Author Archives: Siôn Cave

Survey on Attitudes Towards Reproducibility and Open Science in Simulation Publishing

Category : News

There is a survey being carried out to capture attitudes of our Modelling & Simulation (M&S) community towards both Reproducibility and Open Science in simulation publishing.

There are major concerns that the results in many published peer-reviewed articles cannot be reproduced or verified independently.  Some journals are changing their policies to address these issues. Open Science approaches go further in that they encourage the open sharing of scientific artefacts (e.g. data, software, methods, processes, etc.) under appropriate terms and conditions to enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.  Publishing policies in both Reproducibility and Open Science could have a major impact on how we approach M&S research in the future.

The survey consists of six sections and will take around 20-25 minutes to complete. The results will be published as both a report and a journal paper. Both will be open access.

The survey will be open until December 2018.

Access the survey at

Simulation Workshop SW18

Category : News

The Operational Research Society is running a Simulation Workshop (SW18) on 19th to 21st March 2018 at the Ettington Chase Hotel, near Stratford. More information on the event at

It is still possible to submit posters for the event,  which offers a platform to show off the incredible SD work that you are involved with. (Plus there is a prize for best poster!). If you would like to submit a poster, then you need to submit a 150 word poster abstract to the Poster Stream, here   –  by the deadline of 8th January 2018.

This is open to all delegates i.e. from practice, simulation software development and research. Posters could contain:

  • An overview of a simulation case study either complete or in progress;
  • An overview of a simulation research project either complete or in progress;
  • A description of an important issue in simulation research or practice;
  • A description of a new way to visualise simulation results;
  • An overview of a piece of simulation software;
  • Insights from practice about how to successfully run simulation studies;
  • Links between simulation and analytics;
  • Links between simulation and behavioural OR


SD in healthcare at SCiO Open Meeting – Manchester – 16/10/17

Category : News

Society member Peter Lacey will be presenting on ‘System Dynamics in Healthcare’ at the SCiO Open Meeting being held at Manchester Business School on October 16. Peter will provide insights from the use of System Dynamics modelling over a 20 year career in health and social care consultancy. He will provide people with a walk through of some existing models and explore some of the pitfalls and benefits of the approach. There will be an opportunity to explore both quantitative and qualitative elements of systems and how they feature in SD modelling against a background of the culture and expectations of the health and care system today.

SCiO is a group for systems practitioners and is based in the UK, but has members internationally. It is focused primarily on systems practice and practitioners rather than on pure theory and on systems practice as applied to issues of organisation.

The open meeting costs £20 to attend, and also includes the following presentations:

  • Portia Light – Fake art, bad science and what we can learn from using systems thinking to examine the mechanics of law
  • Steve Whitla – Making more meaningful models: A hands-on guide
  • Benjamin Taylor – Meta-contextuality through the medium of Bongard games: why methods and practices depend on context

More information on the event here –

Simulation Stream at OR59

Category : News

The Operational Research Society’s annual conference, OR59, is being held at Loughborough University between 12 and 14th September 2017.

The Simulation Stream welcomes submissions from all areas of simulation methodology and practice, including System Dynamics. The stream will cover topics such as:

  • Conceptual modelling;
  • Facilitated Modelling;
  • Comparison/Mixed Method/Hybrid simulation;
  • Parallel and Distributed Simulation (PADS);
  • Simulation software and technology;
  • Verification & validation;
  • Design and analysis of experiments;
  • Input and output analysis;
  • Serious games;
  • Simulation Education
  • Simulation Optimisation

The stream is particularly interested in new and exciting simulation case studies and practitioner oriented papers (e.g. manufacturing, healthcare, project management, defence, service systems, transportation, telecommunications, etc.).

Presentation titles and abstracts can be submitted here:

Submissions due by 30th June.

Nature of Prosperity II: The Audacity of Hope

Category : Uncategorized


The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), is presenting a public debates on one of the most vital questions of our time: “what does prosperity mean in a world of environmental and social limits?”

