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This paper describes the application of distributed discrete event simulation in the study of an automated container terminal. The new model was developed to continue the study of large and complex logistic systems. In a previous study, a stand-alone model of the terminal was used that included all the characteristics of container handling between the ships and the container stack. A new distributed simulation model was developed by decomposing the original model into a distributed structure of communicating, small sub models. It is shown that with relative little effort and hardly any programming overhead, a complex stand-alone model can be decomposed into small, easy to understand sub models. The new distributed structure improves the transparency and maintainability of the simulation model, while guaranteeing the original benefits of the stand-alone model and the required reproducibility of the experiments.
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