EZStrobe is a discrete-event simulation system based on extended and annotated Activity Cycle Diagrams (ACD). It uses Stroboscope as its simulation engine and follows the Three-Phase Activity Scanning simulation paradigm, as well. An EZStrobe simulation model is represented completely by a graphical ACD network, like the earthmoving example shown below, whose nodes and links are built using drag-and-drop graphics from the EZStrobe Stencil. The complete logic of an EZStrobe model is represented entirely by the ACD network and is visible at all times. All links are annotated to show the start-up conditions for activities and the routing of resources. The initial contents of Queues are shown on the network. There are no hidden logic statements.
EZStrobe was developed in and runs within Microsoft Visio. Given a graphical network, like the earthmoving example shown above, EZStrobe creates the equivalent model using Stroboscope statements and sends it to Stroboscope to perform the simulation. This automation is completely hidden from the user. Thus, learning and using EZStrobe does not require any knowledge or use of Stroboscope directly. The results of an EZStrobe simulation are shown in Stroboscope's output window and in Visio by right-clicking each node.
EZStrobe Network Animation
A unique capability of EZStrobe is ACD network animation. EZStrobe can animate the nodes and links of a network dynamically, as the simulation runs, and show the movement of resources and their interaction with queues and activities. An example of animation is shown by the above screen image for the earthmoving model and the EZStrobe Simulation Controller below: At simulation time 23.5... activity Load ends (red outline), activity Haul starts (blue outline), and one resource unit flows through the link that connects them (bold link line).
EZStrobe --- Ideal System for Learning Simulation
EZStrobe's power and capabilities, i.e., drag-and-drop model building, visual network-based logic, and ACD network animation, make EZStrobe ideal as a learning tool and as an introductory general-purpose discrete-event simulation system.
EZStrobe vs UM-Cyclone
EZStrobe uses generic resources (like UM-Cyclone) and is capable of modeling very complex operations that do not require the use of characterized (i.e., object-like) resources or compound (i.e., container-like) resources. When compared to UM-Cyclone, EZStrobe is by far the preferred alternative. It is much more powerful, and at the same time, easier to learn and use.