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From Text to Map: A System Dynamics Bot for Constructing Causal Loop Diagrams

May, 15 at 11 am NY | 4 pm London | 11 pm Beijing | Time Converter

From Text to Map: A System Dynamics Bot for Constructing Causal Loop Diagrams

Join us to delve into the innovative System Dynamics Bot, a tool designed to automate causal loop diagram creation from text. Learn how it performs in converting text to maps, see practical examples, and understand the challenges and solutions in its development.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Gain insight into the capabilities of large language models in system dynamics and model building.
  • Understand the effectiveness of the System Dynamics Bot in identifying key relationships within textual data.
  • Discover the challenges encountered and solutions implemented during the development of this tool.

This webinar is ideal for system dynamics practitioners, data analysts, and anyone interested in the intersection of artificial intelligence and model building. Sign up to explore how this technology can streamline your modeling processes and enhance your understanding of complex systems.

About the Presenters

Niyousha Hosseinichimeh has a PhD and a master’s degree in public administration and policy from State University of New York at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Sharif University, Iran. She is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on developing and applying methods to improve health and healthcare systems. She uses simulation models to help stakeholders improve their understanding and decision making in complex dynamic systems. She has applied system dynamics approach to diverse health issues including infant mortality, mental health, and alcohol impaired driving among teens. Her methodological contributions include expanding calibration methods for dynamic models and developing techniques for system dynamics group model building. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Ohio State Department of Health, and Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

 

Workshop: Modeling Non-Renewable Resources Dynamics

Dr. Bellam Sreenivasulu’s recent workshop about modeling the depletion of non-renewable resources was intended to enable participants to understand the problem holistically through a systems approach. First, learned to construct causal loop diagrams (feedback loops) by applying systems thinking concepts, and then learned to develop stock and flow diagrams as models for simulations to study how a system structure generates the behavior of overshoot and collapse of non-renewable resources.

Dr. Bellam Sreenivasulu led a discussion on System Dynamics modeling with a focus on non-renewable resources. He defined a system as a group of interacting, interconnected, and interdependent elements, which can be tangible or intangible, and can be classified into subsystems based on their boundaries. Sreenivas emphasized that a system is more than the sum of its parts due to emerging behaviors. He also explained the concept of systems thinking, which involves understanding the interconnections and interdependencies among variables, and highlighted the importance of identifying feedback loops. Sreenivas suggested developing systems thinking skills by understanding the dynamic behavior of a system over time using tools such as behavior over time graphs (BOTGs). He also discussed the dynamics of systems, explaining that their behaviors are often nonlinear due to feedback loops and can manifest as exponential growth or decay, goal-seeking, oscillations, overshooting and collapsing, or oscillations like an S shape. Sreenivas stressed that understanding the system structure behind these behaviors is crucial for predicting future patterns.

 

Model Components: Feedback Loops, Causal Interactions, Stocks, and Flows

Sreenivas explained the concept of feedback loops, emphasizing the importance of understanding causal interactions between variables. He elaborated on the positive and negative influences between two variables, demonstrating how an increase in one variable can lead to an increase or decrease in another. Sreenivas also discussed the concept of link polarity, which determines the direction of the causal link. He further explained the reinforcing feedback loop, which increases in a positive direction, and the balancing feedback loop, which decreases in a negative direction. Sreenivas used examples such as population growth and stress levels to illustrate these feedback loops.

Sreenivas discussed the concept of stocks and flows in causal loop diagrams. He defined a stock as something in the system that accumulates or decreases over time, while a flow is the rate at which a stock changes. He illustrated this with examples such as water levels, blood sugar levels, and vehicle sales. Sreenivas explained the principles of accumulation in stock and flow diagrams, emphasizing that the behavior of the stock is determined by inflows and outflows. He presented a stock and flow diagram for modeling and stressed the usefulness of understanding System Dynamics using two stocks and other variables.

