Index
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................3
WHAT IS SIMULATION AND WHY SHOULD WE USE IT? .......................................................................... 3
SIMUL8 ...................................................................................................................................... 4
2.
REPRESENTATION ................................................................................................................6
PROBLEM FORMULATION ................................................................................................................ 6
IDENTIFICATION OF THE RELEVANT ENTITIES ....................................................................................... 8
LIFE CYCLE DIAGRAMS .................................................................................................................... 9
3.
4.
5.
6.
CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................................ 28
ANNEXES ............................................................................................................................. I
STATEMENT ................................................................................................................................... I
OTHERS ...................................................................................................................................... III
Executive Summary
Throughout this report it is studied how to simulate an airport operation, using the
software SIMUL8, defining the optimal number of resources to minimize total costs.
The system analysed had two main constraints: the single runway and the respect of
scheduled departure times.
To model properly we estimated an optimal arrival of 40 planes per day and monitored
few key performance measures to evaluate our solution along time.
In SIMUL8 we defined the entities, activities, queues, resources as well as the entrance
and the exit points, and the routes. Our entities are the two types of planes, premium
(40%) and regular (60%); the activities are Landing, Taxing, Docking, Disembarkation,
Manoeuvre Premium, Parking, Disembarkation Passenger, Disembarkation Luggage,
Boarding, Manoeuvre Regular, TakeOff, and some fictitious activities; the queues are
precedent to each activity; the resources that we intend to optimize are Bridge, Apron,
Bus and Trolley; Runway is also a resource but it only exists one.
With the initial number of resources obtained, we found a warmup period of 100 800
min (70 days) and run the program for a simulation time of 12 months. Using the run
trial calculator, we established a number of 4 experiments needed. Varying the
number of resources used in different trials, we reached the optimum values of 2
Bridges, 5 Aprons, 4 Trolleys and 4 Buses. Then was studied the correlation between 3
resources aprons, buses and trolleys to create information for further decision
making process.
To test the robustness of our solution we performed a sensitivity analysis changing the
number of resources available and monitoring relevant KPIs. It proved that resources
cannot be reduced and increasing resources does not lead to significant
improvements.
1. Introduction
What is simulation and why should we use it?
A simulation is the imitation of the operation of a realworld process or system over
time. Whether done by hand or on a computer, simulation involves the generation of
an artificial history of a system and the observation of that artificial history to draw
inferences concerning the operating characteristics of the real system.
The behaviour of a system as it evolves over time is studied by developing a simulation
model. This model usually takes the form of a set of assumptions concerning the
operation of the system. These assumptions are expressed in mathematical, logical,
and symbolic relationship between the entities, or objects of interest, of the system.
Once developed and validated, a model can be used to investigate a wide variety of
what if questions about the realworld system. Potential changes to the system can
first be simulated, in order to predict their impact on system performance. Simulation
can also be used to study systems in the design stage, before such systems are built (as
we can see in the present project work). Thus, simulation modelling can be used both
as an analysis tool for predicting the effect of changes to existing systems and as a
design tool to predict the performance of new systems under varying set of
circumstances.
In some instances, a model can be developed this is solved just by using
mathematical methods. However, many realworld systems are so complex that
models of these systems are virtually impossible to solve mathematically. In these
instances, numerical, computerbased simulation can be used to imitate the behaviour
of the system over time. From the simulation, data is collected as if a real system were
being observed. This simulationgenerated data is used to estimate the measures of
performances of the system.
In the present simulation work is asked to simulate how an airport will operate
considering several given constraints, like the type of planes (premium or regular) and
SIMULATION PROJECT WORK
the resources that are pretended to be analysed. Taking into account the complexity of
the problem it is appropriate to use a simulation model in addition to mathematical
methods. For this purpose, we will make use of the tool SIMUL8.
SIMUL8
SIMUL8 is a software used for simulating systems that involve processing of discrete
entities at discrete times. It is a tool for planning, design, optimization and
reengineering of real production, manufacturing, logistic or service provision systems.
SIMUL8 allows its user to create a computed model that takes into account real life
constraints, capacities, failure rate, shift patterns, and other factors affecting the total
performance and efficiency of production. With this program it is possible to test real
scenarios in a virtual environment. SIMUL8 uses dynamic discrete simulation, which
makes it possible to provide unambiguous and concrete results and proofs
information on how the designed or optimized system will actually function and their
outputs are values and statistics of performance parameters and metrics of that
system.
