Abstract for: A Hands-On Introduction to SILVER: Software in Support of the Collaborative System Dynamics Modeling Process

While the System Dynamics modeling process can offer 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. Moreover, the current fragmentation of information also raises barriers to effective group collaboration: Stakeholders located remotely from a core modeling team frequently lack ready access to modeling artifacts and output, and sharing even within the modeling team can be awkward and confusing. This workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to open-source SILVER software that seeks to ease management of such complexity, and to facilitate distributed team collaboration. SILVER allows stakeholders to easily access historic versions of a model, maintains explicit linkages between scenarios, the model versions and assumptions underlying them, and the motivations for and external files associated with model artifacts. To facilitate group collaboration, SILVER supports sharing remote project repositories and facilitates awareness of group activity with a visual workspace providing an interactive depiction of project structure, the relationship between artifacts and other information.