
CHAPTER 1: Process Thinking, Dynamic Modeling, and Learning


In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a simple methodology evolved for dealing with questions which had arisen earlier in biology, physics, and in control engineering. Specialists working in such fields became interested in the general aspects of dynamical systems. Depending on their applications, their answers—the methods they developed—took slightly different forms. Some of these are highly formal while others allow the practitioner to use more informal approaches. In particular, the applications of the basic ideas of control engineering in fields such as industrial or urban development at the hands of Jay Forrester of the MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, led to a method for the creation of dynamical models which can be given into the hands of even very young students. In the end, all of these approaches—formal or informal—are what we today may call system dynamics modeling. Put simply, system dynamics models are images of dynamical processes.
CONTENTS
A System Dynamics Model of Two Lakes 4
Images of Continuous Change 17
A Model of Classical Conditioning 27
Modeling, Designing, and Learning 37
A Model of an Inverted Pendulum 41
Modeling and Prediction 53
Sources 59
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