Ali N.

Mashayekhi

Bahman 1393
Sharif University of Technology
Graduate School of Management and Economics

System Dynamics for Business Policy
Course Schedule
Second Semester 1393-1394
GENERAL INFORMATION
Schedule: Sunday and Tuesday 13:30-15:00
TAs: Mr. Eslamifar and his team

TA Sessions: The TAs will lead a weekly review session to answer questions and discuss solutions to the due
assignments. Time and place of TAs sessions will be arranged later.
Grading Emphasis:
Assignments:
Mid-term exam:
Final exam:
Term project:

15%
25%
45%
15%

Each assignment is graded on a 10 points scale. Assignments handed in more than 1 class late will receive no
credit. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Objectives and Scope
This course introduces you to system dynamics modeling for the analysis of socio-economic and business
policy and strategy. Students will practice and learn to think in dynamic terms and over time. They will also
learn a system perspective in which they can visualize a socio-economic entity in terms of the structures and
policies that create its dynamic performance over time. System dynamics allows us to create ‘micro-worlds,’
management flight simulators where space and time can be compressed, slowed, and stopped so we can
experience the long-term side effects of decisions, systematically explore new policies, and develop our
understanding of complex systems. The course considers the use of systems thinking to promote effective
learning.
The principal purpose of modeling is to improve our understanding of the ways in which a socioeconomic entity's performance is related to its internal structure and operating policies. During the course you
will use several simulation models to explore the relationship between structure and behavior. Students will
learn to recognize and deal with situations where policy interventions are likely to be delayed, diluted, or
defeated by unanticipated reactions and side effects. You will have a chance to use state of the art software
for computer simulation and gaming. Assignments give hands-on experience in developing and testing
computer simulation models in diverse settings.

1

com/> In this course.Text and Software Sterman. from Pugh-Roberts Associates. MA 02142. Senge Peter (1990).com/venple. ISBN 0-07-231135-5. The Fifith Discipline. see the following resources: iThink: See the High Performance Systems web site at <http://www. a FREE package offered by Ventana Systems. Professional DYNAMO. we will be using the Vensim Personal Learning Edition (Vensim PLE).powersim. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling Irwin/McGraw Hill.mhtml. from High Performance Systems. from Powersim Corporation. and also a folder of demo models. for a Complex World. Download Vensim PLE from the Vensim web site at http://www.vensim. For further information. 2 .hps-inc. You may wish to learn more about these packages. 41 William Linskey Way. from Ventana Systems. 617/864-8880 Vensim: See the Ventana Systems web site at <http://www. including iThink. Powersim. (2000).no> Professional DYNAMO: Contact Pugh-Roberts Associates. as all are used in the business and academic world. UK. Vensim PLE comes with on line user’s guide and help. Cambridge. Random House. and Vensim. J. Several excellent packages for system dynamics simulation are now available commercially.mhtml> Powersim: See the Powersim web site at <http://www.com/hps.vensim.

Physical Models .The Dynamic at different levels .Modeling .System Dynamics Models 5th Discipline.Dynamic in different aspects .Implications and insights World is changing and dynamic .Quantitative and Challenge of understanding and controlling changes 5th Discipline. Section.Descriptive Models .Deer population .Mathematical Models .Mental models .Closed systems or Feedback Systems. Chapter 1 Assign -ment Out Assignment Due #1 #2 #1 BD Ch.Dynamic world and system perspective .Supply and demand A theory of system structure for systems: . 2 3 .Qualitative variables . stocks and flows. auxiliary variables. Models Definition and categories: . Chapter 3 Systems Perspective: Systems Thinking Dynamic hypothesis: Descriptive model based on system perspective .Course Schedule: (Subject to change) No. Date Sunday 93/11/12 Topic   1  System thinking Tuesday 93/11/14   2 Sunday 93/11/19   3 Tuesday 93/11/21 4  Reading Course introduction: . and information links Business Dynamics [BD]. Feedback loops. Chapters 1 and 2 Understanding and managing the real world.

4 #3 Vensim manual #2 Term project definition #4 #3 #5 Project Problem definition #4 BD Ch. 4.1. 9.Deer population .Deer population . 11 BD 4. 5 Stock and flow presentation of dynamic models From dynamic hypothesis to stock and flow presentation . 14 BD Ch.2.3.Supply and demand BD.Supply and demand BD. 3.2. 4: 4.1.1. 4.Deer population .4 BD Ch 17 4 . Ch. Ch. 7  6 Sunday 93/12/3   7 Tuesday 93/12/5  8 Sunday 93/12/10 9 Modeling process Tuesday 93/12/12 10 Sunday 93/12/17 11 Tuesday 93/12/19 12 Sunday 93/12/24 13 15 Tuesday 93/12/26 Sunday 93/1/16 16 Tuesday 93/1/18 14 Simple structures  Modeling simulation .Supply and demand BD. 8 BD Ch. 6 Mathematical presentation of dynamic models .2.Supply and demand  Formulating non-linear relationship Modeling Decision Making Structure and behavior of simple dynamic systems:  Exponential growth  Goal seeking Structure and behavior of simple dynamic systems:  S-Shape BD.1. 4.2. 4. 4. Ch. Ch.1 Ch.2. 13 #6 Dynamic hypothesis of your project BD Ch. Ch.Sunday 93/11/26 5 Tuesday 93/11/28   Modeling process Causal loops presentation of dynamic models  Causal loops presentation of dynamic models From dynamic hypothesis to causal loops .1 #5 #7 #6 #8 #7 Review and discussion Structure and behavior of simple dynamic systems:  Delays Structure and behavior of simple dynamic systems: BD Ch.Deer population .Ch.1.

Ch. Groping in the Dark: The First Decade of Global Modelling (excerpts). 18 Read Meadows.. Global Citizen selections Sum up 5 . Ch.2 Read BD. 19 BD.3. 17 5th Discipline. Meadows. 16 26 Tuesday 93/2/22 The Supply Line and Supply Chains BD.5-end) Tuesday 93/2/15 24 #9 Archetypes Distribution system game 21 Conceptualization of your project BD. Sunday 93/1/23 17 18 19 20 Tuesday 93/1/25 Archetypes Sunday 93/1/30 Tuesday Mid-term 93/2/1 Exam Sunday 93/2/6 Overshoot Structure and behavior of simple dynamic systems:  Oscillation Archetypes Tuesday 93/2/8 22 Sunday 93/2/13 23 BD. and the engines of growth Read BD Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch. Ch.2) Sunday 93/2/20 Forecasting and Feedback: Bounded Rationality or Rational Expectations? BD. 9. Appendixes  Mid-term exam Growth Strategies Part 1: Modeling Innovation Diffusion and the Growth of New Products Growth Strategies Part 2: Positive Feedbacks in the economy. et. al. 10 (Skim section 10. path dependence. Ch. 9. 15 BD. Ch. Ch. 19 27 Sunday 93/2/27 Business cycles 28 Tuesday 93/2/29 Commodity Cycle Sunday 93/3/3 Truth and Beauty: Model testing and the process of building confidence in models Business dynamics 29 Tuesday 93/3/5 30 31 Sunday 93/3/10 #10 #9 Applications of system dynamics in management of natural resources and public policy issues project model formulation BD Ch. 12 #11 #10 Project: Simulation #12 #11 #13 #12 #14 #13 Policy analysis of your project BD. 10 Managing Instability Part 1: Aging chain 25 #8  Skim BD.3 (Skim sections 9.

Term project: Students in group of 3 or 4 persons can pick a dynamic problem and build a model to analyze it. 6 . The groups should hand in their term projects in several stages as is identified in the course schedule.