The 16th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare is fast approaching, and will be held on January 16-20 in San Diego, California! Don’t miss the largest gathering of simulation healthcare professionals. Here are five reasons why you really ought to attend.
The investigation of movement, activity, and behavior of animals in pens or stables gives great insight into differences between group and individual housing, enriched and plain stables, different types of feeding systems, and so on. Read this blog to learn more about that, but also about cow behavior in paddocks.
Want to know where the action is? Interested in getting real-time feedback about a conference, concert, or event hotspots? At the Measuring Behavior conference in August 2014, a number of meeting participants took part in an exciting experiment in which they received real-time updates on their own smartphones about the “hotness” of several conference events. Did this information lead them to the most interesting lectures, booths, or poster sessions?
Why does a customer select your product? Who uses it, and how? What are their expectations regarding taste and structure? What do they think of the experience, and how do they dispose it?
Does it matter how much time a cow spends standing up or lying down? Bert Tolkamp thought that it did matter, and last week he proved his point by winning an IgNobel prize  for his work on this . He attached a sensor to the legs of some cows and measured tens of thousands of episodes of lying and standing. His findings were at first sight puzzling and on reflection, revealing (hence the prize). If a cow was lying for a long time, it was more likely to stand up, but it if had been standing for a long time, it was not more likely to lie down.
GPS has always seemed to me to be a kind of magic technology. The idea that a grid of satellites so far above my head that I cannot even see them can tell me exactly where I am and help give me directions where to go is pretty stupendous. And you do not even have to pay for the information! GPS is such a powerful technology that it is being applied to a great diversity of areas. One example is precision agriculture. For instance, if you are growing crops, they will often need water, pesticides and fertilizer. If you don’t give them enough they will have a reduced yield and if you give them too much you spend too much money and you might cause pollution. The image on the right  shows a crop that needs watering. But only the red areas are dry. So if that data is fed into a GIS databank and that is coupled to a GPS receiver on the irrigation system, the farmer will know precisely where to give water (or chemicals) so that the crop gets the right amount and there is minimal waste and runoff.
In the last couple of years, the volume of online shopping has expanded beyond what anyone could have imagined . Last year, in the UK, the total volume of online shopping across all sectors passed the ten percent mark. For purchases like music and video, it is over 80%, for books over 50% . In Europe and America, shops in those sectors are struggling to survive — and not always succeeding. But it is not just that consumers are switching to a different channel to make their purchases. Increasingly, when a customer enters a shop, they have already done some online research. A recent study found that 75% of consumers researched products both online and in-store before making a significant purchase . Some retailers worry that if customers have access to WiFi in the store, they will discover that the competition (online or another shop) is cheaper, and the sale will be lost. Others believe that if the customer cannot do their online research on the spot, they will do it at home, and the chance of making the purchase at their shop will be decreased.
That is just one way that the changing retail environment means that traditional wisdom regarding layout and stocking of shops may need serious reconsideration. The online revolution will also have an effect on all sorts of other aspects, such as the range of items to be stocked and the levels of inventory. Maybe the retail store will be more like a showroom in the future, with orders placed in the shop, but via the website. How will the optimal location of the shop, the shop’s layout and display of items be affected? What should the total customer experience be?