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# System Dynamics Models: MCQs part III

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### System Dynamics Models: MCQs part III

1. 1. Small System Dynamics Models for Big Issues Triple Jump towards Real-World Dynamic Complexity Erik Pruyt | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | | First time readers: start with the preface | |
2. 2. Chapter 11 MCQs Part III ‘[A]ll models are wrong, but some are useful’ (Box and Draper 1987) Which of the following statements are right and which are wrong? 1. The smaller the smoothing time, the smaller the oscillations in the smoothed response are. 2. A seed is a number from which a pseudo-random number is generated. 3. The number of feedback loops in a CLD equals the order of the system being modeled: e.g. a feedback loop system with 2 loops corresponds to a 2nd order system. 4. In models containing discrete functions, Euler is the most appropriate integration method. 5. For a given step size, Runge-Kutta(4) will always outperform Euler in a purely continuous model with oscillatory tendencies. 6. SD models are continuous models: a model with discrete functions cannot be called a SD model since it is not continuous. 7. In SD models, using softmin/softmax structures is always better than min/max functions. 8. It is possible that the same real-world system element –for various levels of aggregation and time horizons of interest– is modeled as a constant, a stock, a ﬂow, or an auxiliary. 9. A softmin is a smoothed min function in a soft variable. 10. Two step functions can substitute a pulse function, and a pulse function in an inﬂow plus a stock variable can substitute a step function. 11. Using random sampling is a substitute for using randomizers. 12. Unexpected runaway behavior could be caused by a sign error in a stock equation, e.g. INTEG(-inﬂow, initial) or INTEG(+outﬂow, initial). 13. Floating point errors indicate that even though all equations can be computed, values to be computed are too big. They are often caused by positive feedback loops or divisions by 0. 14. If the eigenvalues of a 2nd order SODE are complex with a negative real part, then the behavior is asymptotically stable in the equilibrium points. 15. PULSE TRAINS can be replicated with a combination of Time, Modulo and PULSE func- tions. 137
3. 3. HOP: MCQs Part III c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt Multiple Choice Question 1 Consider the cash balance model of a company on the left. Receipts (blue –1–) ﬂow into the bal- ance at a particular rate, and expenditures (red –2–) ﬂow out at a particular rate as is displayed on the right. The graph on the right shows the evolution of the receipts and expenditures over time. Given this information and assuming that the initial cash balance equals e100, what is the behavior of the ﬁrm’s cash balance? (a) (b) (c) (d) Multiple Choice Question 2 Using a simplistic SD model one can foresee that the currently known gas reserves will be depleted within 40 years if the demand for gas keeps on increasing by 2% per year. Suppose that gas reserves are just half as large as expected. How many years would it take then before the gas reserves are depleted if the demand for gas keeps on increasing by 2% per year? | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 138 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
4. 4. c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt HOP: MCQs Part III a. ± 16 years; b. ± 23 years; c. ± 30 years; d. None of the previous answers. Multiple Choice Question 3 Consider the behavior over time of the stock variable on the right. This stock variable has 1 outﬂow and no inﬂow. By which of the outﬂow behaviors displayed below could the behavior of the stock variable be caused? (a) (b) (c) (d) Multiple Choice Question 4 Given the model on the depletion of ‘natural gas’ displayed on the left, what are the units of the variable demand gas growth if the units of gas use are m3 /Y ear? a. m3 /Y ear b. m3 /Y ear2 c. m3 d. None of these answers is correct | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 139 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
5. 5. HOP: MCQs Part III c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt Multiple Choice Question 5 Consider the behavior of an input (blue curve) and its delayed output (red curve) in the graph on the right. The input increases according to a STEP function at t = 5 and the delay time varies following the green curve. Which type of delay of which order could cause this behavior? a. a 1st order information delay b. a 3rd order information delay c. a 3rd order material delay d. none of them could cause this behavior Multiple Choice Question 6 Consider the graph below. A step function input (1) is delayed with variable delay time (2). Which of following statements related to the delayed responses (3) and (4) could be true? a. (3) is a 3rd order material delay, (4) is a 1st order information delay b. (3) is a 3rd order information delay, (4) is a 1st order material delay c. (3) is a 1st order material delay, (4) is a 3rd order information delay d. (3) is a 1st order information delay, (4) is a 3rd order material delay Multiple Choice Question 7 Consider the SFD on the right. Which of the following statements concerning this model could possibly be correct? a. This structure combines a ﬁrst-order material delay with a second-order material delay, which together make a 3rd order material delay. The ﬁnal outﬂow is therefore a 3rd order material delay of the inﬂow. b. This structure combines a ﬁrst-order material delay with a second-order material delay, but by means of blue information arrows, which does not make a 3rd order material delay. The ﬁnal outﬂow is therefore not a 3rd order material delay of the inﬂow. c. This structure combines a ﬁrst-order material delay with a second-order material delay, but is not a 3rd order material delay. This structure can generate oscillatory behavior of the ﬁnal outﬂow even if the inﬂow is not oscillatory. d. None of the statements above could possibly be correct. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 140 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
