A systematic comparison of metamodeling techniques for simulation optimization in Decision Support Systems

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Y. F. Li
  • S. H. Ng
  • M. Xie
  • T. N. Goh


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1273
Journal / PublicationApplied Soft Computing Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


Simulation is a widely applied tool to study and evaluate complex systems. Due to the stochastic and complex nature of real world systems, simulation models for these systems are often difficult to build and time consuming to run. Metamodels are mathematical approximations of simulation models, and have been frequently used to reduce the computational burden associated with running such simulation models. In this paper, we propose to incorporate metamodels into Decision Support Systems to improve its efficiency and enable larger and more complex models to be effectively analyzed with Decision Support Systems. To evaluate the different metamodel types, a systematic comparison is first conducted to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of five popular metamodeling techniques (Artificial Neural Network, Radial Basis Function, Support Vector Regression, Kriging, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines) for stochastic simulation problems. The results show that Support Vector Regression achieves the best performance in terms of accuracy and robustness. We further propose a general optimization framework GA-META, which integrates metamodels into the Genetic Algorithm, to improve the efficiency and reliability of the decision making process. This approach is illustrated with a job shop design problem. The results indicate that GA-Support Vector Regression achieves the best solution among the metamodels. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Artificial intelligence, Decision making process, Decision support system, Simulation metamodel, Simulation optimization