Baron Rowan Williams will lead and facilitate the dialogue with Jørgen Randers (co-author of the 1972 Limits to Growth study), Camilla Toulmin (former director of the International Institute for Environment and Development) and Graeme Maxton (Secretary General of the Club of Rome). Towards the end of the event, Graeme and Jørgen will present (and sign copies of) their new book Reinventing Prosperity, which outlines “thirteen politically feasible proposals to improve our world”.

More information on this free event at

Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A feedback systems approach

Category : News

The second edition of Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics: A feedback systems approach by John Morecroft has recently been published. This new edition also offers a rich Learners’ website with models, articles and videos, as well as a separate Instructors’ website resource, with lecture slides and other course materials.

For more information about the book, please go to There is a sample chapter available here

A Robust Data-driven Macro-socioeconomic-energy Model

System Dynamics can be applied to national accounts along with energy flows, employment and transportation. This is demonstrated in a recent paper “A Robust Data-driven Macro-socioeconomic-energy Model” available for free until 6 May 2016 at The paper introduces what’s called the 7see model showing how it is configured using historical data (from 1990 for the UK economy) and how its performance is assessed in reproducing the historical period. Publications to follow will show how the 7see approach enables historical data to underpin business-as-usual (BAU) scenario to 2035, then how to introduce policies that give rise to different outcomes. This work will be presented at the our annual conference on 14th April. COP21 in Paris introduced yet another acronym, INDCs for Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Since this 7see modelling works at national level, it is well placed to help policy makers address the challenges of evaluating and comparing paths that will take them to their new national carbon-reduction targets.

NATCOR SD training course – 9th to 11th May 2016

Category : News

We have been informed of an SD training course to be held at the University of Warwick on the 9th to 11th May and thought you might like to know.  Details can be found here. The purpose of this two and a half-days seminar is to introduce system dynamics and illustrate its use in operational research, particularly at the strategic end of operations. The seminar includes lectures, workshops and discussion of contemporary applied research.

Report on “Developing Mathematical Models in Healthcare: Special Workshop on System Dynamics”

On Wednesday 27th January 2016 a special seminar on System Dynamics applied to healthcare was held at the School of Mathematics, Cardiff University. This was part of their regular Developing Mathematical Models in Healthcare seminar series. The event brought together experts in the field to talk about a selection of System Dynamics based projects in health and social care.

The seminar opened with a short introduction to System Dynamics, demonstrating the core concepts of accumulation and feedback when modelling a complex health system.

This was followed by a presentation by Dr Siôn Cave, a consultant with Decision Analysis Services Ltd. Siôn gave a short overview of a number of projects (population behaviour, disease transmission, public health intervention and disease modelling) to reflect the variety of contexts where he has used System Dynamics. Siôn then focused on two high impact national projects (national workforce planning and Horizon 2035: modelling the future of health and social care) to highlight the value of the method.

Finally, Douglas McKelvie, a partner at The Symmetric Partnership, discussed using System Dynamics to improve strategic decision making. The presentation focused on two projects: modelling winter pressures on a healthcare system and modelling (health) service integration to examine whether (and when) the cost of an intervention will be offset by savings.

The speakers kindly agreed to make their slides available. Please find them here:

Some useful resources mentioned in the seminar:

Finally, echoing the final remarks of Professor Paul Harper at the event, please get in touch with Jo Emery ( if you would like further details regarding hosting an MSc project.

Making an impact in the health and social care system with SD

The Steer Davies Gleave prize was awarded between 2008 and 2014 for the best application of System Dynamics modelling to a topic of wide public interest. Over this period it was awarded four times, and in each case the work was related to projects which had a significant impact on the delivery of healthcare, social care and public health in the UK.

Case studies for each of these award winning projects have been brought together in a single document. They demonstrate the breadth of the application of System Dynamics to critical issues affecting the national health and social care system. In short, these case studies demonstrate how System Dynamics has been used to save the health and care system millions of pounds whilst improving care outcomes.

The document can be downloaded from Here

More information about each of the case studies can be viewed Here

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