A SIMUL8 simulation revolves around processing work items. They enter the system
via work entry points, pass through work centers (activities), may temporarily reside in
storage areas (queues) and leave via work exit point. In addition to this mechanism,
work centers may need specific resources to process work items. A simulation consists
of a number of these objects and of the routes between them.
Work item (element, entity) models physical or logical objects moving
through the system. Entities enter the system, induce different sorts of
activities, use different kinds of resources and at the end leave the system;
Entrance (work entry point) objects that represent the entry of entities into
the system;
Activity (work center, action) objects that model activities, which the entities
go through. Resources are typically used during execution of an activity;
Scheduling of operations:

System constraints:
Premium Planes always have priority on Regular ones for operations in
which they compete for the same resources (i.e. Runway for landing and
takeoffs);
There are always bridges available for Premium Planes;
For each Regular Plane arrived 2 buses and 1 tractor with trolleys is
required during the boarding after landing;
For each Regular Plane leaving 1 bus and 1 tractor with trolleys is required
during the boarding before departure;
To allocate buses and tractors/trolleys, boarding before departure has
priority over disembarkation after arrival;
The queue in the runway prior to takeoff has a maximum capacity of 2
planes;
Takeoffs operations respect a FIFO (first in, first out) order.
Performance measures:
Number of resources allows us to easily and directly calculate a rough
cost estimation that express the quality of our solution;
Utilization rate of the resources (Runway, buses, trolleys, aprons, bridges)
in percentage  measures the efficiency of our fleet supporting decisions
concerning the increase/decrease of resources to obtain an optimal tradeoff between costs and effectiveness of the solution;
Average total time the Plane spend in the system measures the
effectiveness of the system, underlines the ability of respecting the
scheduled departure times and the efficiency of the resources in
performing operations;
Average time spent in the Queue for Landing indicates the capability of
the system to be effective in dealing with the current arrival rate and shows
if it will be necessary a reduction of the traffic or a possible future airport
expansion with more runways;
Average time spent in the Queue before Takeoff being the size of this
queue limited to maximum two planes, knowing the time supports better
scheduling of previous activities;
Occurrence the Queue before Takeoff is full gives important information
about congestion indicators and allows taking decisions concerning possible
growth.
10
11
Arrivals = 60
= 2.5
Occupation rate = =
Size of the queue =
2.5
3
2(1)
= 0,83
2 2 +2
0.832
= 2(10.83) = 2
2
= 2,5 = 48
According to this calculations we noticed that the runway occupation rate (83%) is
already critical with 60 planes arriving per day. Therefore we decided to reduce the
plane arrival rate to 40 planes per day in order to obtain a runway occupation rate of
55.5%.
Resources Estimation
Types of resources
Runway
Bridge
Docking (Bridge)
Disembarkation (Bridge)
Apron
Trolley
Bus
12
Regular
Parking (Apron)
Disembarkation passengers (Apron + Bus)
Disembarkation luggage (Apron + Trolley)
Boarding (Apron + Bus)
Data
Working time = 24 h/day = 1440 min/day
Planes per day = 40
Calculations
= + 75 = 6 +75 = 81/
81 / 40 / 0,4
=
1440 /
= 0.9
= + 75 +
= 15 min + 75 min + 60 min = 150 /
150 / 40 / 0,6
=
1440 /
= 2.5
= . 2 +
= 25 2 + 60 = 110 /
110 / 40 / 0,6
=
= 1,8
1440 /
= . + = 40 + 60 = 100 /
100 40 0,6
=
=
= 1.7
1440 /
13
Table 1
Planes
40 (simulation)
60 (statement)
Runway
Bridges
Aprons
Buses
Trolleys
Initial Settings:
Fix Clock Properties: 7 days per week, 24 hours a day (assuming the
airport is always open and the runway is available for landing/ takeoff
during all the day);
Set Distance preference for travel time to zero.
