Abstract for: A Comparison of Loop Dominance Methods: Measures and Meaning

Several methods of loop dominance analysis have been developed to quantify and analyse the relationships between feedback loops and system behaviour. The slow uptake of these methods by the system dynamics community may be partly explained by the lack of transparency of their conceptual interpretation. Our purpose in this paper is to address these conceptual hurdles by examining the well-known Workforce-Inventory model, while using a minimum of technical detail. For each method, we identify: the meanings of its loop measure; the number of such measures which are needed for each loop; and how much of the system behaviour is explained. We then apply the methods to the SI and SIR models and compare their results. It is our intention that this informal and comparative approach will encourage more system dynamicists to explore, use and develop loop dominance methods.