Abstract for: SILVER: Software in Support of the System Dynamics Modeling Process

While the System Dynamics modeling process can yield invaluable high level insights, it gives rise to a tremendous amount of detail complexity. In the course of their work, modelers must track successive model versions, the motivation for and assumptions underlying particular “what if” scenarios, and the implicit relationships between scenarios, model versions and various external artifacts such as spreadsheets, symbolic mathematics calculations, and external documentation. Failure to adequately manage such complexity can reduce the transparency, reliability, and credibility of the modeling process. While adherence to good modeling practices can aid this process, it often falls prey to corner-cutting or human error. This paper describes software that helps manage such complexity, by permitting modelers to easily access and succinctly compare historic versions of a model, by making explicit linkages between scenarios, the model versions and assumptions underlying them, and the motivations for and external files associated with model artifacts.