Abstract for: Descriptive Design Structure Matrices for Qualitative Modeling of Community Interactions

Qualitative modeling approaches can be useful in system information collection, model analysis, and formal model development in system dynamics. We propose and test the Descriptive Design Structure Matrix (DDSM) as a qualitative modeling tool and approach for systems with many components and more interactions than can reasonably be modeled individually using traditional system dynamics methods. A DDSM consists of four parallel matrices that describe system interactions with binary relations, non-technical text, technical text, and literature support. By including and documenting system information in multiple forms, DDSMs can improve modeler communication with system participants and domain experts and improve model rigor. In this paper, DDSM construction is described. A case study of the 2014 flooding in Kashmir is used to illustrate and test a DDSM and its application. Due to their compact format, DDSMs provide a useful visual communication aid, intuitive reasoning tool, and foundation for formal system dynamics modeling and analysis.