Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

European Journal of Operational Research








Modelling and simulation (M&S) techniques are frequently used in Operations Research (OR) to aid decision-making. With growing complexity of systems to be modelled, an increasing number of studies now apply multiple M&S techniques or hybrid simulation (HS) to represent the underlying system of interest. A parallel but related theme of research is extending the HS approach to include the development of hybrid models (HM). HM extends the M&S discipline by combining theories, methods and tools from across disciplines and applying multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary solutions to practice. In the broader OR literature, there are numerous examples of cross-disciplinary approaches in model development. However, within M&S, there is limited evidence of the application of conjoined methods for building HM. Where a stream of such research does exist, the integration of approaches is mostly at a technical level. In this paper, we argue that HM requires cross-disciplinary research engagement and a conceptual framework. The framework will enable the synthesis of discipline-specific methods and techniques, further cross-disciplinary research within the M&S community, and will serve as a transcending framework for the transdisciplinary alignment of M&S research with domain knowledge, hypotheses and theories from diverse disciplines. The framework will support the development of new composable HM methods, tools and applications. Although our framework is built around M&S literature, it is generally applicable to other disciplines, especially those with a computational element. The objective is to motivate a transdisciplinarity-enabling framework that supports the collaboration of research efforts from multiple disciplines, allowing them to grow into transdisciplinary research.


© 2020 The Authors.

This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Original Publication Citation

Tolk, A., Harper, A., & Mustafee, N. (2021). Hybrid models as transdisciplinary research enablers. European Journal of Operational Research, 291(3), 1075-1090.


0000-0002-4201-8757 (Tolk)