SIGSIM Program Summary. Roger Smith, Mystech Associates, Orlando, Florida, [[email protected]].

Mission. SIG Simulation seeks the advancement of the state-of-the-art in simulation and modeling. It supports activities related to the use of simulation as a mechanism for understanding systems. These activities include training in the proper and effective use of simulation techniques and tools, the sharing of experiences in the use of simulation to solve problems, and the support of research into the development of more efficient and effective methods for simulation. Activities include the publication of a quarterly newsletter, Simulation Digest, and joining with a variety of other organizations in co-sponsoring the Winter Simulation Conference, the premier conference in the field, and the Parallel and Distributed Simulation Conference. These activities are designed to support practitioners, instructors, and researchers in the area of simulation. Because of the wide applicability of simulation to many problem domains, the SIGSIM membership has a diverse background: members are likely to have formal training in computer science, management science, statistics, or engineering.

SIGSIM areas of special interest include: discrete and continuous applications in computer systems; industry and business; networks, socio-economics, and other fields; techniques of digital, analog, and hybrid simulations; simulation languages and packages; statistical distribution analysis; and related computational mathematics.

Membership. SIGSIM represents 1100 people from 50 countries around the world. These come from industry, academia, government, and non-profit organizations. Table 1 illustrates the geographic distribution of the membership. The countries most strongly represented within SIGSIM are the United States, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Canada.

Table 1. SIGSIM Membership
North America 65.8%
Western Europe 19.5%
Asia 9.3%
Central/South America 2.0%
Australia 1.9%
Eastern Europe 0.7%
Middle East 0.6%
Africa 0.2%

New Activities. The SIGSIM leadership has initiated a number of new activities to enhance the group's relevance and value to members. These can be categorized as electronic services and an increased regional focus.

Electronic Services. As a computer organization, SIGSIM is interested in developing new member services which take advantage of advances in the use of computers and networks. SIGSIM is currently in the process of upgrading its Web home page in an effort to distribute current, useful information to the simulation community. We are also putting together an E-Mail reflector and on-line membership directory of those members who wish to be included. Members will be able to contact and exchange information with the SIG and other members.

SIGSIM intends to lend its support to on-line educational and training activities. The International Journal of Computer Simulation: Modeling and Analysis (CSMA) and the Electronic Simulation Conferences (Elecsim) are electronic activities of the type SIGSIM is interested in promoting. These provide current simulation information that is accessible to a world-wide audience, in a timely fashion, at minimal cost. Journals and conferences of this sort allow SIGSIM to serve a greater number of people and to do so within its limited budget.

The Simulation Digest will be supplemented by a Web Newsletter which focuses on the needs and interests of its industrial members. Such a newsletter will include information about current developments and applications of simulation, contract awards and performance, conference overviews and schedules, and editorials on the newest research in various areas of simulation. We are eager to document and distribute examples of successful implementations to illustrate, in measurable terms, the contributions of simulation to the global society. To provide this material SIGSIM must enlist the aid of members willing to collect this information and organize it for distribution.

Regional Focus. Several ACM SIGs have organized regional chapters to support pockets of professionals in a specific geographic area. SIGSIM is creating its first two chapters in Orlando, Florida and Austin, Texas. These target professionals from industry, government, and academia who are involved in training, analysis, engineering, requirements definition, and research into new simulation paradigms. Activities will alternately address the interests of technical and management members of the chapter. These activities will include:

  1. Technical Breakfasts. Meetings around a meal which include speakers on topics of interest. These may include: technology seminars, project overviews, company profiles, and government policy definitions.
  2. Educational Partnerships. Serve local schools with simulation professionals for special activities. Initiate industry/teacher workshops for transferring technical information into local schools.
  3. Electronic Presence. Disseminate technical information, activity notices, simulation web pointers, and access to SIGSIM members through the Internet.
  4. Event Sponsorship. Create specialized symposia and forums directed at local professionals.
We are also creating a European Committee to assist in expanding the SIG within Europe. We would like to establish relationships with university simulation laboratories like those at the Naval Postgraduate School and the University of Central Florida. SIGSIM is investigating joint activities with other ACM SIGs and regional chapters as a means of contributing to and benefitting from a broader range of activities.

The Future. The field of simulation is changing and expanding. We plan to expand SIGSIM along with it so that the services offered by the organization are applicable to the evolving needs of the community. We wish to bring the best in simulation research into the hands of the practitioners where it can be implemented, tested, and improved - evolving the practice of simulation as well as research into new methods. These changes are a positive force which we believe will lead to better services and a stronger membership base.