Road Maps: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics

Table of Contents


Introduction to Road Maps

To start learning more about Road Maps, please see the introduction to Road maps (D-4500-3). Note that this is an Acrobat document (.pdf format) and you should have the Adobe Acrobat Reader or the Netscape version which supports the Acrobat format to view it. If you need help with getting the Acrobat reader, visit the Adobe Site or read our help page.

A note to those using Netscape to view Acrobat files: To properly save an Acrobat file, use the "Source" option instead of the "Text" option in the "Save As" dialog box.

Road Maps Help

While we have the webmasters@sysdyn.mit.edu email address available for any technical questions regarding the downloading of Road Maps, there is also a help email for questions and comments about the exercises and examples in Road Maps itself. If you have any questions about the content of Road Maps or need help with any section, please email rm-help@sysdyn.mit.edu

Road Maps Glossary

We have provided a glossary (D-4498) containing an explanation of the key terms that you will encounter while studying system dynamics through Road Maps.

Books

You will need several books to complete Road Maps.

Downloading

To download any chapter of Road Maps (with all of its papers and models), simply click on the (Mac) or (PC) label next to the name of the chapter. The (Mac) version, for Macintosh users, will provide a binhex file which contains a self-extracting archive of the chapter. The (PC) version, for DOS and Windows users, provides a self extracting archive of the chapter. To download a particular paper, click on the name of that paper. All documents are in the Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.

Go to a Chapter:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7


Road Maps 1 (Mac) (PC) (500k)

  1. Road Maps 1: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4501-3)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. Systems 1: An Introduction to Systems Thinking (D. Kauffman)
    An excellent introduction to system dynamics, including feedback loops, system characteristics and behavior. Instructions on how to obtain this booklet are provided are included here as well as in Road Maps 1 (D-4501-3).

  3. System Dynamics and Learner-Centered-Learning in Kindergarten through 12th Grade Education (Jay W. Forrester) (D-4337)
    An argument for the necessity of change in the educational process and the applicability of system dynamics in K-12 education.

  4. Simulating Hamlet in the Classroom (Pamela Hopkins) (D-4540-1)
    An example of a STELLA model successfully used in a high school English classroom.

  5. System Dynamics Meets the Press, an excerpt from The Global Citizen (Donella Meadows) (D-4143-1)
    A narration of experiences of a systems thinker and the struggle to use systems concepts correctly in today's society.

  6. Counterintuitive Behavior of Social Systems (Jay W. Forrester) (D-4468-1)
    An introduction to the concepts of system dynamics, discussing social policies and their derivation from incomplete understanding of complex systems.



Road Maps 2 (Mac) (PC) (300k)

  1. Road Maps 2: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4502-3)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. The First Three Hours (Mac PC) (Matthew Halbower) (D-4230-4)
    An introduction for the beginner to system dynamics using examples from physics.
    Please note that this is a self extracting archive.

  3. Getting Started with STELLA II: A Hands-On Experience (STELLA tutorial)
    An introduction to computer modeling using STELLA. This booklet comes with your STELLA software package.

  4. Study Notes in System Dynamics, Exercise 1 (Michael Goodman)
    Practice in causal loop diagramming. Instructions on how to obtain this book are provided here as well as in Road Maps 2 (D-4502-3).

  5. Beginner Modeling Exercises and Answers to Beginner Modeling Exercises (MAC PC) (Shayne Gary, Will Glass-Husain) (D-4347-5 and D-4356-3)
    Basic exercises with solutions to improve modeling skills.
    Please note that this is a self extracting archive.

  6. Graphical Integration Exercises Part 1: Exogenous Rates (Alice Oh) (D-4547-1)
    An introduction to graphical integration of constant flows and step function flows.

  7. Introduction to Computer Simulation, Chapter 13 (Nancy Roberts et al.)
    A simple and understandable explanation of rates and levels. Instructions on how to obtain this book are provided here as well as in Road Maps 2 (D-4502-3).



Road Maps 3 (Mac) (PC) (400k)

  1. Road Maps 3: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4503-3)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. Graphical Integration Exercises Part 2: Ramp Functions (Kevin Agatstein, Lucia Breierova) (D-4571)
    Graphical integration of linearly increasing and decreasing flows.

  3. Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 2: Mental simulation of Positive Feedback (Joseph Whelan) (D-4487)
    Simple exercises on positive feedback systems.

  4. Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 3: Mental simulation of Negative Feedback (Helen Zhu) (D-4536)
    Simple exercises on negative feedback systems.

  5. Study Notes in System Dynamics, Exercises 4,5 (Michael Goodman)
    Exercises on first-order positive and negative feedback loops. Instructions on how to obtain this book are provided here as well as in Road Maps 3 (D-4503-3).

  6. Introduction to Computer Simulation, Chapter 15 (Nancy Roberts, et al.)
    Using simulation to analyze simple positive and negative feedback loops. Instructions on how to obtain this book are provided here as well as in Road Maps 3 (D-4503-3).

  7. Study Notes in System Dynamics, Section 3.10-3.12 (Michael Goodman)
    Simple examples of negative feedback systems.

  8. Study Notes in System Dynamics, Chapters 4,5 (Michael Goodman)
    An introduction to S-shaped growth, and a stepwise construction of a simple model.

