Workshop Listings
Reykjavík, Iceland ◊ August 10, 2018

Click here to see the workshop schedule.

(3983) Feedback Rich Model Construction with Powersim Studio by Leonard Malczynski
This workshop will be an introduction to building system dynamics models using Powersim Studio. The workshop is intended for people who are relatively new to the field or do not have experience using Studio. The session will be conducted as a hands-on workshop and will demonstrate basic techniques for building and analyzing, stock and flow diagrams and simple simulation models. It will also point out some of the advanced Studio features such as arrays, user interface tools, VB scripting, and the powerful Studio interactive development environment (IDE). Sample models will be available. A free version of Studio can be obtained here. In addition a free 30 day license with complete functionality can be found here. Remember DO NOT INSTALL this version more than 30 days before the workshop!

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop with a version of Powersim Studio (Express, Demo, or own license). Advanced Reading: link. Level: Everyone. Link: powersim.com


(5032) SD reporting: the practitioner's approach by Michel Kuijer and Arjen Ros
Basic starting point of this workshop is applying System Dynamics in the working processes of organisations e.g. for support in making their decisions and/or improving the substantiation/transparency of their decisions. To make this work in practice it is necessary for the employees of those organisations that they are involved in the development of the model to make it their models (ownership) on which they can rely in preparing and making decisions. Different types of users in organisations can be recognized like the real users of the models, the management and the management board. They all have to be involved and informed about the model development process and have to be able to give their input.

This requires SD reporting (i.e. visualization, presentation and communication) capabilities of the system dynamics software tools through which every type of users can communicate with the model on its own level of detail. Furthermore it requires user-interface and dahsboarding capabilities (e.g. like Business Intelligence) for easy-to-use application.

In this workshop we will present our experiences in this field and want to share these with the participants. Also we want to exchange thoughts with the participants to specify 'Practitioner's requirements to SD reporting' as result of the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Enthusiasm; Willingness and curiosity for applying SD/practitioner's approach. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Everyone.


(4960 & 3987) Introduction to the Loop Impact Method of Feedback Dominance Analysis by John Hayward
A central premise of system dynamics is that dynamical behaviour can be explained by model structure, especially its feedback loops. For example, the familiar S-shaped growth of the limits-to-growth archetype is explained using shifting loop dominance. Although such an explanation appears clear, what is less clear is how a loop is quantified, how dominance is defined, and what aspect of dynamical behaviour is being explained. These issues become more pronounced as the number of variables and feedback loops increases.

This workshop will introduce participants to the Loop Impact Method of feedback dominance analysis. In the first session participants will explore a number of models using the method’s definitions of behaviour, structure and dominance, and compare them with their own understanding of the model’s behaviour and structure. Participants will be encouraged to work in groups and share ideas. Models will be accessed using the isee exchange web platform. 

In the second session participants will learn how to implement the Loop Impact method by adapting standard models in Stella Architect. A variety of models will be available to accommodate participants’ expertise.  Participants should bring their own laptop. A conference edition of Stella will be provided.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop, either Windows or Mac. Advanced Reading: No preparation required. An awareness of (rather than familiarity with) the paper: “Model Behaviour and the Concept of Loop Impact: A Practical Method,” System Dynamics Review, 30(1). Level: Everyone.


(5029 & 3334) Introduction to System Dynamics by Rebecca Niles
In this 3 hour workshop, participants will engage in a highly interactive introduction to System Dynamics. After participation in a group juggling experience, participants will apply both conventional and systems thinking approaches to improve performance. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of behavior charts, feedback loops, causal loop mapping, stocks and flows diagrams, and computer modeling. Participants will ultimately see how causal maps and computer simulation can be used to identify more effective strategies. The idea that structure drives behavior, the counter-intuitive nature of systems, and the concept of leverage will all be explored in this simple, yet powerful example of the strength of System Dynamics.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Advanced Reading: No preparation required. (Link)  Level: Beginner.


(5027 & 3988) Raising the uptake and impact of system dynamics teaching and training by Kim Warren
This workshop is for anyone, in any application domain, who teaches or trains adults to build system dynamics models - or who wishes to do so. It will consider both degree-course education and short-course training for in-work participants.

