Formal aspects of model validity and validation in system dynamics

Formal aspects of model validity and validation in system dynamics Model validation constitutes a very important step in system dynamics methodology. Yet, both published and informal evidence indicates that there has been little effort in system dynamics community explicitly devoted to model validity and validation. Validation is a prolonged and complicated process, involving both formal/quantitative tools and informal/qualitative ones. This paper focuses on the formal aspects of validation and presents a taxonomy of various aspects and steps of formal model validation. First, there is a very brief discussion of the philosophical issues involved in model validation, followed by a flowchart that describes the logical sequence in which various validation activities must be carried out. The crucial nature of structure validity in system dynamics (causal‐descriptive) models is emphasized. Then examples are given of specific validity tests used in each of the three major stages of model validation: Structural tests, structure‐oriented behavior tests and behavior pattern tests. Also discussed is if and to what extent statistical significance tests can be used in model validation. Among the three validation stages, the special importance of structure‐oriented behavior tests is emphasized. These are strong behavior tests that can provide information on potential structure flaws. Since structure‐oriented behavior tests combine the strength of structural orientation with the advantage of being quantifiable, they seem to be the most promising direction for research on model validation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png System Dynamics Review Wiley

Formal aspects of model validity and validation in system dynamics

System Dynamics Review, Volume 12 (3) – Sep 1, 1996

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0883-7066
eISSN
1099-1727
D.O.I.
10.1002/(SICI)1099-1727(199623)12:3<183::AID-SDR103>3.0.CO;2-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Model validation constitutes a very important step in system dynamics methodology. Yet, both published and informal evidence indicates that there has been little effort in system dynamics community explicitly devoted to model validity and validation. Validation is a prolonged and complicated process, involving both formal/quantitative tools and informal/qualitative ones. This paper focuses on the formal aspects of validation and presents a taxonomy of various aspects and steps of formal model validation. First, there is a very brief discussion of the philosophical issues involved in model validation, followed by a flowchart that describes the logical sequence in which various validation activities must be carried out. The crucial nature of structure validity in system dynamics (causal‐descriptive) models is emphasized. Then examples are given of specific validity tests used in each of the three major stages of model validation: Structural tests, structure‐oriented behavior tests and behavior pattern tests. Also discussed is if and to what extent statistical significance tests can be used in model validation. Among the three validation stages, the special importance of structure‐oriented behavior tests is emphasized. These are strong behavior tests that can provide information on potential structure flaws. Since structure‐oriented behavior tests combine the strength of structural orientation with the advantage of being quantifiable, they seem to be the most promising direction for research on model validation.

Journal

System Dynamics ReviewWiley

Published: Sep 1, 1996

References

  • Validation, Verification and Testing Techniques Throughout the Life Cycle of A Simulation Study
    Balci, O.
  • An Autocorrelation Function Test For Output Validation
    Barlas, Y.
  • Model Validation: Philosophy, Methodology and Examples
    Carson, E. R.; Flood, R. L.
  • Modeling for Learning Organizations
    Dangerfield, B.
  • A Response to Ansoff and Slevin
    Forrester, J. W.
  • Elements of the System Dynamics Method
    Mass, N.; Senge, P. M.

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