Abstract for: Making the Case for Using AnalyticaŽ for System Dynamics Modeling: A Reference Guide and Comparison with Classical Platforms

This paper serves as a reference guide for practitioners or theorists who wish to develop System Dynamics (SD) models that are multi-dimensional, integrate System Dynamics with optimization (linear or nonlinear) methods, or require a sophisticated treatment of uncertainty. The paper presents the AnalyticaŽ software platform because its flexibility, supported by its array abstraction, combined with its powerful optimization and uncertainty analysis capability, make it more convenient for these applications than classical SD software platforms. I discuss the similarities, differences, advantages, and disadvantages of using Analytica and classical SD software for System Dynamics modeling. I describe how, in some applications, Analytica provides capabilities not currently present in classical SD software; in other applications, complex models can be developed with less effort and greater flexibility. Finally, I offer a generalized derivation of how to initialize an aging chain under conditions of historic growth, including an example of its implementation using array abstraction in Analytica.