System Dynamics Review

Cover image for Vol. 32 Issue 3-4

Edited By: Yaman Barlas

Impact Factor: 1.111

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 26/49 (Social Sciences Mathematical Methods); 138/194 (Management)

Online ISSN: 1099-1727

Virtual Issues

Virtual Issues

- System Dynamics Applications to Health and Health Care

- Methods for Identifying Structural Dominance

- Applying System Dynamics to Project Management


System Dynamics Applications to Health and Health Care

Publication Date: 12th January 2015

Edited by: Gary Hirsch, Jack Homer, and Andrada Tomoaia-Cotisel

Introduction: Dynamic complexities abound in health and health care, often confounding efforts to improve quality, access, and cost of care and to reduce morbidity and mortality. Thus, it should be no surprise that this application area has been a ripe one for system dynamics for many years, leading to several books, a steady flow of articles in a variety of influential journals, and a large and thriving Health Policy Special Interest Group within the SD Society. The very first issue of the SD Review included an article on health care (Bush et al. 1985), and more than 20 health and health care-related articles have appeared in the SDR since then. In this Virtual Issue we feature 15 of those articles organized into six topic areas: Health Care Delivery, Population Health and Health Economics, Substance Abuse, Infectious Disease, Biology and Microbiology, and Health Care Products. Our purpose here is to place the featured SDR articles in context, summarizing historical origins and themes within the six topic areas.

> Read the full introduction

A patient flow perspective of U.K. health services: exploring the case for new “intermediate care” initiatives
Eric Wolstenholme

Using system dynamics to help develop and implement policies and programmes in health care in England
Geoff Royston, Ayesha Dost, Jeremy Townshend, Howard Turner

Coping but not coping in health and social care: masking the reality of running organisations beyond safe design capacity
Eric Wolstenholme, David Monk, Douglas McKelvie, Steve Arnold

Assessing the impact of a care innovation: telecare
Steffen Bayer, James Barlow, Richard Curry

Microworlds and generic structures as resources for integrating care and improving health
Gary Hirsch, C. Sherry Immediato

Models for collaboration: how system dynamics helped a community organize cost-effective care for chronic illness
Jack Homer, Gary Hirsch, Mary Minniti, Marc Pierson

Chronic illness in a complex health economy: the perils and promises of downstream and upstream reforms
Jack Homer, Gary Hirsch, Bobby Milstein

A system dynamics model of national cocaine prevalence
Jack B. Homer

Demonstrating the utility of system dynamics for public policy analysis in New Zealand: the case of excise tax policy on tobacco
Robert Y. Cavana, Leslie V. Clifford

Evaluating epidemic intervention policies with systems thinking: a case study of dengue fever in Mexico
James L. Ritchie-Dunham, Jorge F. Méndez Galván

Model-based scenarios for the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS: the consequences of highly active antiretroviral therapy
Brian C. Dangerfield, Yongxiang Fang, Carole A. Roberts

Using system dynamics to develop policies that matter: global management of poliomyelitis and beyond
Kimberly M. Thompson, Radboud J. Duintjer Tebbens

Toward a dynamic theory of antibiotic resistance
Jack Homer, James Ritchie-Dunham, Hal Rabbino, Luz Maria Puente, James Jorgensen, Kate Hendricks

Modeling the dynamics of human energy regulation and its implications for obesity treatment
Tarek K. Abdel-Hamid

Pharmaceutical market dynamics and strategic planning: a system dynamics perspective
Mark Paich, Corey Peck, Jason Valant



Methods for Identifying Structural Dominance

Publication Date: 11th February 2013

Edited by: Jim Duggan and Rogelio Oliva

Introduction: Two fundamental ideas underlying system dynamics are that modelers construct a closed boundary around the system of interest, with stocks, flows and feedback loops as the basic structural elements within this boundary (Forrester, 1968), and that the interaction of the structural elements represented by the model itself are responsible for generating the behavior of the system (Sterman, 2000, p95). The usefulness of these models is predicated on their ability to support policy design, i.e., the identification of structural leverage points that influence the overall system behavior. However, identifying the structural elements that are responsible for a particular behavior is a challenging task in complex multi-state model. Therefore, for any system dynamics model, understanding structural dominance through model analysis is an essential prerequisite for guiding robust policy design.

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Loop polarity, loop dominance, and the concept of dominant polarity
George P. Richardson

Dominant structure
George P. Richardson

Reality check: A bridge between systems thinking and system dynamics
David W. Peterson and Robert L. Eberlein

A behavioral approach to feedback loop dominance analysis
David N. Ford

Statistical screening of system dynamics models
Andrew Ford and Hilary Flynn

Feedback loop gains and system behavior
Christian Erik Kampmann

Loop eigenvalue elasticity analysis: three case studies
Christian Erik Kampmann and Rogelio Oliva

Towards coherent loop dominance analysis: progress in eigenvalue elasticity analysis
Burak Güneralp

Behavior modes, pathways and overall trajectories: eigenvector and eigenvalue analysis of dynamic systems
Paulo Gonçalves

Using Digest to implement the pathway participation method for detecting influential system structure
Mohammad Mojtahedzadeh, David Andersen and George P. Richardson

Do parallel lines meet? How can pathway participation metrics and eigenvalue analysis produce similar results?
Mohammad Mojtahedzadeh

Consistency in explaining model behavior based on its feedback structure
Mohammad Mojtahedzadeh



Applying System Dynamics to Project Management

Publication Date: 4th January 2013

Edited By: David N. Ford and James M. Lyneis

Introduction: System dynamics has been successfully applied to project management for many years. This work started in the 1960s, and continues to this day. By our count, more than 120 books, journal articles, and conference papers have in some way dealt with such applications.

The application of system dynamics to project management can be viewed through three lenses. First, generic project structures have been developed that capture fundamental project dynamics and are common to all projects. These include the rework cycle and the feedback structures related to rework/errors and productivity. Second, project dynamics theory has been, and continues to be, developed to consider additional dynamics that are common to categories of projects or specific projects. Examples include model structures of concurrency in projects, interactions between projects (e.g., resources and technical interdependencies), and interactions between development efforts and other resource needs, such as for maintenance and “bug fixing”. Third, system dynamics has been applied to project management practice across a wide range of domains and for several purposes. Papers in this virtual issue illustrate each of these threads.

> Read the full introduction

System dynamics applied to project management: A survey, assessment, and directions for future research
James M. Lyneis and David N. Ford

Software productivity: Potential, actual, and perceived
Tarek K. Abdel-Hamid and Stuart Madnick

Dynamic modeling of product development processes
David N. Ford and John D. Sterman

A dynamic model of resource allocation in multi-project research and development systems
Nelson P. Repenning

Why firefighting is never enough: Preserving high-quality product development
Laura J. Black and Nelson P. Repenning

Tipping point dynamics in development projects
Tim Taylor and David N. Ford

Dynamics of concurrent software development
Hazhir Rahmandad and David M. Weiss

System dynamics in project management: A comparative analysis with traditional methods
Alexandre Rodrigues and John Bowers

Strategic management of complex projects: A case study using system dynamics
James M. Lyneis, Kenneth G. Cooper and Sharon A. Els