DATA 304 / DATA 474 / COMP 312 (2021)

Simulation and Stochastic Models

Welcome to the home page for DATA304, DATA474 and COMP312 Simulation and Stochastic Models. This page provides information about the course and will be updated as the course proceeds. You should visit this page frequently to ensure that you are aware of changes. If you find errors, note omissions, or have any other comments regarding these pages, please send them to A/Prof Stefanka Chukova.

An interesting part of the course is a group project where you measure and model the operation of a real system of your own choice. The queues in the pictures were studied several years ago. Other studies have involved a computer help desk, a post shop, a hair-cutting salon and the Bluebridge Cook Strait Ferry.

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Notices

Queueing test has been marked (notice posted 31/5/2021) and returned to your OneDrive folder.

Queueing test solutions (notice posted 23/5/2021) are posted on OneNote.

Queueing Test Reminder (notice posted 17/05/2021) The queueing test will take place in the virtual queueing room (link is given in Blackboard) at the usual lecture time on Wednesday 19 May 2021, starting at 3:10pm. You are required to join the zoom room with your camera turned on when doing the test. The test will cover the following topics: distributions based on the exponential, waiting time paradox and Pollaczek–Khinchine (PK) formula. This is a close notes/close books test, but you can use the cheat sheet posted on OneNote. During the test you can use calculators, python/R (and any other software) just like non-programmable calculators, but not their programming features/tools. Using any special features of Excel to solve the problems is not acceptable. For full credit, all intermediate results should be included in your submission. You must submit your work in pdf or html format. The test will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just after 3pm. You will have 45 minutes to complete the test starting at 3:10pm. At the end of the test time, within the next 15 minutes, email all your work as an attachment to stefanka.chukova@vuw.ac.nz . The email subject line should be: COURSE, YOUR NAME, STUDENT ID NUMBER, QTEST, e.g., Subject: DATA304, John Smith, 30009999, QTEST.

PROJECT PRESENTATION and REPORT (notice posted 14/05/2021)
It is a requirement (and courtesy) that all groups attend all of the talks on Thursday, 27 May 2021. The team project report is due on Friday, 28 May 2021. Each team should email a zip file to A/Prof Stefanka Chukova by midnight of 28 May 2021 consisting of:
  • team report; (please do not include programming codes in the team report)
  • individual reports of the team members (each individual report should be in a separate file; please do not include programming code in your individual report);
  • file of the collected data in machine-readable format;
  • file with all your programming codes, indicating clearly their purpose.

The schedule for the presentations is as follows:

27 May 2021, 3:00 - 4:30pm, in queueing Zoom room
  1. Group 3
  2. Group 4
  3. Group 2
  4. Group 5
  5. Group 6

The presentations are for 15 min + 3 min questions/answers. Team members should be able to answer questions on any part of the project.

Quiz 4 has been marked (notice posted 12/5/2021) and returned to your OneDrive folder.

Quiz 4 solutions (notice posted 12/5/2021) are posted on OneNote.

Practical Test Reminder (notice posted 11/05/2021) The practical test will take place in the virtual lab room (link is given in Blackboard) at the usual lab time on Thursday 13 May 2021, starting at 3:10pm. You are required to join the Zoom lab room with camera turned on when doing the test. The test will cover Python/SimPy and readings Lab1 - Lab9. This will be an open book test, i.e., you can bring/use any notes or handouts you wish, use online help, and any of your own code. Please read the course information sheet (on the course homepage) for more information. The test will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just after 3pm. You will have 45 minutes to complete the test starting at 3:10pm. At the end of the test time, email all your files, (Python code & outputs or Jupyter notebook) as attachments to Dr Binh Nguyen within the next 15 minutes.

Assignment 9 (OPTIONAL) (notice posted 03/05/2021) We have decided to make assignment 9 optional, i.e., if you submit assignment 9, it will be marked and its score will be accumulated in the total score for the assignments, but the average will be computed over 8 assignment submissions.

Deadline extension for milestone 4 (notice posted 01/05/2021) The deadline for the submission of the reports on milestone 4 has been extended to midnight, Saturday, week 9.

Deadline extension for assignment 8 (notice posted 01/05/2021) The deadline for assignment 8 has been extended to Wednesday 5 May, 3:00pm.

Quiz 4 Reminder (notice posted 01/05/2021) Quiz 4 will take place in the queueing zoom room (link is given in Blackboard) on Wednesday 5 May 2021, starting at 3:10pm. You have to be in the zoom room, with your camera turned on, to have your work accepted. It will cover queueing topics taught during week 5 - week 8. This is a close notes/close books quiz, but you can use the cheat sheet posted on OneNote. During queueing quizzes and tests you can use calculators, python/R (and any other software) in interactive mode (just like non-programmable calculators) but not their programming features/tools. For full credit, all intermediate results should be included in your submission. You must submit your work in pdf or html format. The quiz will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just before 3:10 pm. You will have 30 min to complete the quiz starting at 3:10pm. At the end of the quiz time, within the next 15 minutes, email all your work as an attachment to stefanka.chukova@vuw.ac.nz . The email subject line should be: COURSE, YOUR NAME, STUDENT ID NUMBER, QUIZ 4, e.g., Subject: DATA304, John Smith, 30009999, QUIZ 4.

