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Simulating a Decision Model

Most business and technical stakeholders will be familiar with the high cost of correcting errors found in production systems. There are famous and well know examples and metrics that illustrate the fact that the cost of fixing something before it is put into production is usually an order of magnitude (or more) less than the cost of a remedy when a system has been delivered. The astronomers who launched the Hubble Space Telescope know this only too well, so too will a company that fails to identify hundreds of fraudulent loan applications. The cost of wrong decisions can be catastrophic and crippling to a business, technology, engineering or scientific endeavor. It is with this in mind that the designers of Enterprise Architect built a simulation capability into the modeling environment for Decision Models and, for that matter, a range of other technologies and languages. This, along with the modeling, collaboration features and code generation facilities, makes Enterprise Architect the pre-eminent platform for Decision Modeling and management.

The simulations can be run on the models as they are developed, before they are put into production, after structural model changes, or after rules or example data sets have been updated. The simulation is essentially a way of running trial model executions for the entire model or individual decisions within a complex model, allowing a team or an individual stakeholder to view the inputs, visualize the execution path, and analyze the intermediate decisions and the outputs for a given model or fragment of a model.

The simulation runs seamlessly without the need for a modeler to perform any configuration, and two levels of toolbars provide a number of useful options. The top toolbar in the header of the Simulation window provides these options:

  • Package Icon: Allows a Package to be selected
  • Refresh Icon: Allows the module to be reloaded
  • Validation Icon: Allows validation to be performed
  • Drop-down list:  Allows any decision in the model to be selected as the starting point for the simulation

With the 'Simulation' panel selected in the lower part of the Simulation window, a toolbar provides a:

  • Play Button: Run the simulation
  • Step Through Button  Step through each executable element in the model
  • Stop Button:  Stop the simulation during its execution
  • Export Button: Export all or a selection of the Inputs to a BPMN Data Object

For more information see the DMN Simulation Window Toolbar topic.