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Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics for Management Decision Making by Sally Brailsford, Leonid Churilov, Brian Dangerfield

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11Vensim and the Development of System Dynamics

Lee Jones

Director, Ventana Systems UK, Oxton, Merseyside, UK

11.1 Introduction

This chapter does not dwell on the early history of system dynamics and the software used for implementation, since there are many respectable sources describing the origins and use of the early software programs such as Dynamo, Dysmap and their derivatives. This chapter is written from a personal perspective and includes anecdotal evidence from a number of unnamed but possibly respectable sources. Any errors or omissions are likely to be as a result of failing memory and/or fanciful wishful thinking.

In determining the content of this chapter, a causal loop diagram (CLD) was created as a sort of road map during its initial drafts and was continually updated as the drafts were reviewed and improved. It has been reproduced as Figure 11.1 in the hope that it will help to explain further the concepts described in the chapter, at the risk of exposing the author's potentially flawed thought-processes. It is incomplete, for example it does not include influences on ‘actual SD use’ other than the size of the pool of practitioners, but it serves to explain the narrative developed within the chapter.

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Figure 11.1 Chapter ‘map’.

11.2 Coping with Complexity: The Need for System Dynamics

The quote below is from a short story by the British science fiction writer ...

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