Course Description and Objectives
Text and Materials
Requirements and Grading
John H. Saunders, Ph.D., Work #: (202) 685-2078
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
COURSE DESCRIPTION and OBJECTIVES
Stock-flow analysis of feedback systems presented for policy analysis and management. System dynamics; principles of systems employed to structure the problem solving process. Problems and case studies solved using microcomputers.Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1. Model, both mathematically and visually, concrete and abstract dynamic structures of a system environment.REQUIRED TEXTS AND MATERIALS
2. Provide a foundation for the consequences of feedback, time delay, and non-linear activity in problem analysis and synthesis.
3. Develop and test the influence of endogenous and exogenous policy change variables upon environmental performance.
4. Provide cases where stock and flow analysis has provided unique insight into major issues.
1) Clark, Rolf. System Dynamics and Modeling. Operations Research Society of America. 1990. Modified for online usage 1998. (SD&M)Other current articles may be assigned throughout the semester.Chapter 1 Chapter 2 [Incomplete Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6]2) An Introduction to Systems Thinking. 2001. High Performing Systems.(IST)
3) ithink Strategy software v 8.0 from High Performing Systems. Manuals packaged with the software include: Getting Started with the ithink software and Technical Documentation, both 2001. (GS) Purchase of the software is not required. It is available in the lab, but must be used at that location.
4) Link to Models
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING
1. Examination (25%): There will be an in-class, closed book mid-term examination to test the studentís understanding of the basic concepts discussed early in the course. Format includes multiple choice questinos, causal loop diagramming, analysis and creation of stock and flow diagrams.The course grade of "B" represents the benchmark. It indicates that the student has fulfilled all course requirements and demonstrated competency in the subject matter of the course. Only those students who fully meet this standard and who demonstrate exceptional comprehension of the course subject matter, merit an "A". Students who do not meet the benchmark standard of competency will earn the course grade of "C". In those cases where there is substantial failure, the student will earn an "F". Plus and Minus grades are awarded.
2. Individual Project (30%): Each student will create a system dynamics model in an area of their choosing. The model should be the studentís own work. Students may wish to refer to past International System Dynamics Conference Proceedings on the System Dynamics Society Homepage or to Prior Student Projects to get a feel for model domains.
3. Group Project (25%): Students will be assigned to a small group to create and exercise a joint model. See the following detail project description. A joint grade will be assigned to all members of the group. Additionally a peer evaluation will be utilized to measure and evaluate group cooperation. Individual grades may be adjusted accordingly.
4. Homework (10%): Two homework assignments will be completed and submitted. The assignments will be graded to insure adequate progress in absorption of the material. Students should work alone on these assignments. Homework Assignment 1 Homework Assignment 2
5. Class Participation (10%): A great deal of the graduate learning experience is gained through a discussion of shared experiences and methods for improving quality and processes. In-class exercises and discussion will therefore be evaluated. The criteria (from most important to least important) for judging a studentís contribution to the discussions are quality (well thought out, relevant to the topic), clarity, and frequency.
|Session/Date||General Topic / Links||
||Introduction, Course Review, Overview of ST, SD & the MFS||
||Systems and Causal Loops||IST:Preface&Chpt1; SD&M:
Chpt 1 |
Kirkwood: Chapter 1
|3||Systems and Causal Loops||Causal Loops Problem Set|
|4||Stocks and Flows; Lab 1||IST:Chpt 2; SD&M: Chpt 2|
|5||Building Structures; Lab 2||IST:Chpts 3,4; SD&M: Chpt 3; |
GS: Hand-in Clients Model p 17-33
|6||Functions; Lab 3||Technical Documentation: Chpt 7|
|7||Group Project Presentations||Group Project Papers and Models|
||Mid Term Examination||1 page individual project description|
||Model Validation; Lab Session||Forrester & Senge; Sterman;|
||Optimization / Forecasting||
||Survey of System Dynamics & Mgmt Flight Simulator Applications||Saunders|
||Connections with Chaos||
Individual Project Papers and Models
The individual project consists of a unique systems study, further manifested through a dynamic model created in ithink. Students should create an accompanying 3-5 page paper which provides a description of the variables, explains the context for the model and talks to discoveries made while exercising the model. At the eighth class period each student should submit a brief one page project description of the model they plan to build. An example follows below:
Units of Analysis: Dollars, Numeric Effectiveness Factor (Interval Scale)
Sectors to be included: U.S. Congress, USAID Senior Management, USAID Technology Management
Time Period: 20 years in 1 year intervals
Example Output Variables: Ratio of Effectiveness to Prior Year Funding; Empowerment Utility
To Study the Effects of: Delays and Effectivness in increasing/decreasing budget dollars allocated to information technology.
The final project will be presented to the class in Session 14. The final ithink model and written 3-5 page paper are due at that time. The student will demonstrate and discuss the model in class and provide each instructor and each classmate with a 1 page description (diagram printout also very helpful) of the model.
Students should refer to prior student models (available from the instructor)
to get a feel for the depth and complexity that is expected. A typical student
model would have about 4 - 12 stocks and 15 - 30 converters. Real world models
typically have hundreds to thousands of stocks and converters. These prior
student projects may provide some aid in understanding appropriate modeling
Deliverables (due on evening of presentation - hardcopy and softcopy):
a) Model - completed model with minimum 10
activities/variables and 4 loops.
b) Paper - minimum 5 page paper providing model foundations and conclusions.
c) Presentation - 20-30 minute in-class.
d) Handout - single page for all class members on the substance of the model.
MIT - http://sysdyn.mit.edu/sd-group/home.htmlBooks in Systems Thinking and System Dynamics:
Tom Fiddamans Model Library - http://home.earthlink.net/~tomfid/models/models.html
London Business School - http://pluto.lbs.lon.ac.uk/sysdyn
System Dynamics Society - http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/
LISTSERV - e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org containing the following text subscribe system-dynamics end
Gene Bellingerís home page - http://www.radix.net/~crbnblu/systems/sim/simulation.html
Arizona State University Professor Craig Kirkwood's pages - http://www.public.asu.edu/~kirkwood/sysdyn/SDRes.htm
Forrester, Jay. Industrial Dynamics. Productivity Press. Portland OR. 1961.Periodicals
Hannon, B. and Ruth, M.Modeling Dynamic Biological Systems. Springer Verlag. 1997.Hargrove, James L. Dynamic Modeling in the Health Sciences, Springer Verlag. 1998.
Modeling Dynamic Economic Systems. Springer Verlag 1997.
Dynamic Modeling. Springer Verlag. 1994.
Morecroft & Sterman, eds. Modeling for Learning Organizations. Productivity Press. Portland OR. 1994.
Richardson, G., ed. Modelling for Management. Dartmouth Publishing Company. Brookfield, VT. 1997.
Roberts, E.B. Managerial Applications of System Dynamics. Productivity Press. 1981.
Senge, P. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. Doubleday. New York NY. 1994.
System Dynamics Review, Wiley & Sons.Readings
The Systems Thinker. Pegasus Communications.
Forrester, Jay and Senge, Peter. Tests for Building Confidence in System Dynamics Models. TIMS Studies in Management Sciences 14 (1980) 209-228.
Kirkwood, Craig. ďSystem Behavior and Causal Loop DiagramsĒ, Chapter 1 in Integrated Business Process Analysis. Unpublished monograph. 1996. Available at http://www.public.asu.edu/~kirkwood/sysdyn/SDIntro/SDIntro.htm
Sterman, J. D. 1984. Appropriate Summary Statistics for Evaluating the Historical Fit of System Dynamics Models. Dynamica, 10 (Winter), 51-66.