Abstract for: Roots to New Branches: Developing Translational Simulations in Code

Since the manual translation between structure and code has been outsourced to technology, we are not learning this translational skill, which may be a critical gap between system dynamics and other 4th Industrial Revolution systems. Especially since system dynamics simulations can have limited integration or shelf-life without integration into other software systems. The paper presents a method to translate system dynamics structural simulations into programming code, using Excel VBA as an example. The simple simulation of pouring water into a glass is structurally derived, then developed in iSee Stella software. Thereafter the same structure is translated into code through coding flowcharts and tested against the iSee Stella simulation. Both simulations produce the same behaviour even though the one is coded. The coded simulation, in Excel VBA, can be integrated into existing organisational reporting approaches, the cloud and even used as a sub-module in a larger simulation program. However, the applied methodology does take far more time, skills and testing to ensure the final simulation is truly validated and verified. Although the method is far more resource intensive, the potential impact of these simulations in industry far exceeded the impact when the same simulation was only confined to conventional system dynamics software.