Special Issue "System Dynamics: Examples of Good Practice in Modelling and Simulation"

A special issue of Systems (ISSN 2079-8954).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Vladimír Bureš
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Informatics and Management, University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic
Interests: system dynamics; systems engineering; decision making; systems archetypes; simulation; modelling; computer science
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

System dynamics continues its expansion to various fields in which it helps to understand the nature of specific issues and contributes to formulation of their solutions. Throughout the decades of its existence, systems dynamics has helped to improve our understanding of the world around us in various domains, such as business, economics, environment, health, human behavior, information and knowledge management, public policy, security, strategic decision-making, and learning and teaching. System dynamics applies to dynamic problems arising in complex social, economic, biological, ecological, or even technical systems. Literally any system characterized by interdependence, mutual interaction of its parts, feedbacks with embedded nonlinearity, delays, or circular causality is a subject of interest. The field developed initially from the work of Jay W. Forrester, focused on industrial dynamics, has been currently developed by individuals and organizations such as the System Dynamics Society. Today, system dynamics represents a methodological approach, for which tools and techniques have already been developed and applied by academicians, consultants, practitioners, educators, managers or policy makers. Together with significant results in particular fields, growing interest in system dynamics also brings challenges related to the research and application of related tools. 

Application of system dynamics modeling and simulation on specific case studies or particular actual issues from various fields and contexts is welcomed as long as a novel contribution or innovative insight into system dynamics principles, techniques or procedures is provided. Please note, simple application of the system dynamics methodology cannot be considered as suitable for publication in this Special issue.

Dr. Vladimír Bureš
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Systems is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • System dynamics
  • Simulation and modeling
  • Mental model
  • Feedback loop
  • Hard and soft systems
  • System structure and behavior
  • Stock-and-flow diagram
  • Causal-loop diagram
  • System dynamics software packages

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Results of Beer Game Trials Played by Natural Resource Managers Versus Students: Does Age Influence Ordering Decisions?
Systems 2020, 8(4), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems8040037 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1145
Abstract
Systems involving agriculture and natural resources (AGNR) management and representing integrations of biologic, geologic, socio-economic, and climatic characteristics are incredibly complex. AGNR managers purport using a systems-oriented mental model while many observed management and policy strategies remain linear or symptom-driven. To improve AGNR [...] Read more.
Systems involving agriculture and natural resources (AGNR) management and representing integrations of biologic, geologic, socio-economic, and climatic characteristics are incredibly complex. AGNR managers purport using a systems-oriented mental model while many observed management and policy strategies remain linear or symptom-driven. To improve AGNR professionals’ systems thinking abilities, two programs, the King Ranch® Institute for Ranch Management at Texas A&M University-Kingsville (KRIRM) and the Honors College at South Dakota State University (SDSUHC), implemented the famous Production Distribution Simulation Game (a.k.a. the Beer Game) into their programs beginning in 2003 and 2011. A Beer Game database consisting of 10 years of trials or over 270 individual players was compared to seminal work in the literature as well as to one another. We found that AGNR managers and students performed worse than players in a seminal Beer Game study. More interestingly, we found that younger players adapted more readily to inventory surpluses by reducing the order rates and effective inventories significantly when compared to older players (p < 0.10 for retailer and distributors, and p < 0.05 for wholesales and factories). We substantiated our results to those in more recent studies of age-related decision-making and in the context of common learning disabilities. Lastly, we discuss some implications of such decision-making on 21st century AGNR problems and encourage AGNR disciplines to better integrate system dynamics-based education and collaboration in order to better prepare for such complex issues. Full article
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Article
Leveraging Quasi-Experimental Methods to Estimate Model Structure: Understanding School Funding Changes in Response to Court Orders
Systems 2020, 8(3), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems8030025 - 27 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1291
Abstract
We discuss an approach to using the event study, a common experimental design in the social sciences, to parameterize delays and develop other insights into system structure. We show a step-by-step process for undertaking a delay event study, discuss some of the conceptual [...] Read more.
We discuss an approach to using the event study, a common experimental design in the social sciences, to parameterize delays and develop other insights into system structure. We show a step-by-step process for undertaking a delay event study, discuss some of the conceptual reasons that this provides information about the delay, and illustrate the process for a typical example. We find evidence that school funding changes following court orders do not adjust quickly, and likely follow a higher-order, as opposed to a first-order, delay process. Our tests also suggest that school district budget makers appear to forecast revenue pessimistically, contributing an additional source of delay to the system. Full article
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Article
A Complex Systems Analysis of the Water-Energy Nexus in Malaysia
Systems 2020, 8(2), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/systems8020019 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
Water security plays a crucial role in maintaining livelihoods, especially emerging economies. In Malaysia, understanding the inter-relationships of water within the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is at its infancy. This paper investigates the interactions of the water sector with energy sector in Malaysia, through [...] Read more.
Water security plays a crucial role in maintaining livelihoods, especially emerging economies. In Malaysia, understanding the inter-relationships of water within the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is at its infancy. This paper investigates the interactions of the water sector with energy sector in Malaysia, through the lenses of WEF nexus, using system dynamics. The first part of the research involves qualitative interviews with key stakeholders in the water sectors, which provides validation for the initial causal loop relationships built and qualitative inputs of the water-energy nexus through the lenses of the water sector. The second part of the research is a quantitative simulation of stock and flow based on four carefully designed scenarios revolving around Malaysian water security. Key findings include an apparent disconnect between the states and federal governments in managing water supply, poor economic sustainability of the water supply and services industry, and significant energy use in the water sector. On the other hand, environmental impacts stemming from the water sector is minimal. Streamlining water governance and revising water tariffs have thus been suggested as policy recommendations, where their implementation could propagate into downstream benefits for the energy sector. Full article
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