This module provides an introduction to systems analysis and system dynamics. It illustrates the importance of systems analysis for understanding today’s complex problems and developing infrastructure-related solutions. It then moves on to introduce system dynamics, one of the modelling schools used in the SAVi methodology. The module concludes with information on how the system dynamics models for the different asset types were built.
The module also includes training model files for each asset type. They require using the Vensim software, which can be downloaded for free here.
The module covers the following topics:
- What is Systems Analysis and System Dynamics modelling? This presentation focuses on the characteristics of systems analysis and system dynamics modeling. It explains why these tools are important for dealing with complexity, such as those surrounding the development of sustainable infrastructure.
- How do you build a Causal Loop Diagram? This presentation explains the process for designing a causal loop diagram with Vensim. These diagrams are an important component of systems dynamics modelling.
- System Dynamics Training Models. These training models include a series of Vensim files, organized per asset type. It provides guidance for their use. We have also prepared a guide on installing and using Vensim, as well as an overview of the key features of the SAVi Vensim file. An explanatory video is also available for viewing.
The objectives of this module are to:
- Introduce systems analysis and system dynamics modelling
- Illustrate how causal loop diagrams can be designed
- Provide basic system dynamics training models for each asset type
3. Suggested Background Reading and Videos
Videos on the green economy and the use of system dynamics:
Books and videos on system dynamics:
- Probst, G. & Bassi, A.M. 2014. Tackling Complexity. A Systemic Approach for Decision Makers. Greenleaf Publishing. Available at: https://www.crcpress.com/Tackling-Complexity-A-Systemic-Approach-for-Decision-Makers/Probst-Bassi/p/book/9781783530816
- Meadows, D. 2008. Thinking in Systems: A Primer. Chelsea Green Publishing.https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/thinking-in-systems/
- System dynamics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnTwZVviXyY