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Core Software

Core System Dynamics Modeling Software

When the book Industrial Dynamics was published it used Dynamo as the modeling language. Dynamo was a breakthrough at the time and foreshadowed a number of numerical modeling approaches and non-procedural programming languages. It was a text-based system for representing model equations and continued to be used for multiple decades as the basis for such works as Urban DynamicsWorld Dynamics, and The Limits to Growth. Current software for System Dynamics is diagram based, but the equations are still part of the model and retain forms quite similar to those of Dynamo.

The most commonly used software packages are listed below in alphabetical order. Additional tools that support model construction are noted at the end.


If you have old DYNAMO models and want to make them run again, you can try the free and open source DYNAMO interpreter at

iThink® and STELLA®

Are two names for one model development platform published by isee systems. The software is available in different configurations under a commercial license for Windows and Macintosh computers. Educational licenses and a free runtime version of the software are available.

Powersim Studio

Available in a number of different configurations from Powersim Software. The software is available under commercial license and runs under Windows. Educational licenses and options for publishing standalone model packages are available. A new free version, Studio Express is now available.


Available in a number of different configurations from Ventana Systems, Inc. The software is available under commercial, funded research, and academic use licenses and runs on Windows and the Macintosh. Ventana has been supporting education for many years by providing a learning edition of the software that is free for academic use.

See Also:

There are a number of other products that can be used to construct models. These include: Anylogic, Goldsim, Berkely Madonna, Sysdea and SimGua under related methodologies under pedagogical tools.

Software Extending the System Dynamics Methodology

Anylogic, from XJ Technologies, supports models containing discrete event, agent-based and system dynamics constituents. It is available under a commercial license.

Berkley Madonna uses a differential equation representation to develop models. It is available under a commercial license.

Dynaplan® Smia, from Dynaplan, combines elements of simulation modeling, spreadsheet modeling and presentation development in an integrated platform. It is available under a commercial license.

GoldSim, from The GoldSim Technology Group, has a focus on Monte Carlo simulation but can support stock and flow style modelling. It is available under a commercial license.

iMODELER Desktop, from Consideo, is a cross platform modeling software for quantitative modeling (system dynamics, process modeling feat. theory of constraint) and qualitative modeling (beyond fuzzy cognitive maps) that allows for direct translation of CLDs into quantitative models.

Insightmaker, by Gene Bellinger, comes with free
tutorials, and many find it easy to grasp. It also has models that are primarily agent-based (each
individual modeled), as well as those that are typical system dynamics models. 

Powersim Studio, a core tool also permits discrete modeling and combined continuous/discrete modeling. It can be used to do some agent based modeling. It is extensible with VBScript and C++ routines. 

Powersim Cloud is an easy to use end-to-end solution for making your simulation models built with Powersim Studio available online. Powersim Solutions has built a comprehensive platform that is capable of hosting and managing Powersim models, thus making them available to a wider audience.

Simile, from Simulistics, is system dynamics and object-based modeling and simulation software.  It is available under a commercial license.

Simgua is a visually based model development environment. It is available under a commercial license.

Splash!, by the Creative Learning Exchange, is a free app useable on tablets and phones. Use it for for creating very
simple models and helping teach/learn the basics of stocks and flows as well as feedback.

TRUE,  from TRUE-WORLD, is visually oriented software for developing and animating models.  It is now (2014-02-05) freeware.

Ventity is available from Ventana Systems, Inc.  Ventity is provided commercially on a low-cost subscription basis and is free to academic and Vensim DSS users.  Ventity provides system dynamics with an object-oriented structure that supports agent modeling using stock and flow models for user-defined entity types. Ventity is available for 64-bit Windows environments.

Simcision is a thinking, working, and learning tool for the analysis and presentation of the relevant reciprocal effects in a system and allows for the comparison of alternative courses of action using simulations.