System Dynamics
From SystemsWiki
System Dynamics is a rigorous methodology employing the development and use of formal computer models that:
 Apply the accepted system dynamics theory of structure (endogenous behavior, feedback loops, accumulations and delays, representation of decisionmaking);
 Are constructed following the scientific method (reference mode of problem behavior, dynamic hypothesis, formal model, testing of the hypothesis against data, extensive analysis, and policy design); and
 Use best practice tools and techniques (system dynamics software, units checking, standard formulations, generic models and building blocks, graphical functions, etc.).
These three components collectively define rigorous system dynamics. Further, in real world applications:
 Models should be developed so as to achieve client confidence and acceptance (using various approaches including “group model building”).
System Dynamics is not:
 Stella modeling or Vensim modeling (i.e., any model that uses “system dynamics software,” for example only as a programming, graphing or spreadsheet application without system dynamics theory or method.);
 nor is it “systems thinking” (i.e., qualitative modeling uninformed by quantitative modeling).
While software packages and the tools of feedback systems thinking (causal diagrams, archetypes, mental simulation) are used in System Dynamics, they are only tools to help develop, use, and explain the results of formal computer models. This is not to suggest that people should not “do” systems thinking, or use the software for whatever they like; nor is it a suggestion there is not value in their uses; it's just not System Dynamics.
This piece was adapted from Developing a Society Strategy to Promote Growth of the Field, the Presidential Address given by James M. Lyneis at the 2008 Systems Dynamics Society Conference in Athens, Greece.
References
 System Dynamics Methodology
 System Dynamics. Wikipedia.
 The Prophet of Unintended Consequences an article on Jay Forrester by Lawrence M. Fisher
 What is System Dynamics Center for Interdisciplinary Excellence in System Dynamics
 Kirkwood, Craig (2005) Arizona State University
 Theory and Practical Exercises of System Dynamics
 System Dynamics Resources Page
 Why and How Small System Dynamics Models Can Help Policymakers: A Review of Two Public Policy Models by Navid Ghaffarzadegan, John Lyneis, George P. Richardson
 Urban Insight and
 Swamping Insight from the above paper
 Road Maps (Stella/Vensim)
 Guided Study (Vensim, 30 assignments)
 A dynamic synthesis of basic macroeconomic theory : implications for stabilization policy analysis a Ph.D. Thesis by Nathan Blair Forrester
 System Dynamics Self Study An MIT Program
 System Dynamics and K12 Teachers by Jay W. Forrester
 Why System Dynamics? by Richard Turnock
 Intellectual Roots and Philosophy of System Dynamics by Willard R. Fey
 Introduction to System Dynamics U.S. Department of Energy by Michael J. Radzicki an Robert A. Taylor
 Graphical Introduction to System Dynamics a Prezi by Jim Berger
 System Dynamics and K12 Teachers by Jay W. Forrester
 System Dynamics: A Field of Study, A Methodology or Both? by Pater Vandermiden
 System Dynamics: the Foundation Under Systems Thinking by Jay W. Forrester
 System Dynamics: The Next Fifty Years by Jay W. Forrester
 System Dynamics/Systems Thinking: Let's Just Get On With It by Barry Richmond
 Learning from Evidence in a Complex World by John D. Sterman
 Reflections on the foundations of system dynamics by George P. Richardson
 On the Foundations of Systems Thinking and System Dynamics  Dee Down, What Are We Really Doing? Presentation by George P. Richardson

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