There has been a noticeable shift in the relative composition of the industry in the developed countries in recent years; manufacturing is decreasing while the service sector is becoming more important. However, currently most
simulation models for investigating service systems are still built in the same way as manufacturing simulation
models, using a process-oriented world view, i.e. they model the flow of passive entities through a system. These
kinds of models allow studying aspects of operational management but are not well suited for studying the dynamics that appear in service systems due to human behaviour. For these kinds of studies we require tools that
allow modelling the system and entities using an object-oriented world view, where intelligent objects serve as
abstract “actors” that are goal directed and can behave proactively.
In our work we combine process-oriented discrete event simulation modelling and object-oriented agent based
simulation modelling to investigate the impact of people management practices on retail productivity. In this paper,
we reveal in a series of experiments what impact considering proactivity can have on the output accuracy of
simulation models of human centric systems. The model and data we use for this investigation are based on a case study in a UK department store. We show that considering proactivity positively influences the validity of these kinds of models and therefore allows analysts to make better recommendations regarding strategies to apply people management practises.
Siebers, P., & Aickelin, U. (2011). A first approach on modelling staff proactiveness in retail simulation models. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 14(2),