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DYNAMIC MODELING BRUCE HANNON + MATTHIAS RUTH aD aL 1 Modeling Dynamic Systems Indeed, tom Pythagoras through pyramidology, extreme irationalities have often been presented in nurnerial form. Astrology for centuries sed the most sophisticated mathematical treatments available—and is now worked out on computers: though there i. oF used to be, an En Blish law which provided that “every person pretending or professing 10 tell Fortunes, oF using any subtle Craft, Means or Device «shall be ‘deemed a Rogue and Vagabond." 1:1 Model Components fodel obser- salons inp cause and fe Sch penta models enable us, for expe successfully cross a busy sweet. Engineers, biologists, and socal scien tists simply mimic thetr observations in a formal way. ‘personal, complex els has ‘computer modeling process is to the mind what the telescope and the microscope are to the eye. We can model the macro scopic results of microphenoma, and vice versa. We can simulate the var fous possible futures of a dynamic process. We can begin w explain and pethaps even to predict. tural and dynamic assumptions we have made in our abstractions ‘The process of model construction can be rather involved. However, itis possible to identify a set of general procedures that are followed frequendy. ‘These general procedures are shown in simplified form Figure 1.1. Real events stimulate our curiosity about 2 pariculsr phenomenon. This curios- ity can be tanslated into a question or set of questions about observed ‘Conquest, R_1993. History, Humaniny and Trib, 22nd Jefferson Lecurer in the Humanities, Washington. DC, May 5. 1993 ‘Dagels, H. 1988, Dreams of Reason, Simon and Schuster, New York 41. Modeling Oynamic Systems ==—_ == Ficuee 1.1 cevenls and the processes that brought these events about, Key elements of Brocesses and observations can be identited to frm an abstract version of provide predictions about events yet 10 be experienced or observed. These conclusions and predictions, in turn, can be compared with real events and. say lead wo the flection of s todel ts accepance, or moe ey, is is : ca, and our own Fe may absct away from tee aoe ‘cas of the species of birds in the trees on the other side of the street, ‘Once we made our observations or estimates, and our abstractions, we re- lace the various pieces of information to each other—we develop a model Before we cross the street we “execute” our model ia our mind, consider te outcome, and then decide whether we have 4 fair chance of amiving Unharmed on the other side. If we do, we likely use this model again. If we don't, but are lucky enough, we revise the model and use that revised ver sion for our next decision. Pethaps the birds in the trees on the other side Of the street are vultures and we should have used :hat information as a sign tha this is a particularly dangerous spot to cross. We should have been ‘more precise in the estimate of the speed of the cars or the width of the street ‘general ypes of models can be distinguished. The first type is mod- ‘els that represent a panicular phenomenon at a point of time. For example,