Achieving high recognition and uptake of any innovation requires an informed audience who understand what the method can do, but also a population of people who can do it! Skilled teachers and trainers of system dynamics modeling have much experience of tackling this latter challenge, and therefore much to share for the benefit of all.

This will be a participatory workshop, in which the 'input' will come from the participants. We will seek to identify and share best-practices for the various phases of the process - winning participants to the training in the first place, achieving fast and effective understanding of the modeling skill, and supporting continued learning and experience. The workshop will also provide an opportunity for the sharing of specific teaching material - a syllabus, exercises, models and so on - by anyone willing to do so.

Requirements: Participants should bring: No requirements. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Intermediate.


(5028) Enabling Collaborative Governance through Systems Modeling: Chapter Development  by Eliot Rich
We hope to convene a group of like-focused system dynamicists at the ISDC who wish to collaborate in the development of a new book on collaborative governance and the use of SD and related techniques. The book proposal, edited by Carmine Bianchi, Luis Luna-Reyes, and Eliot Rich, has been accepted as part of the Springer Series on "System Dynamics for Performance Measurement. The call is available at: http://ced4.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ENABLING-COLLABORATIVE-GOVERNANCE.pdf. We would like to set up a workshop morning where we can gather potential authors and develop our planned contents and scope.

Requirements: Participants should bring: No requirements. Advanced Reading: link. Level: Everyone.


(5031) Teaching Students to Create Original SD Models in a Ten-Week Course by Diana Fisher
This workshop is for instructors who want to incorporate a System Dynamics (SD) model building component into their curriculum, for their students, but do not have the luxury of spending an entire academic year or even an entire academic semester trying to build up the skills students need to in order to build a relatively small original model that has somewhat interesting dynamics. This workshop will provide a sequence of topics that have worked well for a ten-week environmental science modeling course scheduled in a computer lab twice a week, for 110 minutes each time. Students enter the course with no background in System Dynamics modeling. The course is an undergraduate junior level (3rd year) course for students from any discipline. Students (in pairs) are expected to select a dynamic problem to study in the 5th week of the term, build a working model, write a relatively short technical paper, and present the model to the class by the end of the ten-week term. The approach could be used as a course on SD model building in a particular discipline or as part of a course for which SD model building is designated as a significant component.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Intermediate.


(5030) Teaching Pre-College Secondary School Educators, Parents, and SD Advocates System Dynamics Using Stella Online by Diana Fisher
This hands-on workshop will introduce beginning System Dynamics (SD) modeling techniques for Pre-College educators, interested parents, and SD advocates who would like to start their students on the path of building SD models to understand systemic behavior. It is assumed the participants have no experience building SD models. Participants should bring a laptop or tablet to the workshop. (Smartphones work if you have good eyesight and nimble fingers.) The SD modeling software is available free on the Internet so there is no cost for teachers/parents/advocates or schools interested in beginning this very interesting (and important) journey using SD computer modeling to learn how systems behave. There are a significant number of small models that can be built with the free SD software, but we will have time to build only a few. Web resources for additional lessons will be identified.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop or computer tablet. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Beginner.


(5033 & 3993) Experiencing Systems Kinesthetically and Virtually by Diana Fisher
How can system dynamics begin to infuse educational systems in ways that directly relate to what students are learning in school? This workshop creates a space for participants (both novices and experts) to try some different ways to learn and teach basic system dynamics concepts. Whether you are a teacher who would like to see what’s possible in your classroom or a professional who would like to bring this work to your local school, this workshop explores ways to introduce anyone, young or old, to the concepts of accumulations, rates of change, feedback, and dynamics. Through games and kinesthetic experience, you’ll get your hands and minds into exploring systems concepts and tools in the simplest possible way, while considering connections to learning goals and implementation. Please bring a laptop, tablet or phone to the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop, tablet or large smartphone. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Beginner.


