This work attempts to provide insight into the problem of executing discrete event simulation in a distributed fashion. The article serves as the state of the art in Parallel Discrete- Event Simulation (PDES) by surveying existing algorithms and analyzing the merits and drawbacks of various techniques. We discuss the main characteristics of existing synchronization methods for parallel and distributed discrete event simulation. The two major categories of synchronization protocols, namely conservative and optimistic, are introduced and various approaches within each category are presented. We also present the latest efforts towards PDES on emerging platforms such as heterogeneous multicore processors, Web services, as well as Grid and Cloud environment. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.