On structural dominance analysis

March 2020 | Oliva, Rogelio

This article is based on my talk at the 2019 International System Dynamics Conference on the occasion of receiving the Jay. W. Forrester Award for the article, “Structural dominance analysis of large and stochastic models” (System Dynamics Review 2016, 32(1): 26–51). I summarize here the history of the research project that led to the award-winning article. I present the evolution of the ideas in a non-technical way that develops the intuition for how eigenvalue elasticity analysis works and highlights the power of its explanations. I discuss what I believe to be the main benefits of structural dominance analysis and address the major criticisms that have been raised against it, and I close by reflecting on why I believe the capability to formally establish links between structure and behavior will become more salient in a context that pushes for larger models and demands higher standards of evidence.



System Dynamics Review, 36(1):8-28.

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