Abstract for: Building Confidence in Exploratory Models

Many of the classic tests for building confidence in system dynamics models apply to models not calibrated to data. But not all the classic tests apply to such “Exploratory” simulation models, and most do not go far enough for such models to build confidence in them. To instill as much rigor and quality as possible into Exploratory Models, this discussion identifies several categories of concerns about simulation models not rigorously fit to data, drawing on examples of high quality Exploratory Modeling work, including Forrester’s own classic works. It proposes guidelines and benchmarks for striving for the highest quality simulation work in the field, even for modeling work not extensively grounded in real-world data.