System Dynamics Self Study >> Content Detail

Study Materials


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The following documents include tutorials with step-by-step instructions for using a previous version of the STELLA software. Although the documents have not been updated to reflect the functionality in newer versions of STELLA, the basic ideas presented are still relevant. If you are interested in the current version of STELLA and other related resources, visit isee systems.

The Vensim PLE software is available for free at the Ventana Systems website.

These documents also contain icons and screenshots from the STELLA and Vensim software programs. These images are courtesy of isee systems and Ventana Systems, Inc. and are used with permission.

Texts used in this course:

Forrester, Jay. Principles of Systems. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications, 1968. ISBN: 978-1883823412.

---. World Dynamics. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications, 1973.

---. Urban Dynamics. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications, 1969. ISBN: 978-1883823399.

---. Industrial Dynamics. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications, 1961. ISBN: 9781883823368.

Goodman, Michael R. Study Notes in System Dynamics. Waltham, MA: Pegasus Communications, 1989. ISBN: 9781883823405.

Amazon logo Roberts, Nancy. Introduction to Computer Simulation: A System Dynamics Modeling Approach. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1982. ISBN: 9780201064148.

Note: some of the readings and exercises in the readings list are unavailable.

Road Maps 0

Introduction to Road Maps (PDF)

Road Maps 1

Road Maps 1: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

System Dynamics and K-12 Teachers (PDF)

System Dynamics and Learner-Centered-Learning in Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education (PDF)

Hopkins, Pamela Lee. "Simulating Hamlet in the Classroom." System Dynamics Review 8, no. 1 (1992): 91-98.

Amazon logo Meadows, Donella H. "System Dynamics Meets the Press." In The Global Citizen . Washington, DC: Island Press, 1991. ISBN: 9781559630580.

Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems (PDF)

Road Maps 2

Road Maps 2: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

The First Step (PDF)

Beginner Modeling Exercises (PDF)

An Introduction to Feedback (PDF)

Graphical Integration Exercises Part1: Exogenous Rates (PDF)

Introduction to Computer Simulation , Chapter 13

Formulating Models of Simple Systems Using Vensim PLE (PDF)

Road Maps 3

Road Maps 3: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

Graphical Integration Exercises Part 2: Ramp Functions (PDF)

Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 2: Mental simulation of Positive Feedback (PDF)

Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 3: Mental simulation of Negative Feedback (PDF)

Study Notes in System Dynamics

Introduction to Computer Simulation

Study Notes in System Dynamics, Section 3.10-3.12 (Michael Goodman)

Study Notes in System Dynamics, Chapters 4, 5 (Michael Goodman)

Urban Dynamics

Road Maps 4

Road Maps 4: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

Generic Structures: First order positive feedback loops (PDF)

Generic Structures: First order negative feedback loops (PDF)

Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 4: Mental Simulation: Adding constant flows (PDF)

Building the Fish Banks Model & Renewable Resource Depletion (PDF)

Richardson, George P. "Problems with Causal-Loop Diagrams." System Dynamics Review 2, no. 2 (1986): 158-170.

Road Maps 5

Road Maps 5: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

Introduction to Computer Simulation , Chapter 17 (Introduction to Delays)

Answers to Exercises for Chapter 17: Introduction To Delays from Introduction to Computer Simulation (PDF)

Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 5: Mental simulation of Combining Feedbacks in First-Order Systems (PDF)

Generic Structures: S-shaped growth I (PDF)

Dynamic Simulation Models: How Valid Are They? (PDF)

Glass-Husain, William. "Teaching System Dynamics: Looking at Epidemics." System Dynamics in Education Project, 1991.

Graphical Integration Exercises Part 3: Combining Flows (PDF)

Amazon logo Meadows, Donella H., Dennis Meadows, and Jorgen Randers. Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future . Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Co., 1992.

Road Maps 6

Road Maps 6: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

Economics Supply and Demand (PDF)

Generic Structures in Oscillating Systems I (PDF)

Exploring S-Shaped Growth (PDF)

Modeling Exercises: Section 1 (PDF)

Richmond, Barry. "Systems Thinking: Critical Thinking Skills for the 1990s and Beyond." System Dynamics Review 9, no. 2 (1993): 113-133.

Road Maps 7

Road Maps 7: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

Unexpected Behaviors in Higher-Order Positive Feedback Loops (PDF)

Mistakes and Misunderstandings: Examining Dimensional Inconsistency (PDF)

Modeling Exercises: Section 2 (PDF)

Graphical Integration Exercises Part 4: Reverse Graphical Integration (PDF)

Forrester, Jay W. "System Dynamics, Systems Thinking, and Soft OR." System Dynamics Review 10, no. 2 (1994): 245-256.

Road Maps 8

Road Maps 8: A Guide To Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

Building a System Dynamics Model Part 1: Conceptualization (PDF)

Mistakes and Misunderstandings: Use of Generic Structures and the Reality of Stocks and Flows (PDF)

Oscillating Systems 2: Sustained Oscillation (PDF)

An Introduction to Sensitivity Analysis (PDF)

Learning through System Dynamics as Preparation for the 21st Century (PDF)

Road Maps 9

Road Maps 9: A Guide To Learning System Dynamics (PDF)

The Credit Card Model (PDF)

Mistakes and Misunderstandings: Table Functions (PDF)

Generic Structures: Overshoot and Collapse (PDF)

Graphical Integration Exercises Part Five: Qualitative Graphical Integration (PDF)

Amazon logo Sterman, J. D. "A Skeptic's Guide to Computer Models." In Managing a Nation: The Microcomputer Software Catalog . Edited by G. O. Barney, et al. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1990, pp. 209-229. ISBN: 9780813382975.

Road Maps Appendix

Road Maps Glossary (PDF)

Formulating Models of Simple Systems Using Vensim PLE (PDF)

Vensim Conversion Guide (PDF)

System Dynamics Model Correctness Checklist (PDF)

Table Functions (PDF)

Other Readings

Introduction to Computer Simulation , Chapter 13.

Introduction to Computer Simulation , Chapter 17.

Vensim Help (PDF)

Generic Structures: Exponential Smoothing (PDF)

Generic Structures: Exponential Material Delays (PDF)

Mistakes and Misunderstandings: Time Constants and Decay Fractions (PDF)

Mistakes and Misunderstandings: DT Error (PDF)

Mistakes and Misunderstandings: Hidden Time Constants and Growth Fractions (PDF)

Properties of Damped Oscillations Systems (PDF)

Second-Order Systems (PDF)


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