System Dynamics Calculator

System Dynamics Calculator

An Introduction to System Dynamics Models

Basic Calculator Architectures

The User Interface

Help

Security, Localization and Personalization

Software Versioning and Maintenance

Conventional Calculator Functionality

Unbounded Stocks

Modeled Stocks

Unrestricted Flows

Modeled Flows

Unconstrained Transformers

Modeled Transformers

Production Factories

Finance Factories

Analysis Factories

Optimization Factories

Finance Factory Package

Analysis Factory Package

Natural Science Factories

Physical Science Factories

Abstraction Layers, Fragments and Scripts

Mathematical, JAVA Strict Math and fdLibM (IEEE 754) Functions

Financial Functions

Statistical Functions

Physical and Chemical Functions (this section requires additional work)

Date and Time Functions

Other Functions

Basic Drawing Functions

Basic Model Building Functions

Defining Model Relationships

File Import and Export Functions

Loading a Model to Simulate

Defining the Model Simulation

Basic Simulator Control Strip Functions

Structural Model Errors

Calculations

Corrections

Thresholding

Error Detection and Reporting

Summarization

Indicators

Animation

Graphs and Tables

Pictures and Movies

File Import / Export Features

Appendix: The Modeling Process

The Personal Finance Model

Entities Kept and Measured

Flows Between the Entities

Internal and External Data Sources

ABSTRACT: This document describes a System Dynamics Calculator – an entirely new “visual” approach to computing for ordinary people. “Systems Thinking” and System Dynamics (SD) are traditional analysis and model simulation methods to gain insight into complex problems with a number of interacting dynamic factors. SD is used to simulate commodity market behavior that might result from global conflict for example. While SD provides insight into which factors have the greatest impact in a model, it does not solve problems. Also, its application is currently limited to a relatively small group of specially trained professionals. SD has the potential for many more to accomplish much more – but not with the current methods and tools.

The System Dynamics Calculator is a proposed software-based tool that will enable people who are unfamiliar with SD to solve a variety of complex problems and get real answers instead of just insights. The calculator will run on a broad range of computers from a desktop PC to a handheld touch screen device. This calculator represents a significant improvement over SD methods in use today with visual cues and an array of analysis tools that augment conventional SD techniques to give real answers. The calculator does not require comprehensive knowledge from the user to describe a problem or explore a solution. Unlike current SD tools, it can directly access and incorporate web-based information on the fly. An iPhone, G Phone or Pre owner running the System Dynamics Calculator application would be able to calculate the change to their 401K deduction necessary to be able to afford improved medical insurance and a new car, and then immediately see what the likely impact to their planned retirement date would be. In order to realize the greatest benefits of the System Dynamics Calculator, the adoption of model methods by an international standards body will be required in order to utilize models from multiple sources that are not proprietary or parochial. Easy access and use, a variety of readily available calculator models and data sets online, and compatibility with already purchased hardware platforms will bring this sophisticated problem solving tool to a significant percentage of the population to get answers to real problems from the trivial to the life-impacting.