The Big Book of Simulation Modeling

Multimethod Modeling with AnyLogic 8

This book is a practical guide to building simulation models. It explains how to choose the right constructs of the modeling language to create a representation of a real world system that is suitable for risk-free dynamic experiments. With over 100 hands-on, step-by-step examples with different levels of complexity, it is the only book to comprehensively present the three major paradigms in simulation modeling: agent-based, system dynamics, and discrete-event.

The book is based on the modeling languages supported by AnyLogic, the software tool that enables a modeler to utilize all three methods and to combine them in a single model. Suitable for both new users and professionals alike, it provides practical step-by-step guides based on a variety of application areas.


Chapter 1. Modeling and simulation modeling

Modeling is one of the ways to solve problems that appear in the real world. In many cases we cannot afford to find the right solutions by experimenting with real objects: building, destroying, making changes may be too expensive, dangerous, or just impossible. [Read]

Chapter 2. The three methods in simulation modeling

System dynamics is used to solve strategic level tasks. Discrete event models are used mainly at the operational and tactical levels. Agent-based modeling allows you to simulate the properties of individual components in a system. In this chapter, we detail each approach. [Read]

Chapter 3. Agent based modeling. Technology overview

Chapter 4. How to build agent-based models. Field service example

Agent-based modeling is the easiest modeling method. You identify which objects in the real system are important for solving the problem and create those same objects in the model. You think of the behavior of those objects relevant to the problem, and program that same behavior in the model. [Read]

Chapter 5. System dynamics

The intention of this chapter is not to teach system dynamics modeling (there are other excellent books serving this purpose), but rather to explain how to build and run system dynamics models in AnyLogic. [Read]

Chapter 6. Multi-method modeling

Chapter 7. Designing state-based behavior: statecharts

A statechart is a visual construct that enables you to define event- and time-driven behavior of various objects (agents). Statecharts are very helpful in simulation modeling. They are used a lot in agent-based models, and also work well with process and system dynamics models. [Read]

Chapter 8. Discrete events and the Event model element

The dynamics of the world around us appear to be continuous: there are no instant changes – everything takes non-zero time, and there are no atomic changes – every change can be further divided into phases. In discrete-event modeling, we only consider important moments in the system’s lifetime, treat them as instantaneous and atomic events, and abstract away from anything that goes on between two contiguous events. [Read]

Chapter 9. Rails and trains

The AnyLogic Rail Library allows you to efficiently model, simulate and visualize any kind of rail transportation of any complexity and scale. Classification yards, rail yards of large plants, railway stations, rail car repair yards, subways, airport shuttle trains, rail in container terminals and factories, trams, or even rail transportation in a coal mine can be easily yet accurately modeled. [Read]

Chapter 10. Java for AnyLogic users

Chapter 11. Exchanging data with external world

Chapter 12. Presentation and animation: working with shapes, groups, colors

AnyLogic offers a rich set of graphics tools to design the visual 2D and 3D front-ends of your models. The tools include various shapes, controls, 3D-specific elements, and data visualization elements. This chapter explains how to draw 2D shapes and tells about basic animation principles. [Read]

Chapter 13. Designing interactive models: using controls

You can make your AnyLogic models interactive by including various controls (buttons, sliders, text inputs, etc.) into the model front end, and also by defining reactions to mouse clicks. The controls can be used both to set up parameters prior to the model execution and to change the model on-the-fly. [Read]

Chapter 14. 3D animation

AnyLogic supports both 2D and 3D space in simulation models and enables you to create high-quality interactive 3D animations in addition to more technical-looking 2D animations. You can define a 3D scene, use the standard shapes provided in the Presentation palette, items from the 3D Objects palette, imported 3D graphics, or include 3D objects composed of primitive shapes you create yourself. [Read]

Chapter 15. Randomness in AnyLogic models

Uncertainty is an essential part of reality and a simulation model has to address this. The only way of doing so is to incorporate randomness into a model. Continue and read about probability distributions, sources of randomness in a model, and random number generators for reproducible and unique experiments. [Read]

Chapter 16. Model time, date and calendar. Virtual and real time

Time is the central axis in the dynamic simulation models we are building. The models are full of various references to time: delays, arrival times, service times, rates, timeouts, schedules, dates, speeds, etc. This chapter explains what model time is and how the user can work with it. [Read]

More chapters will be released soon. They will be available on this site. Make sure not to miss them by signing up for the AnyLogic Newsletter.

The old edition of the book is available for purchase.

About the authors

Andrei Borshchev

Dr. Andrei Borshchev is the CEO and co-founder of The AnyLogic Company, a leading provider of dynamic simulation tools, technologies, and consulting services for business applications, and is personally recognized as one of the world’s top experts in agent-based and multi-method simulation modeling.

Ilya Grigoryev

Ilya Grigoryev is Head of Training Services at The AnyLogic Company. He is the author of AnyLogic documentation and AnyLogic training courses. He has given numerous public training sessions in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia. Ilya Grigoryev has been a simulation consultant to several organizations.


"I bought the book the moment it was online on Amazon. There are a lot of choices you should make during developing a new model and you can learn the consequence of each from the father of AnyLogic. A must read for anyone who is serious about simulation and modeling using AnyLogic."
— Hamid R. Darabi
"This is the best book in simulation. The other books from Law and so for... they are just to complement this one. First time that agents, system dynamics, and DES have been combined/fused in a different way. And AnyLogic is the best as usual! "
— L. Rabelo "Thinker"
"This book will take some time to get through but it will be worth it that is for sure. Looking forward to reporting back when completely through it. "
— Yuriy Y. Yermilov
"In my opinion AnyLogic is the best simulation platform. If you are using Anylogic, this is the book that you need. "
— Talal3439
"Excellent book, must-read for AnyLogic computer modeling software users. Covers practical development of lot of models and modelling approaches."
— Amazon Customer