlike most simlation languages, Extend allows the user to construct their own "building" blocks.


Sample Extend Model:


Sample Extend output: Queue length over time


Student Projects:

Students will work on a project related to the use of simulation to help improve processes. Some students may choose to focus more on b usiness case setup and analysis, while others may focus more on simulation aspects.


Graduate standing or permission of instructor


Contact Wayne Wakeland:, (503) 725-4975