*Chapter 7*: Using Simulation to Improve and Optimize Systems

Simulation models allow us to obtain a lot of information using few resources. As often happens in life, simulation models are also subject to improvements in order to increase their performance. Through optimization techniques, we try to modify the performance of a model to obtain improvements both in terms of the results and when trying to exploit resources. Optimization problems are usually so complex that a solution cannot be determined analytically. Complexity is determined first by the number of variables and constraints, which define the size of the problem, and then by the possible presence of non-linear functions. To solve an optimization problem, it is necessary to use an iterative algorithm that, given a current approximation of the solution, determines, with an appropriate sequence of operations, updates to this approximation. Starting from an initial approximation, a sequence of approximations that progressively...