An integrated approach to the development of continuous simulations

James R. Burns, Onur Ulgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


An integrated approach to the development of Forrester-style simulation models is described. The approach incorporates the concept of an interaction matrix to assist in the development of causal loop diagrams and Dynamo flow diagrams. The interaction matrix is derived from the fundamental notions of system dynamics. Premised upon the presumption that a computer-aided procedure for model formulation can expedite, systematize, and operationalize the model formulation process, the integrated approach utilizes the interaction matrix as a data structure within the computer. An algorithm designed to interface with a remote terminal (such as a CRT display) determines the interaction matrix by interrogating a user until sufficient information about the problem of interest has been obtained. This algorithm is also described in the paper. The interrogations both motivate and facilitate the determination of quantities to be included as well as couplings between the quantities. When a quantity or coupling is designated by a user, the algorithm "knows" its identity at the time of user origination. Both algorithm and matrix are illustrated through recourse to a text-book example and the paper concludes with a summarizing discussion of the possible contribution of such an approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-327
Number of pages15
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1978


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