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Further Model Types and their uses


Rich Pictures

  • Often first stage in design process
  • Free format diagram to capture system
  • Identifies politics, processes, emotions
  • Theme places in middle, link words placed around it

Systems Dynamics

  • Show states and rates for given situation
  • Example: human population and rate of increase/decrease
  • Other states can be modelled against human population such as food consumption, food production, water consumption
  • Allows point of intervention to be identified & modelled, i.e. if population increases by x what increase in food production will be required
  • Helps identify impact of time lags on system
  • Effective in identifying feedback loops


  • Commonly used for mathematical modelling
  • Effective for “what if” analysis

Influence Diagram

  • Illustrates influences that occur in system
  • Can be used as both hard and soft model
  • Can help identify hard-to-spot influences when used as soft model

Force Field

  • Identifies forces driving & restraining change in situation

Conceptual Models

  • Part of soft system methodology
  • Model purposeful activity in system – i.e. what are logical activities of system
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