Placeholder canvas
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Go Home


The SDM-Doc tool was developed by the Decision and Infrastructure Sciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory, and was inspired by Oliva’s (2002) work on HTML model documentation.

For a description of the tool and its purpose, see:

SDM-Doc is provided under a BSD open source license.

The SDM-Doc tool is a standalone Java program that reads a system dynamics model in Vensim .mdl format, analyzes the model for a specific set of attributes, and generates an HTML-formatted file viewable on standard web browsers such as Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. The ability to read XMILE-formatted models is currently under development and the version available for download on this webpage is capable of reading XMILE-formatted models and analyzing and reporting on a subset of the available features within XMILE. There are no guarantees on the correctness of the analysis and output at this point.

SDM-Doc/Java Version 1.4.7 (October 12, 2021)

The SDM-Doc tool analyzes and reports on (but not limited to):

  • Counts by variable type.
  • Counts by variable characteristics.
  • View diagrams.
  • Automatic loop discovery.
  • Detailed listing of each variable with: equation, units, comment, used by, views, summary loop statistics, thumbnail results of baseline model run (provided model is executable. Multiple groupings by variable type are presented.
  • Detailed loop statistics by variable.
  • Loop lists.
  • Variable Link details.
  • Link Polarities.
  • Units used.
  • Endogenous variable analysis.
  • Exogenous variable analysis.

The generated HTML report uses hyperlinks to allow for quick navigation through the report. SDM-Doc does support languages other than English when translation files have been registered with the tool. Currently, partial translations are available for Japanese and Spanish. Users can provide translations through SDM-Doc-generated Word file that are edited and loaded into the tool.

SDM-Doc also provides a suite of tools that can be applied to system dynamics models in Vensim .mdl format. These tools provide the ability to:

  •  Extract and Replace Comments: The comment field for each variable is extracted and written to a Microsoft Word file. Word is used to edit the comments within the model. The contents of the Word file is then loaded and a new version of the model is written to a file with the edited comments.
  • Extract and Replace Variables Names: The variable names are extracted and written to a Word file. Word is used to make any changes to the names of existing variables. Then the Word file is loaded and a new version of the model is written to a file with the updated variables.
  • Adjacency Matrix to Map Conversion: A formatted adjacency matrix is read and converted into a map of the variables.
  • Run Loop Length Analysis: A standalone version of loop analysis is performed and report generated. 

The software is distributed as a Zip file. Simply download the Zip file appropriate for you operating system and extract the files onto your computer. Executable scripts are provided for running the tool.

Download the Windows-specific 64 bit environment Zip file here.

Download the Windows-specific 32 bit environment Zip file here.

Download the Unix-specific Zip file here. Note that the Unix-specific Zip does not include jre.

Download the latest SDM-Doc/Java User Guide here Note: a new version will be available shortly.

Download the latest SDM-Doc/Java Source Code here.


To provide feedback and for more information please contact:

Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano, Ph.D.

Argonne National Laboratory

(630) 252-8824