Proceedings 2010

Proceedings of the 11th System Dynamics Ph.D. Colloquium, July 25, 2010, Seoul, South Korea

Organized by:
Katherine Dykes Burcu Tan
dykesk [at] burcu.tan [at]
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA University of Texas, Austin, USA

Sponsored by: IBM Corporation


On Sunday July 25, 2010 over 70 ICSD 2010 participants came together to attend the 11th Ph.D Colloquium of the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The colloquium was organized by Katherine Dykes and Burcu Tan. Sponsorship this year was sponsored by the IBM Corporation which went towards the event luncheon, refreshments and coffee breaks. The goal of the colloquium as in previous years was to provide a forum for students to present their work in progress at various stages and overall 4 students presented work during plenary sessions and 9 students presented work during the poster session at the end of the day. In addition, the colloquium featured 3 keynote presentations with a theme this year surrounding the topic of energy and sustainability modeling across continents. The featured speakers included Professor Erling Moxnes of the University of Bergen in Norway, Professor Namsung Ahn of Solbridge International School of Business in South Korea, and Professor Andrew Ford of Washington State University in the US. In addition, a luncheon talk was provided by Sponsor Representative, Dr. Ching-Hua Chen-Ritzo of IBM Corporation Research. All talks from students and invited speakers were well received and the below discussion will provide an overview and some of the highlights of the different presentations.

Downloads of papers and presentations

>> Keynote Presentations Download
>> Sponsor Presentation Download
>> Student Papers Download

Program Schedule of Events

8:45 AM - Registration

9:00 AM – Opening Session / First Keynote

Welcome and Introductions, by Katherine Dykes

First keynote speaker "Deeper understanding and better policies for energy and climate using P'HAPI," 9:10 AM to 9:55 AM, by Erling Moxnes
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Erling Moxnes is Professor in System Dynamics in the System Dynamics Group at the University of Bergen, Norway. He has a Masters degree in Control Theory from the Norwegian Institute of Technology and a Ph.D in System Dynamics from Dartmouth College, USA. Previously he has worked as a researcher at the Christian Michelsen Institute and as Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration. He has been a member of the SD policy council; he is a thread chair for the SD conferences, and a reviewer for the SD Review. A main theme in his research has been misperceptions of systems and their dynamics and connected learning problems. Together with Powersim he has developed a program package called SOPS to perform advanced stochastic dynamic programming in simulation models. As other System Dynamicists he has worked and published in a variety of fields such as system dynamics, economics, management, policy science, ecology, economic psychology, climate change, renewable resources management, energy markets, and energy policy.

10:00 AM – Coffee Break

10:15 AM – First Student Session

The system dynamic study of regional development of Manas Basin under the constraints of water resources, by Shanshan Dai, Lan Hai Li, Xu Honggang

Dai Shanshan is a Ph.D student in Tourism Management at the School of Tourism in Sun Yat-Sen University, China. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and applied mathematics also from Sun Yat-sen University. Her research background and interests include sustainable development, tourism impacts and water resource management, system dynamics, policy analysis and economics.

Eigenvector Analysis for Feedback Loop Dominance Analysis, by Jinjing Huang


2010 SDS Ph.D Colloquium Attendees
The morning program kicked off with opening remarks from colloquium co-organizer Katherine Dykes followed by the first keynote speech from Professor Erling Moxnes. The general theme of an ICSD Ph.D Colloquium keynote speech is to mix part lecture / part overview of a certain research context. In this case, the keynote speakers were asked to highlight their experience in developing energy and sustainability models using system dynamics but also to highlight their general "lessons learned" as expert practioners of system dynamics modeling and research. Professor Moxnes provided a speech that showed how his P'HAPI modeling guidelines could be provided to the energy and sustainability context. P'HAPI is an abbreviation to remember the system dynamics modeling process that begins with the Problem, leads to Hypothesis formulation and Analysis (the standard scientific method) but then is extended to the real world via Policy formulation and Implementation. He showed how the general system dyanmic framework has been applied for specific problems such as CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, reindeer grazing, and non-renewable resource extraction. He emphasized how simple models could be used to illustrate general behavior of much more complex stock-flow-feedback systems and also provided some general SD modeling guidance in terms of layout for causal-loop-diagrams. It was a great start to the day and the audience was really engaged despite the jet-lag that most of us felt! We proceeded to coffee and the next session including two student plenary talks.


