Core System Dynamics Modeling Software

When the book Industrial Dynamics was published it used Dynamo as the modeling language. Dynamo was a breakthrough at the time, and foreshadowed a number of numerical modeling approaches and non-procedural programming languages. It was a text based system for representing model equations and continued to be used for multiple decades as the basis for such works as Urban Dynamics, World Dynamics and The Limits to Growth. Current software for System Dynamics is diagram based, but the equations are still part of the model and retain forms quite similar to those of Dynamo.

The three most commonly used software packages are listed below in alphabetical order.  Additional tools that support model construction are noted at the end.

iThink® and STELLA® are two names for one model development platform published by isee systems. The software is available in different configurations under a commercial license for Windows and Macintosh computers. Educational licenses and a free runtime version of the software are available.

Powersim Studio is available in a number of different configurations from Powersim Software. The software is available under  commercial license and runs under Windows. Educational licenses and options for publishing standalone model packages are available. A new free version, Studio Express is now available.

Vensim® is available in a number of different configurations from Ventana Systems, Inc. The software is available under a commercial license and runs on Windows and the Macintosh. Educational licenses, including a configuration of the software that is free for educational use, and a free runtime version of the software are available.

See Also: There are a number of other products that can be used to construct models. These include: Anylogic, Goldsim, Berkely Madonna, Sysdea and SimGua under related methodologies under pedagogical tools.