Quantile regression metamodeling: Toward improved responsiveness in the high-tech electronics manufacturing industry

Demet Batur, Jennifer M. Bekki, Xi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Both technology and market demands within the high-tech electronics manufacturing industry change rapidly. Accurate and efficient estimation of cycle-time (CT) distribution remains a critical driver of on-time delivery and associated customer satisfaction metrics in these complex manufacturing systems. Simulation models are often used to emulate these systems in order to estimate parameters of the CT distribution. However, execution time of such simulation models can be excessively long limiting the number of simulation runs that can be executed for quantifying the impact of potential future operational changes. One solution is the use of simulation metamodeling which is to build a closed-form mathematical expression to approximate the input–output relationship implied by the simulation model based on simulation experiments run at selected design points in advance. Metamodels can be easily evaluated in a spreadsheet environment “on demand” to answer what-if questions without needing to run lengthy simulations. The majority of previous simulation metamodeling approaches have focused on estimating mean CT as a function of a single input variable (i.e., throughput). In this paper, we demonstrate the feasibility of a quantile regression based metamodeling approach. This method allows estimation of CT quantiles as a function of multiple input variables (e.g., throughput, product mix, and various distributional parameters of time-between-failures, repair time, setup time, loading and unloading times). Empirical results are provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the approach in a realistic simulation model representative of a semiconductor manufacturing system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Lead-time quotation
  • Manufacturing
  • Predictive analytics
  • Simulation metamodeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • General Computer Science
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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