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Systems, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Adding Feedbacks and Non-Linearity to the Neoclassical Growth Model: A New Realm for System Dynamics Applications
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
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Abstract
Modelling of economic systems is traditionally associated with a mathematical formalism that has its drawbacks and limitations. This study applies system dynamics as a specific modelling technique that enables us to modify and elaborate existing economic models and improve them both from a
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Modelling of economic systems is traditionally associated with a mathematical formalism that has its drawbacks and limitations. This study applies system dynamics as a specific modelling technique that enables us to modify and elaborate existing economic models and improve them both from a theoretical perspective and for practical applications. More specifically, the Solow-Swan growth model is enriched by feedback and non-linearity based on its extension by the energy sector. The influence and role of renewable resources are considered in this enhancement. The developed model is tested in two different scenarios and utilizes sensitivity analysis as the primary tool. Acquired outcomes offer a new perspective on the economy–energy nexus based on real data and demonstrate that system dynamics can be successfully used as a modelling tool even in the theoretical economics as a traditional discipline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Economic Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Efficient and Equitable Climate Change Policies
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 8 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
This report describes the Integrated Assessment Model TIAM-MACRO, which is a Ramsey-type macroeconomic growth model linked with a technology-rich engineering model of the energy-system and with a stylized sub-model of climate change. TIAM-MACRO contributes to coherent and consistent policy analyses at both the
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This report describes the Integrated Assessment Model TIAM-MACRO, which is a Ramsey-type macroeconomic growth model linked with a technology-rich engineering model of the energy-system and with a stylized sub-model of climate change. TIAM-MACRO contributes to coherent and consistent policy analyses at both the world and regional level and correlates demand for energy services to macro-economic developments across regions and time until the end of the 21st century. With the help of this model, two contrasting scenarios are defined related to the reference development (BASE) case and the 2 °C (2DS) case that follow long-term policies on climatic change mitigation in the spirit of the Paris agreement. Finally, we define ex-post market and non-market damages together with the damages related to Local Atmospheric Pollutants (LAP). The stringency of the 2DS case requires the complete restructuring of the energy and transport systems to be relying on carbon-free technologies and fuels together with technologies of negative emissions, at high costs. The study concludes that carbon policies not only consist of an insurance against the risk of climate change but also improve the ambient air quality, as they have secondary benefits that compensate for part of the cost of carbon control. However, the stringency of the 2DS case is so demanding that the cost of climate policies is above benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Economic Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Online Academic Networks as Knowledge Brokers: The Mediating Role of Organizational Support
Received: 21 March 2018 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 14 April 2018
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Abstract
Placing online academic networks in the framework of social, cultural and institutional “deterritorialization,” the current paper aims at investigating the functionality of these new forms of transnational and trans-organizational aggregations as knowledge brokers. The emphasis is laid on the influence of human collective
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Placing online academic networks in the framework of social, cultural and institutional “deterritorialization,” the current paper aims at investigating the functionality of these new forms of transnational and trans-organizational aggregations as knowledge brokers. The emphasis is laid on the influence of human collective intelligence and consistent knowledge flows on research innovation, considering the role of organizational support within higher education systems. In this respect, the research relied on a questionnaire-based survey with 140 academics from European emerging countries, the data collected being processed via a partial least squares structural equation modelling technique. Evidence was brought that, as knowledge brokers, online academic networks are systems aimed to support the access to human collective intelligence and consistent knowledge flows which exert a positive influence on research innovation, both directly and indirectly, by means of formal and informal organizational support. As facilitators of collaborative environments for individuals with specialized knowledge, competence, expertise and experience, online academic networks have set themselves up as an agora for academics worldwide and as an outlet for their acumen and literacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance Change in Organizational and Territorial Systems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Reflections on Teaching System Dynamics Modeling to Secondary School Students for over 20 Years
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper contains the description of a successful system dynamics (SD) modeling approach used for almost a quarter-century in secondary schools, both in algebra classes and in a year-long SD modeling course. Secondary school students have demonstrated an ability to build original models