(3341) Getting Started with Stella and Stella Online by Robert Eberlein
Stella is the original visual environment for building and understanding System Dynamics models. In addition to Windows and Macintosh versions Stella is also available directly in modern browsers such as Chrome. In this workshop we will guide participants through the construction and understanding of models using Stella on either the desktop or the browser. We will work through the basic mechanics of setting up and using the software and then together build and analyze a simple model. Participants will learn the mechanics of using the software including constructing a diagram and connecting everything together to create a simulating model. We will explore the use of custom graphs and the use of Stella Live to gain insights into model behavior. Participants should bring their own computers or tablets. For those with Macintosh or Windows computers we will install software for use during the workshop and demonstrate moving between the online and desktop environments.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Computer or tablet. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Everyone. Link: iseesystems.com


(3234) Managing Complexity with Stella by Robert Eberlein
This workshop is designed for people with some experience with Stella or those who have completed the first Stella Professional workshop It will cover some of the more advanced modeling techniques supported by Stella including the use of modules to manage more complex models and the use of arrays to deal with situations in which the same structure can be used to represent a number of different agents or occurrences. Time permitting, we will also show how to bring data into models and different options for controlling scenarios from both outside and within the software. We will cover a number of useful techniques for navigating within larger models in order to understand the sources of observed behavior. Participants should bring their own computers, either Macintosh or Windows, and we will install the software for use during the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Windows or Macintosh computer. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Intermediate. Link: iseesystems.com


(3214) Optimization and Sensitivity with Stella by Robert Eberlein
Stella has long been known for its ease of use, and we have now extended that support a full range of optimization options including localized search and global search using genetic algorithms. In this workshop we will work through the process of setting up and performing sensitivity runs and optimizations, and show how the two can be combined. The workshop is intended for people with some experience with Stella, or those that have taken the first two Stella workshops. Attendees will learn the basic mechanics of optimization and see that value it can bring in understanding systems and the models that represent them. The teaching will be done using a series of sample models that provide insights into the optimization process and its strengths and weaknesses. Participants should bring their own computers, either Macintosh or Windows, and we will install the software for use during the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Windows or Macintosh computer. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Intermediate. Link: iseesystems.com


(3342) Creating Multiplayer Interfaces and Games with Stella by Robert Eberlein
Multiplayer games allow different people to engage, cooperatively or competitively, with one another in the context of a working simulation model. In this workshop users will be taken through the process of conceptualizing, creating and deploying a multiplayer game. Starting from a prebuilt model, with a working interface, attendees will be taken through the process of modifying the model and interface to support multiplayer gaming. The model and interface will then be published so that participants can test out and play the published games. Participants should bring their own computers (Windows or Macintosh). We will install the workshop version of Stella Architect so that attendees can work through the development and publication process.


Requirements: Participants should bring: Windows or Macintosh computer. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Everyone. Link: iseesystems.com


(5026) The Cyber Security Game - Red versus Blue by Sander Zeijlemaker
The red versus blue game clearly shows how cyber security is connected to both the core business and the finance function of an organisation. This game is an excellent way to help the non-specialist understand the impact and importance of cyber security today. The red versus blue game has been built by using system dynamics methodology.

Requirements: Participants should bring: None. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Everyone.


(5025 & 4003) Multiscale modeling and simulation method for policy making by Reza Hesan
During the last decades, Energy, water, and even health system studies have shown a paradigm shift toward the more integrated models which can give a holistic view of these systems. This paradigm shift questions the traditional boundaries of sectors and disciplines. Many of the parameters which are traditionally considered as exogenous parameters are taken as variables inside the boundary of these systems. Computational modeling and simulation is a promising approach for conducting an integrated study. However, there are some difficulties in conducting integrated modeling practices. One of the main issues which degrade the merit of the integrated models is the fact that these models can easily become very complex. In this workshop, we present the multiscale modeling and simulation method which take advantage of two strategies to manage the complexity of integrated models: first, multiscale hierarchical structuring of the integrated models which gives an effective modular structure to these models. Second, using hybrid simulation combining System Dynamics modeling, Agent-based modeling, and Discrete-event Simulation to manage the number of parameters and relationships involved in an integrated model. In this workshop, we introduce the MSSIM software which is used to develop spatial explicit multiscale models.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Intermediate. Link: multiscalelab.com


(5024) Model confidence building using the PySD testing battery by Stefan Katz
The testing battery is an easy to use tool that runs several tests in a standardized manner over one or multiple models. This allows modelers to find formulation errors, behavioral anomalies and provides insights for possible scenario and policy analysis.

