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Elements of a hybrid simulation model: a case study of the blood supply chain in low- and middle-income countries

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A hybrid simulation model is a simulation model that is formed from at least two different simulation modelling methods (e.g., discrete event, system dynamics, agent-based). The use of different simulation modelling methods in one model requires modellers to specify additional model elements. This paper discusses three elements, namely, the modules, module interfaces and updating rules. Each module may use a different simulation method. The interface between modules defines the information that will be passed between them (including aggregation and disaggregation). The updating rules define how the information sent by one module affects other modules. These three elements are explained using a case study of a blood-supply chain simulation model for low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) which has different characteristics and challenges in comparison to the typical blood supply chain in high-income countries (HIC).