Behavioural equivalence in simulation modelling

Rob Pooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Discrete event simulation has grown up as a practical technique for estimating the quantitative behaviour of systems, where direct measurement is undesirable or impractical. It is also used to understand the detailed functional behaviour of such systems. Its theory is largely that of experimental science, centering on statistical approaches to validation, rather than on the verification of detailed behaviour. On the other hand, much work has been done on understanding and proving functional properties of systems, using techniques of formal specification and concurrency modelling. This article presents an approach to understanding equivalence of behaviour of discrete event simulation models, using a technique from the concurrency world, Milner's Calculus of Communicating Systems (CCS). This yields a significant advance over the main previous work, Schruben and Yücesan's simulation graphs. CCS allows for the use of observational equivalence, which can capture a more flexible, behavioural notion of equivalence than the structural equivalence defined there. A common framework based on the process view of models is constructed, using a hierarchical graphical modelling language (Extended Activity Diagrams). This language is shown to map onto both the major constructs of the DEMOS discrete event simulation language and the corresponding CCS models. A graphically driven tool based on such a framework is presented, which generates both types of models. Using the CCS model, behavioural equivalences and differences in simulation models are demonstrated. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSimulation Modelling Practice and Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


  • Graphical interface
  • Model equivalence
  • Process algebra
  • Process view


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