CIM Lab collage

The Computer Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory is a constituent laboratory of the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland.


Learning Historian for Arena

The Learning Historian works with Arena simulation software to facilitate learning about system behavior by making it easier to run trials and visualize the results. 

Project Team:


Project Summary:

Model exploration allows users to gain insight into system performance across various scenarios and to compare alternatives.  In user-directed experimentation, an analyst conducts simulation runs to estimate system performance, then modifies the simulation model to evaluate other possibilities.  An important characteristic is the ad hoc nature of the experimentation, as the analyst forms and runs new trials based on the results from previous trials. 

User-directed experimentation with modern simulation software is a difficult task however, because the software has limited capabilities to support experimentation.  The user interfaces for simulation software are excellent tools for building sophisticated models, viewing animation, and performing other functions not related to user-directed experimentation.  Although capabilities vary between applications, generally, the analyst must tediously modify values in the simulation model, view the large results file, and find and record the output values of interest.  The Learning Historian seeks to improve the process of user-directed experimentation and facilitate data collection for experienced users of simulations.


Download Files:

Download the Learning Historian:

Download instructions for building an Arena model for use with the Learning Historian:

Download instructions for using the Learning Historian




Note: The Learning Historian uses software called Spotfire for visualization.  The Learning Historian will function without Spotfire, but the user will be unable to visualize results in Spotfire graphs. 


On-line papers related to this work:

Last updated by Jeffrey W. Herrmann, October 25, 2002.