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Applications of System Dynamics for Crisis Response and Management

5th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management ISCRAM2008
SPECIAL SESSION on Applications of System Dynamics for Crisis Response and Management

Decisive action during crises is most effective when the scope and complexity of a problem is well-understood. In most situations, however, the implications of an emerging crisis situation are hidden, and initial responses may exacerbate longer-term recovery. Incomplete information, unknown interdependencies, policy-resistant feedback loops and organizational barriers limit the ability to develop clarity and cohesion among crisis responders. Simulation and simulation models enable testing of various assumptions and provide decision-makers with the ability to explore the consequences of choices before and during a crisis. They can also be useful as a mechanism to capture post-hoc insights into why problems occurred in previous crisis response as an adjunct to root cause analysis.

Research Area

The use of system dynamics as a tool for crisis preparation, reaction, and learning is still in its infancy. System dynamics modeling has been identified as a particularly good tool for codifying and exploring complex domains. Its ability to incorporate hard and soft data and the explicit capture of expert insight into these models grounds these models in ways not available to traditional techniques.

As such, we are looking for academic research that helps improve the use and dissemination of system dynamics-based crisis management and learning models.


ï System dynamics simulation for after action analysis reporting and response planning
ï Formal and informal models to identify leverage points in emergency response
ï Techniques for transferring simulation lessons into emergency preparedness
ï Mechanisms for development of actionable information through simulation tools and experiments
ï Ad-hoc extensions to existing simulations to support rapid decision making
ï Simulation as a mechanism to manage information overload and stress during crises
ï Organizational structures and conflicts that improve or inhibit effective crisis response and recovery

Click here to download the Special Session Call in PDF format

Institutional Members



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