Insert resources: Runway (1), Bridges (1), Aprons (3), Buses (2), Trolleys
(2)
Start Point:
Since the arrival rate is 40 planes/day, our distribution will be an
Exponential with average 36 minutes between arrivals
Create a label Plane to differentiate Premium (2) from Regular (1)
Define a new discrete Batching Probability Profile (Plane arrival) with
the respective values: 60% for Regular (1), 40% for Premium (2); then
assign the distribution to the label
SIMULATION PROJECT WORK
14
15
To guarantee that Premium Planes takeoff 1.5 hours after Docking we did the
following steps:
Defined a Label called Label2
Created a fictitious activity Separate (that takes zero time, has a
Circulate Routing out Discipline and a Batching fixed Distribution with
value 2); this virtually duplicates the planes that pass through both path
of the two parallel activities (Disembarkation and Fixed 75 Premium)
Finally they are collected in the activity Unify (Routing In Discipline
defined as Collect 1 and Match on Label2), which assures that the same
planes are unified
This proves that Planes in Disembarkation wait for the one in Fixed 75
Premium (duration fixed to 75 minutes = 90  15 for the Maneuverer
operation) before proceeding to the next activity.
16
To guarantee that Regular Planes takeoff 2.5 hours after Parking we did mainly the
same operations described before with some exceptions: the Defined Label is called
Label1; the parallel activities are three (Disembarkation Passengers, Disembarkation
Luggage, Fixed 75 Regular); Dividing has a Batching fixed Distribution with value 3 and
Fixed 75 Regular has a duration fixed to 75 minutes = 150  60  15 for the Boarding
and the Manoeuvre operation.
We assigned the resources Buses and Trolleys respectively to the activities
Disembarkation Passengers (2 Buses) and Disembarkation Luggage (1 Trolley).
Boarding:
Set the Distribution to Fixed with Average 60 minutes
Assign Buses, Trolleys and replicate the activity 7 times
Manoeuvre:
Define the Distribution as with Uniform [10;20] minutes and replicate
20 times the activity
Queue for Takeoff:
Fix Capacity to two, in order to respect the given system constraint
Prioritize Planes as high = first since they are sharing the same resource
(Runway)
Takeoff:
Set Distribution as Average 10 minutes and assign the resource Runway
to the activity
SIMULATION PROJECT WORK
17
18
= 0,4
10 + 75 + 60
40
0,6 = 1
24
= 0,6
40 + 60
= 0,5
= 0,54
50 + 60
= 0,4
= 0,45
0,34
=
= 12,2
1,67
Trial 5
Trial 4
Trial 3
Trial 2
Delta
35.36
34.82
35.37
36.22
37.55
35.86
12.2
65.98%
Apron Utilization %
71.26
70.83
70.88
70.89
71.03
70.98
50.0
29.56%
Trolley Utilization %
58.26
57.89
57.92
57.93
58.05
58.01
40.0
31.05%
Bus Utilization %
64.07
63.70
63.77
63.77
63.89
63.84
45.0
29.51%
239.07
238.11
239.70
240.75
242.88
240.10
168.4
29.86%
Analysing the delta between analytical calculations and simulation model we can see
that the highest value concerns the Queue for Landing Average Time (65.98%). This
results from a high standard deviation (60.3 min) and an enormous peak (622 min) that
strongly impacts our values.
19
For the other KPIs the delta has almost a constant value of 30% since for our
calculations the queuing times were not considered. From this data we can conclude
that our simulation model represents the realsystem behaviour in an adequate way
and we consider ourselves satisfied about these preliminary results.
20
4. Design of experiments
Initial conditions
After the construction of the model it is time to define conditions at the beginning of
the simulation:
Simulation clock starting time
The initial contents of the queues
The initial values of the entities attributes and other state variables
In order to know when our model will reach a steady state it is crucial to do the warm
up period. The warm up period is the time that the simulation will run before starting
to collecting results. This allows the queues (and other factors in the simulation) to get
into conditions that are typical of normal running conditions in the system we are
simulating. The warm up period will show us a set of transient states (initial conditions
for empty queues) until reaching a steady state. For our simulation project, to build an
airport, we obtained a warm up period of 100 800 min (70 days), which means that the
data collected in this period will not be taking into account (transient states).
Terminal conditions
We defined a data collection period (simulation time) of 12 months, which is no longer
due to limitations in the time that our computer spent in processing data.
After that we run the trial calculator to identify the number of experiments needed,
which indicated 4 total runs. In each run of the model, the obtained results are
artificial samples (obtained from experimentation) similar to a set of observations
(sample) collected in the realworld system.
