Abstract for:Loopy for Analysts: A Systems Thinking Tool for Intelligence Analysts

Intelligence analysts must provide timely, accurate, and relevant analysis to decisionmakers under tight deadlines, high pressure, and uncertainty.  The currently used analysis methods, such as expert judgement and qualitative structured analytic techniques (SATs), are poor at building an understanding of dynamic systems.  Causal loop diagraming offers one approach to rapidly developing and evaluating dynamic hypotheses, but ideally analysts would prefer a browser-based tool that allows them to create dynamic, interactive, sharable causal loop diagrams and enable them to store evidence in support of model.  The prototype of this capability is based on the open source tool Loopy, adding additional features such as magnitude, delays, and graphing in an effort to find a middle ground between a static causal loop diagram and a fully-developed system dynamics model.  Ultimately, we seek to develop a tool for intelligence analysts that is useful, useable, and used for quick turn, dynamic analysis and communication of findings.