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Developmento of a generic simulation system for port operations

Grant number: 16/08462-1
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: March 01, 2017 - November 30, 2017
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Production Engineering - Operational Research
Principal researcher:Afonso Celso Medina
Grantee:Afonso Celso Medina
Company:Simulate Tecnologia de Simulação Ltda. - EPP
City: São Caetano do Sul
Pesquisadores principais:
Leonardo Chwif
Assoc. researchers: Marco Aurélio de Mesquita ; Paulo Eigi Miyagi
Associated scholarship(s):17/03473-8 - Developmento of a generic simulation system for port operations, BP.PIPE


The port sector is currently one of the largest users of discrete-event simulation models for strategic, tactic or operational leve decision-making. However, given the complexity of port operations, such simulation models require time and many resources to its development. Furthermore, the usual is to develop a specific template for each port, making the reuse of a template in other similar projects. The impact, in this case, is not limited to recoding the template, but you must remake the entire project development cycle, because the conceptual model itself cannot be reused. Often, a simple change in port operational policies can lead to the need of a complete revision of the model. The goal of this project is to develop a generic simulation port model that runs in the cloud and allows port operators from any point of the planet connected to the internet to run their simulations on a pay per use system or by monthly payment. Although the concept of generic simulation model is well known in literature, its application in projects is little known in practice, basically for two reasons: the technical difficulty of building something that will work for any system (or most of them) and the costs involved in its development, given the size of the problem. Methodologically, the idea is to follow the steps proposed by Chwif and Medina (2015)-design, implementation and testing, but adapted to the idea of generality. In this case, for example, the design phase should catalog the various port operations that can be simulated, The deployment phase should provide the ability to activate or deactivate components according to the profile of the port and the experimentation phase should allow the construction of customized reports for each port. As a final product of this proposal one would have a web page where each registered user could access an environment with appropriate tools (usually known as wizards) that would build a specific simulation model with the characteristics of its port, as in a process of assembling of blocks, connecting or disconnecting components that are included (or not) in their real system. Additionally, the page would keep a database with simulation models already configured, simulated scenarios, input data used, generated reports etc. For the Brazilian market, initially there is a strong impact on costs for the port operators, because the national practice is that the terminal usually depends on expensive, simulation software whose licensing cost may exceed R 150,000.00 for running model. On the other hand, the projects would gain in agility, because before the development (design and implementation) of the model that involves periods of 6 to 12 months, now this time could be reduced to days. Finally, the possibility of running in the cloud, in addition to the ease and convenience of simulations, it has the advantage of eliminating the need for large direct investments in hardware and software for the end customer of the product, as well as the costs associated with the maintenance of the system, which would be the responsibility of the developer. (AU)

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