 

Petroleum Wells System and Population Interactions

Sreenivas discussed the petroleum wells system and the extraction process, highlighting that petroleum wells are non-renewable resources with no inflow and only outflow as reserves decrease. He explained that the extraction rate is influenced by various factors and the depletion of reserves leads to a decrease in the number of petroleum wells. Sreenivas also discussed the causal loop diagram of a population system, focusing on interactions between different age groups and feedback loops. He emphasized the importance of systems thinking, the conversion of a causal diagram into a corresponding stock and flow diagram for systems modeling, and identified stocks, flows, and flow rates.

 

Petroleum Reserves Modeling Discussion

Sreenivas discussed modeling petroleum reserves extraction wells, focusing on the effects of reservation. He also explained the concept of maximum extraction per well and its unit, emphasizing that the unit of maximum extraction per well is barrels per year. Sreenivas connected the normal closing fraction and the drilling fraction to the closing and drilling wells respectively.

He also discussed the dynamic behavior of petroleum reserves and wells over a period of 25 years, highlighting their overshooting and collapsing trends. Sreenivas also shared a model to help beginner system thinkers understand how non-renewable resources deplete over time.

 

Modeling Practice in Vensim

Sreenivas provided a tutorial on converting a casual loop diagram into a stock and flow diagram. Participants were asked to watch a video on drawing a causal loop diagram and practice using the Vensim software.

Sreenivas presented the Vensim software, explaining its features and functionalities. He demonstrated the process of constructing a stock and incorporating flows within the model using the example of petroleum wells. Sreenivas also explained how to create causal links, adjust line thickness and link polarity, and indicate the direction of the loop. He further clarified how to depict reinforcing and balancing feedback loops and how to mentally visualize the invisible connections between variables.

Sreenivas provided guidance on the construction and saving of a model, stressing the importance of setting accurate time limits and time steps for precise simulation results. Sreenivas then initiated a hands-on session and guided participants on how to work with the model, emphasizing the importance of understanding and using the provided equations.

Sreenivas provided a detailed explanation on how to use data and lookup functions to generate a graph, highlighting the impacts of payroll resource and petroleum reserves on drilling fraction. Questions about data input and software capabilities were addressed, with Sreenivas confirming the software could generate a report listing all relationships depicted in the graph. Towards the end of the meeting, Sreenivas demonstrated how to use the model menu and check units, emphasizing the importance of using provided documents and data.

He demonstrated how to set equations, highlight variables, and settle units for petroleum reserves and wells. He further explained how to document the initial value and units and how to set constants like the drilling fraction and normal closing fraction. Sreenivas stressed that stock and flow variables have different types, including auxiliary variables, constants, and parameters. Toward the end, Sreenivas discussed the use of a lookup function in modeling.

 

Download Presentation

Download Model and Supporting Materials from the Workshop

Download the Software

This workshop involved modeling in Vensim PLE, the free version of the modeling software provided by Ventana Systems. Download here: https://vensim.com/free-downloads/

Pre-Work Tasks

Before attending the workshop, participants were asked to complete the PRE-WORK TASKS to ensure a productive learning experience:

  1. Watch the introductory segment (up to 10 minutes) of the video on ‘drawing causal loop diagrams (CLDs) in Vensim’ to familiarize yourself with the basics of CLD creation in Vensim. Access the video here: Vensim Causal Loop Diagramming Video.
  2. Practice drawing CLDs by replicating the example shown in the video. Once comfortable, save your version of the CLD in the ‘.mdl’ format with your name as the filename.
  3. Learn about constructing simple Stock and Flow Models in Vensim by watching the relevant video. This will provide foundational knowledge in creating stock and flow diagrams (SFD). Access the video here: Building a Simple Vensim Model.

