About System Dynamics

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About System Dynamics Methodology

System dynamics is an approach based on the idea of dealing with complex systems as a whole to investigate the behaviour that the system will demonstrate in time, by mainly focusing on the internal dynamics of the system. When analyzing systems in this aspect, the quantitative and qualitative elements that constitute the system are primarily conceptualized as stocks and flows. For instance, suppose we fill in a basin from a water tap. Then, the water from the tap would be a flow and the accumulated water in the basin would be a stock.

The most important feature of system dynamics which separates it from other methods is that it considers the feedback loops and time delays between the components of the system. The main rationale of this method is that the fundamental cause for the behaviour of a system is its internal structure. By internal structure components of the system and the causalities between them, feedback loops and time delays are meant.

Usually, the relations between the elements of the system play a dominant role in the behaviour of the system, rather than the effects of individual elements. In such cases, the constituents of the system fall short to understand the behaviour that the system demonstrates as a whole. Through system dynamics methodology, complex systems are approached with a holistic aspect, by making use of stocks, flows, feedback loops and time delays behaviours of systems are analyzed under various conditions, and an understanding about the related system is developed.