Abstract for: Verifying Influence Diagrams using Dimensional Analysis

Developing a valid model is of primary importance in System Dynamics (SD) modelling process. To establish that a model produces the right behaviour for the right reasons it is essential to ensure that the structure of model represents the corresponding real world system. Amongst the verification procedures employed, dimensional analysis is used to verify the syntactical correctness of the equation. However, dimensional analysis is among the least prioritised procedures employed in the model building process. Therefore, a lack of dimensional consistency raises serious doubts about the validity of model behaviour. The aim of this paper is to summarise various problems and difficulties identified in the process of SD modelling and to suggest an alternative approach. Firstly, this paper discusses the problems faced by beginners. Secondly, the paper discusses alternative approaches suggested by researchers in SD. Thirdly this papers presents a novel approach to generate a mathematical model from influence diagrams. The two principle benefits this approach can offer are, a software tool based on this approach which can make the benefits of quantitative modelling of SD methodology more accessible to a wider range of users and an improved SD modelling experience, especially of those modellers who have limited mathematical experience