# System Dynamics Modeling and Analysis

## Objectives and Content

This course is an introduction to system dynamics modeling and analysis of non-linear, dynamic systems with emphasis on the relationship between system structure and behavior. Students learn to build, simulate and test models of social, natural, and hybrid systems, to analyze the structural causes of dynamic problems. The students gain a deep understanding of the intimate relationship between structure and behavior in complex, dynamic systems, i.e., how structure gives rise to behavior and how the resulting behavior may feed back to change the relative significance of the structural components of the system. This enables the students to analyze dynamic problems and to develop and evaluate solutions of their own choice to mitigate the problems. The students will learn how to translate qualitative and mathematical models (e.g., Adam Smith's theory of converging rewards, Robert Solow's model of economic growth, etc.) into system dynamics models, expose them to further scrutiny, and prepare them for formal testing and analysis. The students also learn to distill the essence of a modeling experience and to communicate their analysis and design conclusions in the form of summary reports.

## Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

Knowledge

The student

• Develops reference modes of behavior for a dynamic problem;
• Formulates dynamic hypotheses that involve feedback loops to explain the reference modes of behavior;
• Translates the dynamic hypotheses into system dynamics models;
• Formulates human decision and physical rules including nonlinear relationships;
• Explains the relationship between structure and dynamic behavior in non-linear systems;
• Explains the shifts in the dominance of a system's feedback loops; and,
• Identifies and applies important and widely used generic structures to common issues in different application areas.

Skills

The student

• Applies their knowledge of system dynamics modeling in a series of problems that will be presented in class;
• Recognizes dynamic patterns of problem behavior and the corresponding underlying structures;
• Investigates the turbulent dynamics arising from an underlying, non-linear structure by way of computer-based modeling and simulation;
• Makes judgements about how well a model structure contributes to the explanation of an observed or hypothesized dynamic behavior; and,
• Distinguishes the solutions that improve the system's dynamic behavior from those that deteriorate it.

General competence

The student

• Writes convincing reports of their modeling, simulation, and analysis activities;
• Distills the essence of their insights and present it in the form of system diagrams and accompanying summary explanation;
• Recognizes scientific literature in the field of system dynamics;
• Identifies materials and resources for further development as a skilled modeler, problem evaluator, and policy designer; and,
• Determines pathways for further system dynamics modeling.

10 ECTS

Master

## Semester of Instruction

Autumn
Required Previous Knowledge
None
Recommended Previous Knowledge
GEO-SD302 or other adequate background in modelling is strongly recommend.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
GEO-SD203 - 10 ects

The course is open for students in the master's programmes in System Dynamics.

Other students can apply if they have GEO-SD302, or other courses that provide an adequate background in System Dynamics. GEO-SD302 can be taken in the same semester.

Teaching and learning methods
The course consists of live-streamed, recorded, and stored lectures with active participation by students on introductory materials and assignments, and with classroom modeling and simulation activities both by lecturer and teaching assistants. Course meetings include lectures and labs. The exam is in the last (sixth) week of the course.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Four homework assignments.
Forms of Assessment
7 days take home exam (100% of grade).
An ECTS grade is provided to the student at the end of the course according to the A-F scale.
Assessment Semester

Autumn

Students with valid absence as defined in the UiB regulations § 5-5 can apply for an extended submission deadline. The application must be submitted before the deadline for submission has expired. Maximum one week extension.Students with valid absence as defined in the UiB regulations § 5-5 can apply for an extended submission deadline. The application must be submitted before the deadline for submission has expired. Maximum one week extension.