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Simulation methods -- Sensitivity, System analysis, Dynamics


In order to determine whether model testing is as useful as suggested by modeling experts, the full battery of model tests recommended by Forrester, Senge, Sterman, and others was applied retrospectively to a complex previously-published system dynamics model. The time required to carry out each type of test was captured, and the benefits that resulted from applying each test was determined subjectively. The resulting benefit to cost ratios are reported. These ratios suggest that rather than focusing primarily on sensitivity testing, modelers should consider other types of model tests such as extreme condition tests and family member tests. The study also finds that all of the different kinds of tests were either moderately useful or very useful--fully supporting the recommendations of the experts.


Presented at the 2005 International System Dynamics Conference in Boston.

Poster presented at the conference is available below in the Additional Files

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