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Appendix F. System Dynamics Background

Appendix F. System Dynamics Background

This appendix describes the system dynamics modeling method for those of you who might be interested in more information than we provided in the chapters describing our models.

System dynamics is a method for modeling and analyzing the holistic behavior of complex problems as they evolve over time. It has been used to gain insight into some of the most challenging strategy questions facing businesses and government for several decades. System dynamics provides particularly useful insight into difficult management situations in which the best efforts to solve a problem actually make the problem worse. Examples of these apparently paradoxical effects include the following [Sterman 2000]:

• Low-nicotine cigarettes, supposedly introduced to the benefit of smokers’ health, that only result in people smoking more cigarettes and taking longer, deeper drags to meet their nicotine needs


  

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