Talk:Modeling & Simulation with Insight Maker
SD Forum Post by Scott 12.11.07
I am pleased to announce the release of Insight Maker 3.0. This release coincides with Insight Maker crossing 10,000 registered users!
InsightMaker.com is a free System Dynamics modeling tool that runs completely in the browser. It enables you to build, run and share System Dynamics models without downloading or installing a single program.
The focus of this release is:
- A redesigned interface making it easier to find preexisting models.
- Extensive vector mathematics operations.
- Agent Based modeling features to complement the classical System Dynamics methods. System Dynamics methods and Agent Based techniques are fully integrated and able to interact together.
- A wide range of usability changes and stability improvements.
These features are added to Insight Maker's traditionally very strong System Dynamics support and feature set that includes:
- Classical System Dynamics functions
- Full set of System Dynamics components such as Stocks and Flow
- Sensitivity testing
- Extensive Units support
- 1st Order and 4th Order differential equation engines
- Web interface without software download needed
- The ability to share a model as a webpage simply by sending a link
- Completely Free
The following are two perspectives on InsightMaker.com:
Gene Bellinger, who manages SystemsWiki.org and host the Systems Thinking World discussion group on LinkedIn, comments that, "To claim that Insight Maker is awesome would be an understatement. Insight Maker is the only free web-based multi-user modeling and simulation environment available today. And because of what the environment presents. it does more to promote the development and sharing of systemic insights than any product in existence to date."
Geoff McDonnell, Director of Adaptive Care Systems in Australia, uses Insight Maker to help conceptualise Health Care problems, explain why current policies don’t work and and identify differences in policy options using simulations as what-if experiments. McDonnell comments that "Insight Maker is great for firstly making our ideas clear in a map, converting the map into computational model, displaying behaviours over time and performing scenario runs. It can now Support agent based scenarios, storytelling and sensitivity analysis and run large models quickly. I’m amazed at how quickly the web-based service has improved in the last two years”
Gene Quote: "Insight Maker is a free web-based multi-user modeling and simulation environment and because of the environment it presents it does more to promote the development and sharing of systemic insights than any product in existence to date."
Ben Potter Comments
while we're finding each other on skype here're a few thoughts:
1. there a few typos on the One-Plus-On-Equals page - I'm sure you know they're there;
2. I used to claim that model building had a number of uses: learning how to make something learning how something pre-existing works clarifying own thinking by trying to build a model of something only vaguely grasped constructing 'what if' scenarios to guide understanding and e.g. policy where change is proposed learning how to optimise something (related) teaching how complexity lurks within the apparently simple (the key systems dynamics message, perhaps?)
3. supplementary caveats regarding model-building: be clear at the outset why you are building it be very cautious if/when you are tempted to try and apply it outside that context (balsa wood models of aircraft may be fine for wind tunnel trials for aerodynamic design yet very poor for modelling structural integrity for example) be clear at the outset when the model will be of no more use be brave enough to discard it when it is of no more use, or at least archive it carefully plus all the usual stuff about 'all models are wrong, some are helpful' - 'give a fool a tool and you've still got a fool' etc.
4. systems dynamics deserves, I submit, to be placed in a context within systems thinking at large i.e. an approach based on a cybernetic (-ish) view of a system. It is important to remember the perils of one-club golfing and the old saying about 'to a person with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail'.
Should you find any of these observations we can chat - I'm on skype as benpotter68
All the best, and keep up the good work!