Professor Erling Moxnes gives a talk [left] to our Ph.D Colloquium audience [right]
In the morning session, we had three student talks from Dai Shanshan of Sun Yat-Sen University in China, Jinjing Huang from the National University of Ireland in Galway, and David Keith from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. Dai Shanshan's talk focused on a system dyanmic model to be applied to a specific region in China with significant water resource constraints. A unique feature of the model was that there were not any economic signals in terms of the balancing of water and demand but rather a general "water stress" signal. How to properly formulate the "water stress" signal was a key topic for discussion during the Q&A period that followed her talk. The basic feedback structures regarding other relationships were similar to general SD models within this literature space including industrial, urban and agrigultural use of water as well as the meterological processes involved with groundwater accumulation and the usage activities of water pumping. The next talk from Jinjing Huang was quite different in moving from a specific application of system dynamics to the methodology and in particular eigenvector analysis to support structural analysis of system dynamic models for feedback loop dominance. The talk was of general interest to the audience since it provided an overview of the different methodologies that have been used in the past to identify dominant feedback loops and understand the influence of specific structures on system behavior. The last talk of the morning moved in a third direction with a specific focus on the case of Prius Hybrid Electric Vehicle diffusion but with an emphasis on theoretical development for consumer behavior in purchase decision-making. David Keith presented his work that showed a unique dataset of accumulated wait times for prospecive Prius buyers over the last several years and highlighted a gap in the literature with respect to how queueing and backlogs in the supply chain may affect consumer purhcase behavior. Finally, just before lunch, Dr. Ching-Hua Chen-Ritzo of IBM research gave a talk that refelected the growing importance of system dynamics modeling and thinking to large corporations such as IBM. Her talk highlighted how one of the nine core competencies for every IBM employee is to "act with a systemtic perspective." The description of the core competency starts off by syaing "IBMers are systems thinkers..." IT was great for all the student and SDS audience participants to see how seriously core principles of system dynamics are being taken in the greater global community!

11:15 AM – Coffee Break

11:30 AM – Second Student Session

Diffusion Under Supply Constraint - The Case of the Toyota Prius Hybrid Vehicle, by David Keith

David Keith is a Ph.D. student in the Engineering Systems Division at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. David's research interests focus on the process of innovation diffusion and the emerging market for electric vehicles to address environmental and energy security challenges. David's research at MIT has been supported by a Fulbright scholarship and an American Australian Association fellowship. Prior to commencing his Ph.D., David worked for Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors, and URS Corporation, a global engineering and environmental consultancy. David holds Bachelor’s degrees in Engineering and Commerce and a Masters of Environmental Policy degree, all from the University of Melbourne.

12:00 PM – Lunch (in conjunction with Policy Council) – Short Presentation by Ching-Hua Chen-Ritzo, IBM

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Ching-Hua has been a research staff member in the department of business analytics and mathematical sciences in IBM Research since September 2005. Her research interests are in applied operations research, in the areas of supply chain management, and most recently, health economics and services management. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Operations Research (2006) from Penn State University. Her dissertation received honorable mention for the INFORMS Dantzig Dissertation Prize, which is given for the best dissertation in any area of operations research and the management sciences that is innovative and relevant to practice. She is pleased this year to be a first time attendee of ICSD and the colloquium.

1:15 PM – Second Keynote Session

Second keynote speaker "Challenges and Pitfalls of System Dynamics Modeling to Shape Energy and Environment" 1:15 PM to 2:00 PM, by Andrew Ford

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Andrew Ford is Professor of Environmental Science at Washington State University where he teaches modeling with an emphasis on energy and environmental problems in the west. He uses the system dynamics approach to modeling and is the recipient of the Jay W. Forrester Award for the outstanding contribution to the field of system dynamics. Dr. Ford earned his Doctorate from the Public Policy and Technology Program at Dartmouth College in 1975.


Dr. Ching-Hua Chen-Ritzo [right] and David Keith [left] presenting during the colloquium morning session
The afternoon session featured our second keynote presentation by Professor Andrew Ford of Washington State University. His talk also provided a mixture of insights into good modeling practice and preparation for a career in system dynamics modeling as well as providing an overview of some of his work in the environmental and energy modeling space. In particular, he provided insight into how to approach a non-SD audience whether it be for general communication findings through a game or through a formal journal peer-review process. In general, rather than teaching system dynamics to a non-SD audience, he highlighted that it was better to demonstrate the usefulness of a system dynamics model through its ability to generate counterintuitive insights in games or through its ability to capture the behavior of reference modes in a particularly interesting way. Throughout the talk he used the example of a tradable green certificates model that he developed along with his former Ph.D student Asmeret Bier (now Dr. Bier of Sandia National Labs). Asmeret was also a prior SDS student chapter president. He provided a second exmample from the water/environmental modeling space in order to emphasize that good SD modeling practice is iterative: "simulate early and simulate often." A message that resonated well with the predominantly student audience.


