Simulation-optimization is an active field of research, that becomes more and more popular over the years in many practical applications. Besides, several simulation software tools now include simulation-optimization routines and applications. This site is devoted to support a research network on simulation-optimization and the many methods that have been proposed to solve simulation optimization problems.
Many systems in areas such as manufacturing, supply chain management, engineering, financial and service management are too complex to be studied analytically. Computer simulation has long been a useful tool for evaluating the performance of such systems. However, a mere evaluation of performance is often insufficient and a more exploratory process may be needed, particularly adopting the simulation optimization perspective. Given a (possibly complex) system described by a simulation model, the simulation-optimization process aims at finding a combination of decision variables (i.e., the main inputs to the simulation model) providing the best system performance, based on the output of the simulation model. There has been a great deal of work on simulation-optimization in the research literature, and recently there has been a marked need of technology transfer actions.
Techniques for simulation-optimization greatly vary depending on the specific problem setting. There also appears to be a significant gap between those methods that have been extensively studied in the research literature and those that are commonly used in practice. This difference is widely acknowledged and this site aims to help bridging this gap, through promoting several initiatives in the area.