Berkeley IEOR MS Student Wins Best Paper Award at Winter Simulation Conference 2020

Haoting Zhang and Professor Zeyu Zheng

IEOR MS student Haoting Zhang and Professor Zeyu Zheng won the Best Contributed Theoretical Paper Award at the 53th Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2020). The work by Zhang and Zheng proposes new efficient simulation methods for non-stationary spatial temporal Poisson processes. Below is the title and abstract for the work.  

Simulating Nonstationary Spatio-Temporal Poisson Processes using Inversion Method

We study the problem of simulating a class of nonstationary spatio-temporal Poisson processes. The Poisson intensity function is non-stationary and piecewise linear in both the time dimension and the spatial location dimensions. We propose an exact simulation algorithm based on the inversion method. This simulation algorithm adopts three advantages. First, the entire procedure involves only closed-form computation with no need for numerical integration or numerical inversion of any function. Each step in the algorithm only requires exact arithmetic operations. Second, the proposed algorithm is sample efficient, especially compared to the thinning method when the maximum intensity value is much larger than the minimum intensity value. Third, the algorithm generates arrivals sequentially, one at a time in ascending order, so that they can be conveniently fed into real-time or online decision-making tools.

ZHANG, Haoting and Zheng, Zeyu, Simulating Nonstationary Spatio-Temporal Poisson Processes using the Inversion Method (July 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Keith McAleer