Abstract for: The System Dynamics Model User Sustainability Explorer (SD-MUSE) tool for interpreting system dynamic models
Sustainability-based decision making is a challenging process that requires balancing trade-offs among social, economic, and environmental components. System Dynamic (SD) models can be useful tools to inform sustainability-based decision making because they provide a holistic context for the evaluation of these trade-offs. User interfaces (UIs) can increase the utility of SD models for evaluating these trade-offs by emphasizing the causal relationships among system components and facilitating visualization of simultaneous effects of system perturbations. We present the System Dynamics Model User Sustainability Explorer (SD-MUSE), a UI to facilitate the exploration of relationships among the SD model components and to emphasize trade-offs among sustainability considerations. This interface was built for a transit model representing the proposed light rail system for the cities of Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, USA. SD-MUSE includes an interactive visualization of the model structure, tools to manipulate relevant parameters, and the ability to compare multiple scenarios in the context of sustainability. We discuss the features of this UI using the DO-LRP model and simulations as an example, then comment on the generalizability of this tool. SD-MUSE represents a step towards providing managers with a tool to understand SD models and inform sustainability-based decision making.