Currently the following tests are included: Equilibrium: This test sets the model to equilibrium to evaluate whether the behavior is endogenously driven; Sensitivity: This test runs a set of sensitivity tests and presents the behavior of the model in various ways to evaluate the sensitivity runs; Switches: This test runs the model with all possible switch settings and presents the results for evaluation; Monte Carlo: This test runs Monte Carlo simulations on all exogenous variables and presents the results for interpretation; and Time step: This test evaluates the time step and provides a recommendation for the choice of time step.

The objective is to provide a self-executing version of the testing battery by August, which would allow anyone the install it without needing any advanced knowledge of Python or PySD.

Currently only .mdl and PySD compatible models can be tested. Xmile compatibility will be provided in time for the conference.

Beta versions of the testing battery will be provided during the conference. Due to the time intensive nature of some of the tests, participants are invited to run the battery ahead of the workshop. I can provide assistance for that during the conference.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop, own models. Advanced Reading: None. Level: Everyone. Link: github.com/kaetze66/tb_pysd


(5023) System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc) by Ignacio Martinez-Moyano
In order to increase model transparency through enhanced documentation and assessment, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) developed the System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc). SDM-Doc enables modelers to create practical, efficient, HTML-based model documentation and that provides customizable model assessments. The model documentation created by the SDM-Doc tool allows modelers to navigate through model equations and model views in an efficient and practical way creating documentation of the model sorted by variable name, type of variable, group, view, module, module/group/name, and variable of interest. Additionally, model tests are performed allowing modelers and reviewers of models to gain confidence in fundamental characteristics of model structure. The latest version of the documentation and assessment tool, its use, and the different assessments included in the tool will be presented. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to be able to use the tool during the workshop. The tool is accessible at https://www.systemdynamics.org/SDM-doc.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop is desired. Advanced Reading: Martinez-Moyano, I. J. (2012), Documentation for model transparency. System Dynamics Review, 28: 199–208. Level: Everyone.


(5022 & 4007) Agritopia - Agriculture and Land Use Policy Simulator by Rebecca Niles
Participants will experience The Agritopia Game which uses the Agriculture and Land Policy Simulator (ALPS), a simulator based upon system dynamics models currently being developed by Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P) and Climate Interactive to engage stakeholders in discussions about policy in Morocco and Ethiopia. Participants will assume the role of one of six interest groups (food security, economic growth, crop yield maximization, climate action, forestry, and water) and negotiate the agricultural policy of a fictional African country. Participants will explore the tradeoffs inherent in various policies and understand the challenge of negotiating a viable path forward. The experience is currently under development and participants will have an opportunity to shape its future by providing feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop (useful for participants who would like to use the simulator). Advanced Reading: Link. Level: Everyone.


(5021 & 4008) Scriptapedia for an Evolving Group Model Building Community of Practice by Ellis Ballard
This workshop introduces participants to the most recent version of Scriptapedia, an online Wikibook for designing scripted GMB workshops. This workshop introduces participants to the most recent iteration of Scriptapedia, an online Wikibook for collecting and sharing GMB workshops. Scriptapedia is a creative commons licensed platform containing over 40 documented scripts from across the community of practicing group model building practitioners, and includes versions in both English and in Chinese. Scriptapedia allows users to design single and multiple session GMB workshops and share emerging innovations as practice evolves. Participants will get an introduction to the most recent design philosophy underlying scripted GMB workshops and how to use Scriptapedia to design GMB workshops as standalone interventions or in the context of system dynamics modeling projects. Participants will be given a “hands on” opportunity to walk through the development and contribution of new scripts, as well as the design of a GMB workshop illustrating some key design considerations including script selection, modeling and facilitation team capabilities, and script adaptation for participant and workshop context.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Level: Everyone. Link: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Scriptapedia


(5020) Getting Started with Vensim by Thomas Fiddaman
This hands-on workshop will provide a quick introduction to modeling with Vensim. The primary purpose is to obtain technical proficiency with the software - building diagrams, writing and checking equations, running models and displaying output. However, in the process, we will work with interesting, classic models that demonstrate growth and decay, nonlinearity and shifting loop dominance and other interesting phenomena. As time permits and governed by the interest of participants, we will also cover modeling discrete events, stochastic behavior, tipping points and/or crafting good behavioral decision rules.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop with Vensim DSS or PLE. Advanced Preparation: Download and install Vensim PLE, or arrive early to install a demo version of Vensim DSS. Level: Everyone. Link: vensim.com