About the Presenter

Dr. Bellam Sreenivasulu, Senior Lecturer and Resident Fellow at the Residential College-4 (RC4), National University of Singapore (NUS), holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ASTAR, ICES). He has extensive teaching experience in chemistry and applied chemistry such as supramolecular chemistry. Currently, at RC4, Dr. Bellam specializes in systems thinking and system dynamics (ST&SD) curriculum with a focus on modeling real-world complex problems concerning energy systems- sustainable energy, renewable energy, carbon emissions, etc. He also teaches topics such as “Sleep Health for Holistic Wellbeing,” applying a systems thinking approach. His educational research interests include chemistry education, ST & SD education exploring students’ learning and misconceptions in these areas.

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Dynamic Business Models for Strategic Management Accounting

Feb, 28  at 11 am NY | 4 pm London | 12 am Beijing | Time Converter

This seminar is part of our special series System Dynamics for Business Innovation with Kim Warren. A series of nine webinars offering a deep dive into the application of System dynamics in Business. The sessions will explore strategic modeling techniques and their transformative impact across different business domains, from strategic management to IT systems planning and environmental impact. This series will reveal the potential of System Dynamics as a powerful tool for business innovation and complex decision-making.

Session 2

Dynamic Business Models for Strategic Management Accounting

Overview

This session explains the aims of strategic management accounting (SMA) – giving senior leaders insight about how a business develops and performs, beyond just the financials – and the challenges faced by those trying to do so. This seminar will explain that strategic management covers many more responsibilities than simply building the business plan. It will show that Dynamic Business Models can very largely fulfill those needs, in an efficient, reliable and  transparent manner. DBMs provide exactly the joined-up view of a business and financials that leaders say they want. (The session is supported by two substantial practitioner articles)

Learning Outcomes

Target Audience

This session is designed to provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge, making it valuable for professionals aiming to leverage dynamic modeling in strategic management accounting.

Certificate of Attendance

Attendees who participate in at least 6 out of the 9 webinars in the series will be eligible to receive a certificate titled “Introduction to Dynamic Business Models.” This is an opportunity to gain recognition of your learning in this innovative field. For those who cannot attend live sessions, recordings will be available, allowing you to review the material and complete the series at your convenience

About the Presenter

Kim Warren is an accomplished strategist with a wealth of experience in the business world. He spent 10 years in senior strategy roles, including as Retail Strategy Director at Whitbread PLC. Warren then transitioned to academia, teaching Strategic Management at London Business School for two decades. During his tenure, he developed a keen interest in System Dynamics, finding traditional strategy tools insufficient for modern business challenges. This led him to embrace and adapt System Dynamics, creating the Strategy Dynamics method. Warren’s method focuses on designing and managing business systems dynamically to adapt to changing markets and internal business conditions. He has authored influential books on the subject, including “Competitive Strategy Dynamics” and “Strategic Management Dynamics,” and has been recognized with the prestigious Jay Wright Forrester Award from the International System Dynamics Society, where he also served as president in 2013. Warren, along with his partner Christina Spencer, has developed a range of learning materials and courses to disseminate the Strategy Dynamics method, utilizing the Silico online modeling app to support this approach.

For more detailed information, you can visit his website here.

Up Next

How Did En-ROADS Get 755,000 users? Lessons on Modeling, Interface Design, and Facilitation

May, 8 at 11 am NY | 4 pm London | 11 pm Beijing | Time Converter

How Did En-ROADS Get 755,000 Users? Lessons on Modeling, Interface Design, and Facilitation

In this participatory webinar, Drew Jones of Climate Interactive will share insights on how to create a System Dynamics model and online simulator that will succeed at improving mental models and system performance at scale. The teams at Climate Interactive, MIT Sloan, and Ventana Systems designed its System Dynamics models C-ROADS and En-ROADS with the goal of improving the understanding of climate policy choices amongst decision-makers around the world, leading to deliberate strategies in three major areas: 1) modeling, 2) interface/UX design, and 3) facilitation, workshop design, game creation, training, and user support. This webinar will cover the design decisions made over the ~30 years of the project, generalizing the more universal insights for any system dynamics project.