SIMULATION PROJECT WORK
21
22
Utilization
Apron
120%
100%
80%
60%
40%
20%
00%
100%
96%
71%
Number of resources
Bus
Utilization
100%
85%
85%
80%
64%
60%
40%
20%
00%
2
Number of resources
For the buses, having 2 or 3 buses give us the same rate of usage, so we need to
increase this resource until 4 in order to get a lower percentage.
23
Trolley
Utilization
100%
80%
77%
77%
58%
60%
40%
20%
00%
2
Number of resources
With trolleys the same above happens, but when we run the simulation for 4 trolleys
the usage percentage decreases a lot.
As can be seen the optimal values for the resources are:
1 Runway
2 Bridges
5 Aprons
4 Trolleys
4 Buses
24
Resources Correlation
The following graph represents the time of each work item in queue for Parking (left y
axis), the time of each work item spent in the airport TS computed as the time in
system minus the time in queue for Landing for each work item (right y axis) and
number of Aprons available for the activity Parking (x axis). We plotted for 2 buses, 3
buses and 4 buses.
This graph shows that with only 2 aprons available, the change in the time spent in the
queue for Parking and in the system is not related with the increase in the number of
buses. With more than 2 aprons, changing the buses fleet size, the time spent in the
queue and in the airport decreases significantly. For the optimal number of aprons
available (5 aprons), the graph shows that if the number of buses increases from 3 to
4, the time spent in the airport decreases a bit (from 4.53 to 3.61 hours, respectively),
on the other hand, the time spent in the queue for Parking decreases a lot (from
101.21 to 25.76 min). Which can be explained by the fact the there are more buses
required for the Parking activity.
The following graph represents the time of each work item in queue for Parking (left y
axis), the time of each work item spent in the airport TS computed as the time in
system minus the time in queue for Landing for each work item (right y axis) and
25
number of Aprons available for the activity Parking (x axis). We plotted for 1 trolley till
4 trolleys.
This graph shows that with 1 trolley, the time spent in the queue for Parking is too high
and the time in the airport actually increases. With only 2 aprons available, the change
in the time spent in the queue for Parking and in the system is not related with the
increase in the number of trolleys. With more than 2 aprons, increasing the number of
trolley, from 2 till 4, decreases, significantly, the time spent in the queue and in the
airport. For the optimal number of aprons available (5 aprons), the graph shows that if
the number of trolleys increases from 3 to 4, the time spent in the airport decreases a
bit (from 3.86 to 3.59 hours, respectively), on the other hand, the time spent in the
queue for Parking decreases a significant amount (from 47.31 to 25.87 min).
Sensitivity Analysis
To test the robustness of resource inputs we opted for performing a Sensitivity
Analysis. This allows us to reduce uncertainty, search for errors in the system and
define space regions of inputs for which our output is not optimal and dont need to
be further explored.
26
In particular we both reduced and increased the number of resources monitoring the
behaviour of four performance measures (resource usage, average time in system,
runway utilization, average waiting time in queue landing). We run three more trials in
Simul8 maintaining the same random number sequence and obtained the data
represented in the following table.
Asis
Number
Resource
of
Usage
Resources
5
70.9%
4
57.9%
4
63.8%
2
61.7%
Apron
Trolley
Bus
Bridge
Average time in systems
Runway utilization
Average waiting time queue Landing
250,94 min
76.9%
35,81 min
50% Reduction
Number
Resource
of
Usage
Resources
3
100.0%
2
76.9%
2
84.6%
1
100.0%
95215,15 min
66.2%
18,33 min
50% Increasing
100% Increasing
Number
Number
Resource
Resource
of
of
Usage
Usage
Resources
Resources
8
43.6%
10
34.8%
6
38.6%
8
29.0%
6
42.5%
8
31.9%
3
41.1%
4
30.9%
228,98 min
76.9%
38,50 min
227,91 min
76.9%
38,68 min
27
6. Conclusions
Integrated in the subject of Simulation of Processes and Operations was developed a
project work that allowed us to improve our skills in modelling and implementing
simulation. The creation of the model showed us how to apply methodologies and
techniques in a computational environment, namely in the software SIMUL8.
Using the simulation properties of evaluating the alternatives and analysing the
results, we achieved the best feasible solution for the problem presented. This
simulation model could be also used for another scenarios, since it allows fast
modifications, in order to create value for decision makers.
To support decisions on the new airport we explored different relations between the
resources and defined an optimised number as follows:
Number of Aprons: 5;
Number of Trolleys: 4;
Number of Buses: 4.