Professor Andrew Ford [left] gives his talk and is presented a comemorative mug [right] at the end of the talk by colloquium co-organizer Katherine Dykes
The final student plenary talk was given by Onur Ozgun of Bogazici University in Turkey. He along with David Keith will serve as the co-organizers for the next Ph.D Colloquium at ICSD 2011 in Washington DC, USA. For this colloquium, he presented his research focusing on the well-known problem in system dynamics literature that people do not have a good understanding of stock and flow structure. He presented an experimental design that he will pursue in order to test a variation of problems and levels of complexity in system dynamics structures to dig deeper into our understanding of these relationships. The work will explore whether certain aspects of complexity are harder for us as a general public to grasp than others as well as how compound sources of complexity affect the experimental results. Onur's talk was followed the last keynote presentation of the day from Professor Namsung Ahn of Solbridge International School of Business in Korea. He began his talk by providing a general lesson in systems thinking and provided a useful metaphor of an iceberg. In the iceberg, events and patterns are above the surface - we can see and identify them. But the important structure that underlies these patterns and events is hidden beneath the surface - and system dynamics is a useful method to uncover these sturctures to help us better understand the patterns and events we witness. He then shared his specific research on the adoption and investment in renewable energy for Korea. In particular, the country is interested in moving to a renewable portfolio standard from a more direct monetary incentive system and his work seeks to understand the implications of this policy switch on renewable energy investment in the country. Each keynote session provided a great combination of general modeling insights with practical applications in the area of energy and sustainability. Following Professor Ahn's speech, the poster session with 9 student presentations (see bios to the right and papers in the colloquium downloads). Refreshments were provided from our sponsor IBM corporation and the Korean System Dynamics Society provided an additional set of traditional Korean cakes to compliment the spread of cookies, tea and coffee. Conversations went on well beyond the session's allocated hour and a half of time, and both attendees and presenters remarked on how useful the overall colloquium experience was. The colloquium provides a unique blend of work in progress review and lessons from experts that one can not get during the regular conference program, so we thank our sponsor and the society for helping to make this program happen!

2:00 PM – Coffee Break

2:15 PM – Third Student Session / Final Keynote

Effects of the Dynamic Complexity Elements on the Overall Complexity of a Simulation Game, by Onur Ozgun

Onur Ozgun is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey. After receiving his B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, in 2003; he started his graduate studies in the same field in Bogazici University, where he is a research assistant since 2004. He joined the Socio-Economic System Dynamics Research Group of the department in 2008. Onur's research experience and interests include system dynamics-based simulation games, learning, business cycles and discrete-event simulation.


Professor Namsung Ahn [left] gives his keynote talk and Korean SDS student volunteers [right] enjoy the poster session after a long day of work!


Students Muhammad Aman Ullah [left] and Amr Farouk Abdel Shafy [right] present their work during the poster session to an engaged audience

Photos courtesy of Dean Christensen, Photographer

Third keynote speaker "The Importance of Causal Loop Diagram in Developing Quantitative Model,” 2:45 PM to 3:30 PM, by Nam Sung Ahn

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Professor Nam Sung Ahn is an Associate Professor at the Solbridge International School of Business where he focuses on research in system dynamics with applications to electricity wholesale market modeling, national sustainable energy programs and corporate strategy for electric utilities. He has been a research fellow with the Korean Electric Power Corporation and has held part time professorial positions with three different universities. He holds a Ph.D. from the Energy Policy Program of the MIT Nuclear Engineering department where his dissertation research focused on system dynamics modeling for large R&D programs.

3:30 PM – Poster Session and Reception

System dynamics: understanding the impact of social network density on the innovation diffusion process, by Abdallah Alalawin

Abdallah Alalawin born in Jordan 1980 , passed B.Sc. and master in industrial engineering , currently he is Ph.D student in Intelligent System and Technology in University of Salento- Italy , he has experience in production , quality, logistic, and conformity assessment fields , he is focusing in his research in LORA (<a name="OLE_LINK14"></a><a name="OLE_LINK15">Level of Repair Analysis</a>) problem and diffusion of innovation process.

