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Simulation and Modeling

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

High Performance Data Warehousing

Problem Solving For The Oracle Warehouse  

Simulation And Modeling

Simulation modeling is not new for data warehouses. In fact, one of the first object-oriented languages, called SIMULA, dates from the late 1960s. Simulation and modeling are generally used with decision-support warehouses where the end user develops a hypothesis and uses the data warehouse to test it. For example, the end user of a shipping warehouse might ask, “What would happen to my total costs if we change from shipper A to shipper B?” Modeling involves taking the data warehouse as input to a model for testing the validity of the model. For instance, a model may have been developed to predict the propensity of a particular type of customer to purchase a particular class of product. This model can be validated against the data warehouse.


Forecasting involves using a data warehouse to predict future values of data items. While forecasting is not new to computer processing, the use of massive data warehouses can create a new vehicle for validating long-term forecasts.

Forecasting has long suffered from a statistical reality called the trumpet of doom (see Figure 1.18). While it is very easy to generate a forecast for a short-term future value within an alpha of .05 (alpha is a measure of the “confidence interval” for a forecast), a long-term forecast will see the confidence interval widening as time passes.

Figure 1.18 The trumpet of doom.

This is an excerpt from "High Performance Data Warehousing", copyright 1997.

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