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This paper contains the description of a successful system dynamics (SD) modeling approach used for almost a quarter-century in secondary schools, both in algebra classes and in a year-long SD modeling course. Secondary school students have demonstrated an ability to build original models from the news, write technical papers explaining their models, and present a newfound understanding of dynamic feedback behavior to an audience. The educational learning theory and instructional methods used for both the algebra and modeling courses are detailed, with examples. Successful student SD modeling experiences suggest the SD approach can expand the sophistication of topics that secondary school students can understand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Practice in System Dynamics Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle Innovation Emergence: Public Policies versus Actors’ Free Interaction
Received: 25 February 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
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Abstract
The main argument of this work is that innovation flourishes and emerges in a creative environment where the actors interact freely, to the extent that this environment is a complex adaptive system. Public or institutional policies, trying to induce innovation, must be careful
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The main argument of this work is that innovation flourishes and emerges in a creative environment where the actors interact freely, to the extent that this environment is a complex adaptive system. Public or institutional policies, trying to induce innovation, must be careful to not stifle or interrupt the emergence of novelties in the path from creation and conception to market involvement. Our proposed model argues that innovation emerges wherever evolution, learning, mutation, and competition between individuals and firms are permitted, without restrictions or pre-defined paths to the market. We describe two cases of innovation by way of example: the first case shows how several—and sometimes anonymous—elements interact and compete in a typical environment of innovation, while the second case shows how continuous policies to foment innovation may create results to the contrary. In addition, we show technology clusters as cases where the emergence of innovation can be fostered by policies that observe the complex adaptive system characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Adaptive Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping Digital Co-Creation for Urban Communities and Public Places
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
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Abstract
Increasingly digital communication, social media and computing networks put the end-users at the center of innovation processes, thus shifting the emphasis from technologies to people. In the private sector, this shift to user-centricity has been conceptualized under such approaches as Service-Dominant Logic and
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Increasingly digital communication, social media and computing networks put the end-users at the center of innovation processes, thus shifting the emphasis from technologies to people. In the private sector, this shift to user-centricity has been conceptualized under such approaches as Service-Dominant Logic and Open Innovation 2.0. Public sector conceptualizes the change through the New Public Governance and Open Government paradigms and suggest that the public value is no longer created by the governments alone but in collaboration between the public entities, private sector, civil society organizations and citizens. While traditional approaches to public engagement and governmental transformations remain relevant, this article focuses on the growing potential of networked urban communities to solve the social problems. It expands the co-creation research field and suggests a typology discerning co-creation patterns when enhancing the public spaces with a community-wide participation with the use of creative, innovative and cooperative Information and Communication Technologies’ applications. The sample for web-based monitoring consists of 10 digital applications linked with design and improvement of public spaces in Vilnius, Lithuania. The proposed typology framework gives an overview of the state-of-art in the interaction between people, places and technology. The research helps to discern how different technological, organizational and other social factors influence and shape the patterns of co-creative initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Governance Change in Organizational and Territorial Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Using Systems Thinking to Understand and Enlarge Mental Models: Helping the Transition to a Sustainable World
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability and climate change are massive global problems that stem from the industrial world’s relentless pursuit of growth. Transitioning to a sustainable world requires understanding citizen mental models and our addiction to short-term rewards. This paper uses causal loop diagramming (CLD) to describe
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Sustainability and climate change are massive global problems that stem from the industrial world’s relentless pursuit of growth. Transitioning to a sustainable world requires understanding citizen mental models and our addiction to short-term rewards. This paper uses causal loop diagramming (CLD) to describe the general, prevailing citizen viewpoint and to propose a wider mental model that takes the natural world and sustainability into account. The corporate profit model that depicts the wider view acknowledges and describes the important impacts and influences of political pressure on our social, economic, and ecological systems. Adopting the wider mental model can help the industrialized world design better policy to achieve both national and United Nations (UN) sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Thinking)