To guarantee an acceptable time in the system and its stability we modified the arrival
rate to 40 planes per day.
We were able to reach these results after achieving the steady state of the system
(warm up period of 70 days) and to limit our simulation time to 12 months. After that
we could validate the model, proving that values adequately reflect real system
behaviour. The variance between analytical and experimental data shows an
acceptable value of 30% (with 95% of confidence).
To confirm our results we performed a sensitivity analysis changing the number of
resources and monitoring the relevant KPIs evolution. As expected our values
represent the best tradeoff between resource costs and service level (average time in
the system and in the queues). In fact time reduction is limited to only 23 minutes and
does not compensate extra resources costs.
To conclude it is important to highlight that the results respect all the systems
constraints and lead to a satisfiable solution.
SIMULATION PROJECT WORK
28
Annexes
Statement
Case n. 26
It is projected to build a new airport, which will have a single runway. Traffic
projections indicate arrivals of planes according to a Poisson process with an average
rate of 60 aircrafts per day. Having a clear landing strip, the planes may land and this
operation occupies the runway for 10 minutes.
The airplanes are of two types: from premium companies (40% of the total) and
from regular companies (60% of the total), with the first having priority over the
latter for all the operations in which they compete for the same resources (namely for
landings and takeoffs). The first ones always use bridges (providing direct connection
with the terminal for boarding or disembarkation of passengers) and the last ones use
aprons (plane parking positions) where the passengers and their luggage are
transported to/from the airplane using buses (for passengers) and trolleys (towed by a
tractor, for the luggage).
After landing, the planes move to the areas of the bridges or aprons, as appropriate,
taking this displacement a random time with a uniform distribution between 10 and 12
minutes.
For the airplanes of the premium companies, the docking manoeuver takes around 6
minutes. Then begins the process of disembarkation and, proceeding the departure,
the boarding of passengers and it is assumed that theses operations take place without
any difficulty or delay. For simplification, it can be assumed that these planes may take
off 1,5 hours after docking to the respective bridge, and that there will always be
available bridges to serve all the planes of this type.
For the airplanes that use the airport aprons, the parking manoeuvers (including the
preparation of disembarkation of passengers and their luggage) takes about 15
minutes, after which the passengers are able to board on to the buses that transport
them to the terminal. For each plane arrived, 2 buses are required and the
transportation of passengers occupies each one of the buses during a time that has a
normal distribution with a mean of 25 minutes and a standard deviation of 3 minutes.
To transport the luggage, a tractor and a battery of trolleys are required and allocated
to these operations for a time period normally distributed with a mean of 40 minutes
and a standard deviation of 7 minutes.
For simplification, it can be assumed that for this type of planes (of regular
companies) have a scheduled takeoff approximately 2,5 hours after parking on the
apron. An hour before the scheduled departure of the plane, the transportation
operations of the passengers who will be boarding (and their luggage) begins. These
require (per plane) 1 bus that will be allocated to these operations during one hour
(after they begin). For the transportation of the luggage, one tractor is required and a
battery of trolleys that will also be allocated to these operations during one hour (after
beginning these operations). Only after these transportation operations are
completed, as well as the boarding of the passengers and respective luggage, will the
plane be ready for takeoff.
In the allocation of buses and tractors/ luggage trolleys, the operations associated to
boarding of passengers and their respective luggage prior to departure have priority
over disembarkation operations on arrival.
In what concerns the departure of planes (of both types), these preform manoeuvers
for approaching the runway that take a random time with a uniform distribution
between to 10 and 20 minutes. With the start of these manoeuvers, the apron (or the
bridge) where the plane was parked is released. However, only a maximum of 2 planes
may stay parked in the queue of planes at the entrance of the runway, waiting for
conditions to take off. The entrance in this queue respects the defined priority (the
planes of the premium companies will have priority over the others), but afterwards
II
the takeoff is made according to the order of entry in this queue. The departure of
each plane occupies the runway for about 10 minutes.
To support decisions on the new airport project, it is intended to optimize the number
of aprons to build, as well as sizing the fleet of buses and tractors/trolleys engaged in
the transportation of passengers and their luggage to/from the terminal.
Others
Warm up Identification
III
Trial Calculation
IV
Resource Estimation
VI
VII
VIII
IX
XI
Resources Correlation
XII
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