About the Presenter

Andrew (Drew) Jones is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive. An expert on international climate and energy issues, his quotes and data stories appear in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and other media. Jones and his team at CI and MIT Sloan developed the climate simulations used by John Kerry and others to secure the 2014 bi-lateral U.S.-China deal that set up the Paris Agreement, as well as currently in the White House and Congress. Trained in System Dynamics modeling at Dartmouth College and MIT, Jones has worked at Rocky Mountain Institute and was a protégé of Dana Meadows. Jones co-accepted the System Dynamics Society’s award for the best real-world application of modeling. He won Dartmouth College’s Ray W. Smith award for the most significant contribution to the status of the College.

Special Guests

Florian Kapmeier is Professor of Strategy at ESB Business School at Reutlingen University, Germany. He received his doctorate from the University of Stuttgart on “Interorganizational Learning in Learning Alliances”. He has strengthened his academic profile with research visits at MIT Sloan School of Management (Cambridge, USA), McGill University (Montréal, Canada), University of Lugano (Switzerland), and Emlyon Business School (Lyon, France). For his research and teaching activities, he links the System Dynamics methodology with empirical research on theory development and testing, focusing on organizational aspects of the understanding of complexity, increasingly addressing environmental sustainability issues. He works closely with the Climate Interactive to raise awareness of the consequences of climate change, using the suite of Climate Interactive’s simulation models. Florian has collaborated closely with Climate Interactive to develop the En-ROADS Climate Workshop, the Climate Action Simulation Game, and resources for the World Climate Simulation. In addition, he has helped translate both event materials and website resources for the World Climate Simulation. Florian has facilitated numerous En-ROADS and World Climate events with groups between 12-60+ people since 2014, from high-school and university students to corporate and political policy makers.

 

Workshop: Visualize and Analyze Complex Challenges the Easy Way

February, 7 at 11 am NY | 4 pm London | 12 am Beijing | Time Converter

Workshop: Visualize and Analyze Complex Challenges the Easy Way

Facing challenges that involve multiple interacting factors requires a methodical approach to visualize and analyze these interconnections. Qualitative modeling provides a straightforward way to map out cause-and-effect relationships. This approach is adaptable, suitable for use in workshops, collaborative models, or individual analysis.

This workshop introduces the user-friendly Consideo iModeler tool to assign weights to connections without the need for complex formulas. Utilizing the Insight Matrix, participants can easily identify key factors that either contribute to or hinder progress towards their objectives.

The session delves into the scientific principles underpinning this qualitative approach, explaining how results are derived. Additionally, it offers a comparative analysis of qualitative and quantitative models, drawing on real-world project examples. This seminar is designed to equip you with the tools to make informed decisions in complex scenarios.

About the Presenter

Kai Neumann has over 25 years of experience serving as a full-time systems thinker and modeler, both as a business consultant and scientist. His expertise spans a broad range of topics, including systemic strategy development, process optimization, global energy transition, food security, and transformation. Additionally, he delves into e-mobility, artificial intelligence, welfare economics, and political strategies. His extensive experience and diverse skill set make him a valuable asset in various fields.

About Consideo iModeler

Consideo iModeler is a cutting-edge software tool designed to visualize and analyze complex situations, making it easier for users to plan, make decisions, and communicate more effectively. This software stands out for its unique Insight Matrix feature, which provides a revolutionary way to handle complexity. It allows both qualitative and quantitative modeling, including System Dynamics for scenario modeling.

System Dynamics Student Workshop

Join the System Dynamics South Africa Chapter student workshop series for an exciting opportunity to engage with System Dynamics experts and fellow students in the field. This workshop series is designed to provide a platform for masters and PhD students to receive expert advice, validate their models, and learn from leading System Dynamics professionals.

Led by Facilitator Gift Mphefu, this 2-hour workshop is the perfect opportunity to share your ideas, get feedback on your work, and connect with other students in the field. Whether you’re new to System Dynamics or a seasoned expert, you’ll find value in this engaging and informative workshop.

Attendance is completely FREE, so don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with fellow students and experts in the System Dynamics community.

REGISTER