Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

System Dynamics Applied to Operations and Policy Decisions

  • J.C.R. Hunt (a1) (a2), Y. Timoshkina (a2), P. J. Baudains (a2) and S.R. Bishop (a2)
Abstract

This paper reviews how concepts and techniques of system dynamics are being applied in new ways to analyse the operations and formation of artificial and societal systems and then to make decisions about them. The ideas and modelling methods to describe natural and technological systems are mostly reductionist (or ‘bottom-up’) and based on general scientific principles, with ad-hoc elements for any particular system. But very complex and large systems involving science, technology and society, whose complete descriptions and predictions are impossible, can still be designed, controlled and managed using the methods of system dynamics, where they are focused on the outputs of the system in relation to the input data available, and relevant external influences. For many complex systems with uncertain behaviour, their models typically combine concepts and methods of bottom-up system dynamics with statistical modelling of past or analogous data and optimization of outputs. System dynamics that has been generalized by advances in mathematical, scientific and technological research over the past 50 years, together with new approaches to the use of data and ICT, has led to powerful qualitative verbal and schematic concepts as well as improved quantitative methods, both of which have been shown to be of great assistance to decisions, notably about different types of uncertainty and erratic behaviour. This approach complements traditional decision-making methods, by introducing greater clarity about the process, as well as providing new techniques and general concepts for initial analysis, system description – using data in non-traditional ways – and finally analysis and prediction of the outcomes, especially in critical situations where system behaviour cannot be analysed by traditional decision-making methods. The scientific and international acceptance of system methods can make decision-making less implicit, and with fewer cultural assumptions. Topical examples of systems and decision-making are given.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2. M. Gardner (1970) Mathematical games: the fantastic combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game ‘Life’. Scientific American, 223, pp. 120123.

5. H. Poincare (1905) The principles of mathematical physics. Reprinted from The Monist, 15(1).

13. R. Gray and P. Robinson (2009) Stability of random brain networks with excitatory and inhibitory connections. Neurocomputing, 72(7–9), pp. 18491858.

19. N. M. Ferguson , C. A. Donnelly and R. M. Anderson (2001) The foot-and-mouth epidemic in Great Britain: pattern of spread and impact of interventions. Science, 292(5519), pp. 11551160.

22. V. Vernadsky (1998 [1926]) The Biosphere (New York: Copernicus Springer-Verlag).

26. A. Barrat , M. Barthelemy , R. Pastor-Satorras and A. Vespignani (2004) The architecture of complex weighted networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(11), p. 3747.

28. P. Healy and K. Palepu (2003) The fall of Enron. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(2), pp. 326.

30. J. England , J. Agarwal and D. Blockley (2008) The vulnerability of structures to unforeseen events. Computers and structures, 86(10), 10421051.

32. C. Z. Greeves , V. D. Pope , R. A. Stratton and G. M. Martin (2006) Representation of Northern Hemisphere winter storm tracks in climate models. Climate Dynamics, 28(7–8), pp. 683702.

33. J. F. B. Mitchell , R. A. Davis , W. J. Ingram and C. A. Senior (1995) On surface temperature, greenhouse gases, and aerosols: models and observations. Journal of Climate, 8, pp. 23642386.

34. P. Angeloudis and D. Fisk (2006) Large subway systems as complex networks. Physica A, 367, pp. 553558.

35. L. Stuyt (2006) Design and performance of materials for subsurface drainage systems in agriculture. Agricultural Water Management, 86(1–2), pp. 5059.

41. T. C. Schelling (1971) Dynamics models of segregation. Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 1(2), pp. 143186.

45. H. Perfahl , M. Byrne , T. Chen , V. Estrella , T. Alarcon , A. Lapin , R. Gatenby , R. Gillies , C. Lloyd , P. Maini , M. Reuss and M. Owen (2011) Multiscale modelling of vascular tumour growth in 3D: the roles of domain size and boundary conditions. PLoS ONE, 6(4), p. e14790.

49. P. T. Saunders (1980) Introduction to Catastrophe Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

52. M. Lighthill and G. Whitham (1955) On kinematic waves. II: A theory of traffic flow on long crowded roads. Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 229(1178), pp. 317345.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

European Review
  • ISSN: 1062-7987
  • EISSN: 1474-0575
  • URL: /core/journals/european-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 2
Total number of PDF views: 13 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 128 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 26th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.