Data-driven simulation architecture for material handling system in coal mining

Chao Meng, Sai Srinivas Nageshwaraniyer, Amir Maghsoudi, Young Jun Son, Sean Dessureault

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In coal mining industry, discrete-event simulation has been widely used as a decision support tool in production planning and equipment scheduling for complex material handling systems (MHS). In this paper, a data-driven simulation architecture is proposed to automatically generate a simulation model of the MHS of coal mines using real time data. To this end, a general MHS is first specified with a modular structure of seven major processes, including coal excavation, loading, haulage, dumping, crushing, storage, and loading out. Based on the modular structure, a formal information model is designed using Unified Modeling Language (UML) to provide MHS structural information for simulation model generation, production information for simulation execution, and output requirement information for defining simulation outputs. An automatic model generator has been developed to generate Arena simulation models conforming to the UML models. The proposed architecture has been implemented for one of the largest open-pit mines in the USA. The generated simulation model has been successfully validated against historical data of the considered mine. The experiments show that the architecture can be used to quickly model the MHS of coal mines, and then support various decisions in coal mining such as production planning and equipment scheduling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2012
Event62nd IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012 - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 19 2012May 23 2012


Other62nd IIE Annual Conference and Expo 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Coal mining
  • Data-driven simulation
  • Decision making
  • Material handling system
  • UML

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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