Quiz 2 Makeup has been marked (notice posted 27/4/2021) and returned to your OneDrive folder.

Quiz 3 Reminder (notice posted 26/04/2021) Quiz 3 will take place in the virtual lab room (link is given in Blackboard) at the usual lab time on Thursday 29 April 2021, starting at 3:10pm. It will cover Python and readings for Lab4, Lab5, Lab6, and Lab7. This will be an open book quiz, i.e., you can bring/use any notes or handouts you wish, use online help, and any of your own code. Please read the course information sheet (below) for more information. The Quiz will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just after 3pm. You will have 30 min to complete the quiz starting at 3:10pm. At the end of the quiz time, email all your files, (Python code & outputs or Jupyter notebook) as attachments to Dr Binh Nguyen within the next 15 minutes.

Quiz 2 Makeup solutions (notice posted 21/4/2021) are posted on OneNote.

Requesting a deadline extension due to illness (notice posted 21/04/2021)
This is a reminder that any request for a deadline extension due to illness might be granted, only if a medical certificate is provided.

Hint on the solution of problem 3 (second part) of A6 (notice posted 09/04/2021) have been posted on the Problem Sets subpage.

Make-up Quiz 2 (notice posted 07/04/2021)
A make-up Quiz 2 will take place in the queueing zoom room (link is given in Blackboard) on Monday 19 April 2021, starting at 5:00pm. You have to be in the zoom room to have your work accepted. It will cover queueing topics taught during week 1 - week 4. This is a close notes/close books quiz, but you can use the cheatsheet posted on OneNote. During queueing quizzes and tests you can use calculators, python/R (and any other software) in interactive mode (just like calculators) but not with preprogrammed scripts. For full credit, all intermediate results should be included in your submission. The quiz will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just before 5pm. You will have 30 min to complete the quiz starting at 5:00pm. If you decide to take the make-up quiz 2, its mark will be your final mark for quiz 2. At the end of the quiz time, within the next 15 minutes, email all your work as an attachment to stefanka.chukova@vuw.ac.nz . The email subject line should be: COURSE, YOUR NAME, STUDENT ID NUMBER, QUIZ 2, e.g., Subject: DATA304, John Smith, 30009999, quiz 2.

On the submission of your work for assessment (notice posted 07/04/2021)
The following instruction overwrites anything that we have discussed earlier regarding the submission of your work for assessment (assignments, quizzes, tests, reports). You MUST submit your work in pdf or html format. The mark of your submission will be reduced by half if you use other formats.

Quiz 2 has been marked (notice posted 31/3/2021) and returned to your OneDrive folder.

Week 6 - Wednesday Lecture (notice posted 29/3/2021) Stefanka will be solving questions using Pollaczek–Khinchin formula including the tutorial 6 questions.

Quiz 2 solutions (notice posted 28/3/2021) are posted on OneNote.

Quiz 2 Reminder (notice posted 19/3/2021)
Quiz 2 will take place in the queueing zoom room (link is given in Blackboard) at the usual lecture time on Wednesday 24 March 2021, starting at 3:10pm. It will cover queueing topics taught during week 1 - week 4. This is a close notes/close books quiz, but you can use the cheatsheet posted on OneNote. The quiz will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just after 3pm. You will have 30 min to complete the quiz starting at 3:10pm. At the end of the quiz time, within the next 15 minutes, email all your work as an attachment to stefanka.chukova@vuw.ac.nz . The email subject line should be: COURSE, YOUR NAME, STUDENT ID NUMBER, QUIZ 2, e.g., Subject: DATA304, John Smith, 30009999, quiz 2.

Week 4 - Tutorial (notice posted 18/3/2021)
Tomorrow's tutorial will start with Binh introducing a Python module called SimPy, which is designed for simulating queues. Recordings on SimPy are posted in the BB folder Lab Videos. Stefanka will take over midway to cover the questions of the queueing part of the tutorial.

Quiz 1 Reminder (notice posted 15/03/2021)
Quiz 1 will take place in the virtual lab room (link is given in Blackboard) at the usual lab time on Thursday 18 March 2021, starting at 3:10pm. It will cover Python and readings for Lab1, Lab2, and Lab3. This will be an open book quiz, i.e., you can bring/use any notes or handouts you wish, use online help, and any of your own code. Please read the course information sheet (below) for more information. The Quiz will be uploaded on the subpage "ProblemSet" just after 3pm. You will have 30 min to complete the quiz starting at 3:10pm. At the end of the quiz time, email all your files, (Python code & outputs or Jupyter notebook) as attachments to Dr Binh Nguyen within the next 15 minutes.