A systems perspective to the characterization of dynamic feedback on Work-in-Process (WIP) behaviors, by Dennis Beng Hui

Dennis Beng Hui is a Ph.D. student at the De La Salle University-Manila in Industrial Engineering in the Center for Operations Research and Management Science. His research interest involves in modeling of manufacturing and service systems using discrete event simulation and system dynamics. A special focus of his research is on characterizing and understanding the effect of work-in-process in system performance. He is also currently involved in training and coaching Lean and Six Sigma project teams in manufacturing and service industries.

Modeling the social complexity of projects: Towards a multi-methodological approach, by Philippe Boigey

Philippe Boigey is a Ph.D candidate in strategy to the University of Toulouse – France. He graduated from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya – Spain with a certificate in System Dynamics and a Master in Quality Management at the Business School BEM, Bordeaux – France. He is the CEO of an HMS company which in project management and IT consulting. His research focuses on complexity in projects: team projects and project management.

Modeling Growth Governing Processes in Small and Medium Enterprises, by Amr Farouk Abdel Shafy

Amr Farouk Abdel Shafy is a Ph.D. student in the Maastrict School of Management in the Netherlands and does research using system dynamics approach to studying corporate strategy.

A Framework for Energy Technology Sustainability Assessment Using System Dynamics, by Josephine Musango, Alan Brent

Josephine K Musango is a Researcher with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), South Africa. She holds a Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics from University of Stellenbosch. Her research interest are on environmental and resource management and policy challenges including energy, climate change, land use, water and waste management. Currently she is pursuing a Ph.D study on “Technology assessment of Renewable Energy Sustainability in South Africa” with the University of Stellenbosch.

How can a system dynamics framework aid an understanding of corruption?, by Muhammad Aman Ullah

Aman is doing Ph.D in Operations Management from University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand. He is working on corruption related issues in his PhD. Title of his dissertation is “How can a Systems Perspective aid an Understanding of Corruption?”. Before joining his Ph.D, he was working as Research Officer – Poverty Alleviation Section, Planning Commission of Pakistan.

Dynamic analysis of the structural features of National Innovation Systems in Developing Countries through computer simulation, by Mauricio Uriona Maldonado, Gregorio Varvakis

Mauricio Uriona Maldonado is a Ph.D candidate in Knowledge Engineering and Management at the Federal University of Santa Catarina - UFSC. He is a researcher at the Sustained Management Research Group (NGS), UFSC and at the Research on Research Group, Duke University, USA. His research interests include the application of simulation modeling to assess the performance of innovation systems at the national and regional levels.

System Dynamics Analysis of Water Resource Carrying Capacity in Shandong Province of China, by Huanhuan Qin, Li Lanhai, Xu Honggang

Huanhuan Qin is a second year Ph.D student in Hydrology and Water Resources at the College of Engineering, Peking University and has a research focus on water management and sustainable development using System Dynamics method. Particular applications include modeling the water resource in the NCP (North China Plain) and Shandong Province of China.

Modeling Dynamics of Gaining Expertise in a Call Center, by Nasim Ghanbar Tehrani

Nasim Ghanbar Tehrani is a Ph.D Student at Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran in Industrial Engineering. His research background and interests include: Knowledge Management, System Dynamics, Supply Chain Management, Process Management, and Quantitative Methods. He has been a lecturer for MBA & M.Sc students , as well as a Management Consultant and Researcher in Industrial Management Institute (IMI), which is the leading consulting firm in Iran.

Integration of GIS and system dynamics for Solid waste management system -A case study of Pokhara sub-metropolitan city, Nepal, by Krishna Prasad Bhandari

Krishna Prasad Bhandari is the lecturer in Tribhuvan University, Nepal, currently Ph.D student in Prince of songkla university, Thailand. He did master in Mathematics and postgraduate in remote sensing and Geographic information system. His research is the integration of GIS and system dynamics for the sustainable development of solid waste management system.His research background and interests include sustainable development, lake management and environmental factors for health risk assessment.

4:30 PM – Adjourn Ph.D Colloquium, Begin Student Chapter Annual Meeting

5:30 PM – Newcomer Orientation Meeting (Professor Andrew Ford, Dr. Asmeret Bier)

Sponsor Organizations:

IBM Corporation (with support from the System Dynamics Society)

2010 Ph.D. Colloquium Organizers: Katherine Dykes, MIT & Burcu Tan, UT Austin

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