Abstract for: What Counts As An Explanation For System Behavior? A Brief History of SD from a Dominance Perspective

A fundamental pursuit in system dynamics is explaining how structure drives behavior. A diverse set of practices have emerged for identifying which parts of structure dominate behavior. Over time, various definitions and criteria have been offered for dominance, however today there lacks a single formal and rigorous definition agreed upon by the field. This paper conducts a systematic review of SD literature from the perspective of ``What constitutes an explanation of behavior?'' The review is organized around four time periods, from the origins of the field to current day, tracing the evolution of definitions for structure, behavior, and dominance, and examining how methods of explanation evolved over time. The review identified 18 distinct definitions of the term dominance, many of which lack formal criteria. Of the 44 articles reviewed which are focused on dominance analysis methods, only 16 offer definitions for the term. Methods also vary in their definitions of structure and behavior. The review identifies several research gaps in dominance analysis which could benefit from a formal, rigorous definition. The insights from the review lay a foundation for future research in dominance analysis and the development of rigorous definitions.