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Efficient Computing Budget Allocation for Simulation-Based Optimization With Stochastic Simulation Time

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1 Author(s)
Qing-Shan Jia ; Dept. of Autom., Tsinghua Univ., Beijing, China

The dynamics of many systems nowadays follow not only physical laws but also man-made rules. These systems are known as discrete event dynamic systems and their performances can be accurately evaluated only through simulations. Existing studies on simulation-based optimization (SBO) usually assume deterministic simulation time for each replication. However, in many applications such as evacuation, smoke detection, and territory exploration, the simulation time is stochastic due to the randomness in the system behavior. We consider the computing budget allocation for SBOs with stochastic simulation time in this technical note, which has not been addressed in existing literatures to the author's best knowledge. We make the following major contribution. The relationship between simulation time and performance estimation accuracy is quantified. It is shown that when the asymptotic performance is of interest only the mean value of individual simulation time matters. Then based on the existing optimal computing budget allocation (OCBA) method for deterministic simulation time we develop OCBA for stochastic simulation time (OCBAS), and show that OCBAS is asymptotically optimal. Numerical experiments are used to discuss the impact of the variance of simulation time, the impact of correlated simulation time and performance estimation, and to demonstrate the performance of OCBAS on a smoke detection problem in wireless sensor network. The numerical results also show that OCBA for deterministic simulation time is robust even when the simulation time is stochastic.

Published in:

Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 2 )