Welcome to DATA304/DATA474/COMP312 (notice posted 21/01/2021)
Lectures begin on Monday 22 February. There are also lectures on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, one of which is allocated to the practical programming teaching. See the CourseDiary for further details. Note that the tutorials and computing labs for this course are scheduled weekly.

Python Programming (notice posted 21/01/2021)
If you haven't done any programming for a while, or you haven't seen any Python programming, then you will find it very helpful to start learning it before the lectures begin. Have a look at the links to various helpful Python tutorials, particularly The Python Tutorial.

What do we study in DATA304/DATA474/COMP312?

"DATA304/DATA474/COMP312 Simulation and Stochastic Models" is a 15-point course that covers similar content to OPRE352/COMP312 in previous years. The focus is on simulation and modeling of stochastic systems, covering examples from queues, networks, and computer systems. We will also learn how to design, analyse and validate simulation experiments. Previous experience with computer programming is required before starting this course. A useful textbook is Hillier, F.S. and Lieberman, G.J., Introduction to Operations Research, McGraw-Hill (9th or 10th edition). The prerequisites are COMP 102 or 112 or 132 or DATA 202, one course from (ENGR 123, MATH 177, 277, STAT 292), 15 further 200-level COMP, DATA, MATH, NWEN, OPRE, STAT or SWEN pts.

Topic Textbook Lecturer
Python Programming and Simulation Lecture Notes Dr Binh Nguyen
Queues and Queueing Networks Lecture Notes A/Prof Stefanka Chukova

Course Information

The courses cover both Queueing Theory and Simulation. Queuing Theory is the use of stochastic models to help to make decisions associated with systems of congestion. Simulation is the art of modeling these systems using computers, in particular where analytical methods become too complicated.

Office Hours

Name Day Time Day Time
Chukova Wednesday By appointment (only zoom) Friday By appointment (only zoom)
Nguyen Wednesday, Thursday 2 - 2:30 pm Other days By appointment

Mode of the course delivery

  1. On Sunday evening before the beginning of the week, all lectures for the week will be pre-recorded and available on Blackboard. You are required to study these lectures before the scheduled Zoom sessions, which will only summarise and clarify the material (not teach it again). All (Monday and Wednesday) queueing lectures will be delivered only in zoom live-streaming mode.
  2. We will have Zoom sessions at the regular lecture/tutorials/labs times in the virtual room that you have been already advised through Blackboard. We will discuss the topics included in the lectures, which you have already attempted to familiarise yourself with.
  3. The tutorials on Friday will be held in blended teaching mode (face-to-face and zoom live-streaming), with no pre-recording. No solutions for the tutorial questions will be given out.
  4. The labs on Thursday will be held in the computing lab CO246 as well as in a Zoom session as given in the subpage "Course Diary". In each lab session, a soft copy of the solution to the Python programming questions will be given to only those who email Binh, before midnight of the day the lab is held, their work on the lab's questions.
  5. The quizzes will be held at the times listed in the subpage "Course Diary" and will start at the beginning of the allocated time slot. Usually, these will be 30min long (so, starting at 3:10 and ending at 3:40pm). You have to email your work within the next 15min to Binh or Stefanka (depending on the type of the quiz). Late quizzes will not be accepted.
  6. The assignments should be uploaded before the deadline in an OneDrive folder. The link to your OneDrive folder will be emailed to you at the beginning of the trimester. The feedback on your assignments and the solutions to the assignment questions will be uploaded in the same folder.
  7. The project will proceed as described in the subpage "Project". Meeting the deadlines of the milestones should be a joint effort of all members of the group. We will allow pre-recorded video group presentations as well as live-streamed group presentations. For both modes of delivery, a Q\&A session will be set up.
  8. The practical final exam is currently scheduled for week 10, and the theoretical queueing exam is currently scheduled for week 11, see the subpage "Course Diary". These are 45 - 60 min tests. Note that the final exam mark will be based on the 2/3 of the mark of the queueing test and 1/3 on the mark of the practical computing test. There is NO final exam during the exam period.

We cover all course topics for the first 9 weeks. There are no lectures/labs/tutorials in weeks 10, 11 and 12. In the last 3 weeks of the trimester you have to work on the completion of the team project and take the Practical Test (week 10) and the Queueing Test (week 11), please see the subpage "Course Diary"

2021 Class Representatives

Course Facebook page

This is a closed, unsupervised by the course lecturers, Facebook group for students to organise study groups or seek contact outside of the lectures. Join up! Any problems gaining entry contact Tyler or Liam.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/887269562007867

Resources