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Open AccessArticle Theory of an Emerging-State Actor: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Case
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper proposes a new theory of non-state actors who engage in irregular warfare to seize territory and govern openly, called emerging-state actors. Emerging-state actors arise in periods of irregular conflict, such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The
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This paper proposes a new theory of non-state actors who engage in irregular warfare to seize territory and govern openly, called emerging-state actors. Emerging-state actors arise in periods of irregular conflict, such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The theory tries to answer “what is/was” the Islamic State because emerging-state actors differ notably from other non-state actors and insurgencies in irregular conflict. Causal diagrams as well as key propositions present the theory. Testing occurs against a system dynamics simulation called the “Emerging-State Actor Model” (E-SAM), loaded with the ISIS historical case in Syria and Iraq. Through experiments the simulation confirms evidence of emerging-state actor behavior as well as a range of contingencies showing their applicability. The novelty of E-SAM as a simulation for irregular conflict is its ability to handle multiple forms of conflict including political grievance, terrorism, insurgencies and emerging-state actors. E-SAM can also simulate multiple actors within each conflict: domestic and foreign state actors, local conflict actors, as well as different ethnographic groups. It can be parameterized with scenarios to simulate a variety of scenarios: ISIS in Libya, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Taliban in Afghanistan and even expatriated ISIS fighters returning to pursue new conflicts such as in Indonesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Practice in System Dynamics Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle Application of Emerging-State Actor Theory: Analysis of Intervention and Containment Policies
Received: 8 March 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 20 May 2018
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Abstract
Our research builds upon a theory of emerging-state actors. We look to apply the theory in analyzing intervention and containment policies to use against emerging-state actors, using the Islamic State of Syria & Iraqi (ISIS) as the case study. We show utility across
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Our research builds upon a theory of emerging-state actors. We look to apply the theory in analyzing intervention and containment policies to use against emerging-state actors, using the Islamic State of Syria & Iraqi (ISIS) as the case study. We show utility across four military applications of simulation: understanding, forecasting and responding to adversary and societal behavior; understanding enemy command and control structures; and analyzing, forecasting and planning courses-of-action (COA). To do this, we created two baseline scenarios—one replicating the historical foreign intervention against ISIS and a counter-factual where no foreign intervention occurred. We then conducted a suite of experiments on contemporary military intervention policies in isolation, combination, at different timing windows and under hypothetical “best case” conditions as well as operationally constrained. Insights of these experiments’ tests include the influence of ethnographic envelopes, timing windows, the importance of actor legitimacy and the marginally diminishing returns of combat actions. Finally, we test a policy based on emerging-state actor theory incorporating these insights against the contemporary policies, historical baseline and two falsification policies. The emerging-state actor COA performs significantly better than others. Our research contributes a simulation, called the Emerging-State Actor Model (E-SAM). This simulation includes military, economic, political, social and information aspects (known asDIME-PMESII simulations) for both researchers and military planners concerned with irregular conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theory and Practice in System Dynamics Modelling)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Floodplains and Complex Adaptive Systems—Perspectives on Connecting the Dots in Flood Risk Assessment with Coupled Component Models
Received: 10 December 2017 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 30 March 2018 / Published: 5 April 2018
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Abstract
Floodplains, as seen from the flood risk management perspective, are composed of co-evolving natural and human systems. Both flood processes (that is, the hazard) and the values at risk (that is, settlements and infrastructure built in hazardous areas) are dynamically changing over time
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Floodplains, as seen from the flood risk management perspective, are composed of co-evolving natural and human systems. Both flood processes (that is, the hazard) and the values at risk (that is, settlements and infrastructure built in hazardous areas) are dynamically changing over time and influence each other. These changes influence future risk pathways. The co-evolution of all of these drivers for changes in flood risk could lead to emergent behavior. Hence, complexity theory and systems science can provide a sound theoretical framework for flood risk management in the 21st century. This review aims at providing an entry point for modelers in flood risk research to consider floodplains as complex adaptive systems. For the systems science community, the actual problems and approaches in the flood risk research community are summarized. Finally, an outlook is given on potential future coupled component modeling approaches that aims at bringing together both disciplines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complex Adaptive Systems)
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