This unique book offers an unprecedented opportunity to develop comprehensive practical skills in building models that will enhance understanding of the many problems we encounter in our complex and dynamic world.
Students, researchers, professional consultants, and managers are provided with an invaluable set of tools, techniques and system dynamics structural building blocks, which will enable them to build models of complex real-world behaviour. There is considerable utility in enabling the journey of student, researcher and professional practitioner by making proven system dynamics modules available for reuse. This is enabled through this book by explaining how to define, build and test modules and by providing a compendium of modules. These modules are the essential building blocks of structure common to many real-life complex problem situations.
A key aspect of this book, therefore, is the identification and specification of modules that represent the fundamental and re-useable building blocks of system dynamics modelling structure. The author then demonstrates how to use those building blocks as basic elements for analysis. He also explains and demonstrates how the basic modules can be assembled with other modules to produce fully functioning models.
This book is in no way intended to promote ‘recipe-book’ system dynamics modelling, however. Rather, the techniques, modules and models offered here are designed to strengthen the skills and knowledge of the modeller. They are not offered as a substitute for thinking about and analysing systemic problems in a systematic way.
The book focuses on quantitative modelling. As an enabler to quantitative modelling, systems thinking and qualitative modelling techniques are used to facilitate problem conceptualisation and the formulation of dynamic hypotheses about troublesome systemic problems.
Dr Alan McLucas is a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales, UNSW@ADFA, the Australian Defence Force Academy. He holds bachelors, masters and doctor of philosophy degrees in engineering, management and operations research respectively.