  9. Urban Dynamics (Jay W. Forrester)
    An application of system dynamics to study urban problems. Instructions on how to obtain this book are provided here as well as in Road Maps 3 (D-4503-3).



Road Maps 4 (Mac) (PC) (700k)

  1. Road Maps 4: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4504-3)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. Generic Structures: First order positive feedback loops (Stephanie Albin, Mark Choudhari) (D-4474-1)
    An introduction to the generic structure in positive feedback systems.

  3. Generic Structures: First order negative feedback loops (Stephanie Albin) (D-4475-1)
    An introduction to the generic structure in negative feedback systems.

  4. Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 4: Adding constant flows (Alan Coronado) (D-4546)
    Simple exercises on introducing a constant flow to positive and negative feedback systems.

  5. Building the Fish Banks Model & Renewable Resource Depletion (MAC PC) (Joseph Whelan, Matthew Halbower) (D-4543)
    Description of The Fishing Game and the building of a STELLA model of a fishing system.
    Please note that this is a self extracting archive.

  6. Problems with Causal Loop Diagrams (George Richardson) (D-3312-1)
    A discussion of causal loop diagrams and the inherent problems associated with them.



Road Maps 5 (Mac) (PC) (800k)

  1. Road Maps 5: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4505-3)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. Answers to Exercises for Chapter 17: Introduction To Delays from Introduction to Computer Simulation (Kamil Msefer, Mark Choudhari) (D-4415-4)
    Solutions to exercises introducing the use of delays in computer simulation. This material is copyrighted and is not included with the Road Maps' downloadable files. Instructions on how to obtain Introduction to Computer Simulation by Nancy Roberts et al. are provided in Road Maps 5: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (downloadable from above).

  3. Beginner Modeling Exercises Section 5: Mental simulation of Combining Feedbacks in First-Order Systems (Laughton Stanley, Helen Zhu) (D-4593-1)
    Simple exercises on systems producing S-shaped growth.

  4. Generic Structures: S-shaped growth I (Terri Duhon, Marc Glick) (D-4432)
    An introduction to generic structures in systems producing S-shaped growth.

  5. Dynamic Simulation Models: How Valid Are They? (Raymond Shreckengost) (D-4463)
    An outline of several tests that can be applied to a model to test validity.

  6. Teaching System Dynamics: Looking at Epidemics (Will Glass-Husain) (D-4243)
    Material for teaching system dynamics concepts through a game based on the spread of an epidemic.

  7. Graphical Integration Exercises Part 3: Combining Flows (Kevin Agatstein, Lucia Breierova) (D-4596)
    Graphical integration of combined inflows and outflows.

  8. Beyond the Limits (Donella Meadows, et al.)
    An insightful book about the need for a transition to a sustainable world. Instructions on how to obtain this book are provided here as well as in Road Maps 5 (D-4505-3).



Road Maps 6 (Mac) (PC) (2000k)

  1. Road Maps 6: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4506-3)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. Economics Supply and Demand (Joseph Whelan, Kamil Msefer) (D-4388)
    A system dynamics perspective on supply and demand.

  3. Generic Structures in Oscillating Systems I (Celeste Chung) (D-4426-1)
    Two real-life scenarios illustrating the transferability of an oscillation structure.

  4. Exploring S-Shaped Growth (Leslie Martin) (D-4476)
    Development of the concept of generic structures in systems producing S-shaped growth.

  5. Modeling Exercises: Section 1 (Joseph Whelan) (D-4421)
    The first of a series of independent modeling experiences.

  6. Systems thinking: critical thinking skills for the 1990s and beyond (Barry Richmond) (D-4565)
    An argument for teaching systems thinking through learner-centered learning as well as the application of systems thinking to the acquisition of various critical thinking skills.



Road Maps 7 (Mac) (PC)

  1. Road Maps 7: A Guide to Learning System Dynamics (D-4507)
    This guide will lead you through the readings. The guide provides a summary of the important insights and highlights the system principles learned in each chapter of Road Maps.

  2. Unexpected Behaviors in Higher-Order Positive Feedback Loops (Aaron Ashford) (D-4455-1)
    A discussion of possible behaviors that can occur in higher-order positive feedback loops.

  3. Mistakes and Misunderstandings: Examining Dimensional Inconsistency (Michael Shayne Gary) (D-4452-1)
    Examination of a model in which a dimensional inconsistency mistake was made, and a suggested improvement of the model.

  4. Modeling Exercises: Section 2 (Joseph Whelan) (D-4451-1)
    The second in a series of independent modeling experiences exploring an urban dynamics model and offering an exercise on mental simulation.

  5. Graphical Integration Exercises Part 4: Reverse Graphical Integration (Laughton Stanley) (D-4603)
    Explanation and methods of the process of reverse graphical integration: determing the graph of the net flow from the graph of the stock.

  6. System dynamics, systems thinking, and soft OR (Jay W. Forrester) (D-4405-1)
    The author's opinion on the differences between system dynamics, systems thinking, and soft operations research.



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Page address: http://sysdyn.mit.edu/road-maps/rm-toc.html
Created: March 25, 1996
Updated: June 11, 1996 by Bryant C. Vernon
Page maintained by webmasters@sysdyn.mit.edu
Comments and questions are always welcome.