System dynamics (SD) is an established discipline to model and simulate complex dynamic systems. The primary goal of SD is to evaluate and design new policies that can impact the system under study in a desired way. This article introduces a new and coherent framework for model analysis, called structural analysis methods (SAM), to facilitate the policy design process in complex SD models. SAM provides a resource-efficient and effective means for the detection of candidate policy parameters. It enables to identify intended and unintended effects of activating these policy parameters, and to discover candidate structural changes such as introducing new variables and links in SD models. The main innovation of SAM is that it translates the structure of SD models into weighted digraphs allowing algorithmic tools from the realms of graph theory and network science to be applied to SD
Schoenenberger, L., Schmid, A., Tanase, R., Beck, M., & Schwaninger, M. (2021). Structural analysis of system dynamics models. Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory, 102333.