Abstract for: Adventures in Open Source: Collaborative System Dynamics

Open source software has caused a modest revolution in the computer software market over the past ten years. In this paper we introduce OpenSim, a new system dynamics modeling toolkit released under the open-source GNU General Public License, version 3. OpenSim includes two major components, a graphical model editor with an eye towards collaboration and a simulation engine. The simulation engine is used by the model editor to turn the modelís equations into a form the computer can understand, perform simulations, and provide the results in a variety of formats while being designed for speed. The model editor allows people to visually create models, but also allows for several people to collaborate in real-time on the same model. OpenSim demonstrates that creating a high quality open-source modeling tool is now both possible and practical, and will yield significant benefits for the SD community.