(5019) Calibration & Optimization with Vensim by Thomas Fiddaman
In this hands-on workshop we will explore model calibration in Vensim, using the optimizer. To get some insight into the fundamentals of the process, we will begin with a discussion of likelihood and hand calibrate a model, using synthetic data. Then we will repeat the process, using the built-in functionality of Vensim. Finally, we will illustrate a variety of advanced techniques: Poisson and Bernoulli distributions that arise with individual or event data, state estimation with Kalman filtering, Markov Chain Monte Carlo and Bayesian estimation with priors.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop with Vensim Pro or DSS (trial provided). Advanced Preparation: Arrive early to install a demo version of Vensim DSS. Level: Intermediate. Link: vensim.com


(5018) Getting Started with Ventity by Thomas Fiddaman
This is a hands-on introduction to a new platform for system dynamics modeling that supports detailed and object oriented modeling while preserving attractive features of existing tools, including a completely declarative language with a graphical representation. We will introduce the software and new concepts, including collections of entities, attributes, relationships, aggregation and allocation functions, and actions. Features facilitate modularity and collaboration, provide a more natural description of detail than arrays, and solve sparse matrix problems. It has application to both traditional system dynamics, with modular sectors, and to agent based modeling.

This unit will cover simple simulation tasks and capabilities of Ventity, including use of entities for detail, multiple runs, charting, and simple interface construction.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop, with Windows or an emulator. Advanced Preparation: If possible, install Ventity in advance (free trial license from link). Level: Beginner. Link: ventity.biz


(5017) Ventity II – Concepts by Thomas Fiddaman
This is a hands-on introduction to a new platform for system dynamics modeling that supports detailed and object oriented modeling while preserving attractive features of existing tools, including a completely declarative language with a graphical representation. We will introduce the software and new concepts, including collections of entities, attributes, relationships, aggregation and allocation functions, and actions. Features facilitate modularity and collaboration, provide a more natural description of detail than arrays, and solve sparse matrix problems. It has application to both traditional system dynamics, with modular sectors, and to agent based modeling.

This section will cover more advanced concepts in Ventity. In particular, we'll discuss changes in mindset needed to fully exploit Ventity's modularity, agent-based modeling, and how to make decisions about "what goes where." The content will be somewhat standalone, so attendees who can't make the first session should be able to function with minimal familiarity with Ventity.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop, with Windows or an emulator. Advanced Preparation: If possible, install Ventity in advance (free trial license from link). Level: Intermediate. Link: ventity.biz


(5016) Starting from scratch: Habits and practices for better model construction by Leonard Malczynski
Analysis of models submitted to the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society shows a prevalent lack of basic model construction skills. Lessons from many years of model building and many years of analyzing other people's models may be useful to beginner and intermediate modelers. In the session we will work from a blank slate in three modeling software platforms after describing some basic habits and practices for good model construction. We will also speak to the steps in analyzing other people's model using checklists. The goal will be to develop good practice that will lead to defensible models from a 'well-constructed' viewpoint. We will also discuss the body of knowledge and models that can be re-used and that will give you a head start on great model construction. Finally we will examine the Personal Model Construction process, a nod to the software engineering Personal Software Process.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop with their system dynamics software loaded. Advanced Preparation: None. Level: Everyone.


(5015) Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter by Michael Bean
Forio Epicenter provides templates that makes it easy to produce an online simulation that works on both laptop computers and smartphones.

Forio Epicenter allows you to create an interface so users can interact with your Vensim, Powersim, or Stella Pro model online. Forio can host your simulation for you, and the platform also has the ability to integrate with your existing IT infrastructure, making it enterprise-compatible. Forio Epicenter provides tiered control for tens or thousands of users.

During this workshop, we will start with an introduction to Epicenter and sample interactive online models. Then we’ll divide the workshop into two parts. In the first part, we will teach you how to get your Vensim, Stella Pro, or Powersim model on Epicenter so it can be shared. In the second part, we’ll focus on creatinga user interface for your model.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Advanced Preparation: None. Level: Everyone. Link: forio.com