6. 6. c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt HOP: MCQs Part III Multiple Choice Question 8 Suppose you are asked to turn the 1st order delay structure on the left –without too many changes (e.g. by using a function)– into a 3rd order de- lay structure. Which of the following adapted stock-ﬂow structures could be used to simulate a 3rd order delay if all variables –except for some constants– are visualized? (a) (b) (c) (d) Multiple Choice Question 9 Consider the following model in which inStock2 = inStock1 = in and out = outStock1 = outStock2. What does this structure correspond to? a. The ﬁrst tier in a bull-whip structure b. A negative feedback loop with a delay c. A 1st order material delay d. None of the previous answers is correct Multiple Choice Question 10 A 3rd order material delay structure is given below. The system with a Delay Time of 5 months is observed to be in equilibrium. If the Input Flow to this structure is 10 cars/week, which of the following is true about the Output Flow and/or the value of the stock variables? | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 141 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
7. 7. HOP: MCQs Part III c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt a. The stock values cannot be calculated. b. All stock values are equal. c. The output ﬂow is equal to 2 cars/week. d. Stock 3 has a value of 2 cars. Multiple Choice Question 11 Consider following graph representing the behavior of an input (dashed green) and the behavior of the delayed output (red). The input steps up at t = 2, and the time constant changes abruptly at t = 4. What order and type of delay could cause this behavior? a. a 1st order material delay b. a 3rd order material delay c. a 1st order information delay d. a 3rd order information delay Multiple Choice Question 12 The simple SD model below is about the outbreak of pneumonic plague in an isolated com- munity (more precisely a remote Chinese village with 10000 inhabitants). The behavior on the right hand side of the Stock-Flow Diagram is generated with this model. Which of the following statements is correct? | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 142 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
8. 8. c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt HOP: MCQs Part III a. The model is wrong because of a speciﬁcation error: the infection ﬂow must be modeled as non-negative. b. The model is wrong because of a numeric integration error: it looks as though the Euler integration method is used with too big a time step. c. The model is wrong because of a numeric integration error: it looks as though the Runge- Kutta4 integration method is used with too small a time step. d. The model is wrong because of a speciﬁcation error: the recovery ﬂow and deaths ﬂow should have been modeled as non-negative ﬂows. Multiple Choice Question 13 Which of the following statements regarding the table function displayed below is incorrect? a. If this graph represents an additive eﬀect, the reference point is (0,0). b. The modeler should check whether this sin- gle graph function can be modeled as the combination of two diﬀerent eﬀects. c. This graph cannot represent a multiplica- tive eﬀect. d. If this graph represents a multiplicative ef- fect, then it has two reference points. Multiple Choice Question 14 Examine the behavior of a stock variable on the left (assume the stock converges to a level of 20 in the long-run). What is the constant doubling time or half-life time? a. A constant half-life of 3.5 time periods b. A constant half-life of 7 time periods c. A constant doubling time of 17.5 periods d. None of these answers is correct Multiple Choice Question 15 Which of the following statements concerning stock variables is wrong? a. Stocks allow ﬂows to be decoupled. b. A stock can be increased by decreasing its outﬂow rate. c. Stocks change relatively slowly, even when their ﬂows change suddenly and/or rapidly. d. Stocks would become nil or would cease to exist if systems would be paused. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 143 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
9. 9. HOP: MCQs Part III c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt Multiple Choice Question 16 Suppose you made a SD model (as displayed above) concerning the large herbivores population in the ‘Oostvaardersplassen’ (OVP), and that you used the carrying capacity calculation displayed in Figure 10.1 on page 134. The graph on the left shows the 3rd or- der smoothed response of the ﬂow vari- ables (in blue: smoothed info on large herbivores births; in red: smoothed info on large herbivores deaths). Which of the following graphs could then be the graph of the corresponding smoothed stock variable smoothed info on large herbivores? | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 144 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
10. 10. c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt HOP: MCQs Part III Multiple Choice Question 17 Case 10.13 on page 133 and the previous MCQ deal with massive starvation in the OVP. In the guiding questions, one is asked to simulate the model with diﬀerent ‘seeds’ for the two randomizers. What could be concluded from these simulations with diﬀerent seeds? a. The signiﬁcant diﬀerence in dynamics show this model is strongly behavior pattern sensitive and policy sensitivity for changes in the values of these seeds. It could therefore be concluded that changing the seed is an interesting policy measure. b. The simulated dynamics are numerically diﬀerent which indicates that the model is numer- ically sensitive to changes in the values of the seeds, but not behavior pattern sensitive. If the model is an appropriate model of the dynamics of large herbivores in the OVP, then it could be concluded that the situation in the OVP could not have been foreseen. c. The simulated behavior patterns are hardly diﬀerent in a qualitative sense: the model is not numerically sensitive to changes of the seeds. d. None of the previous conclusions is correct. Multiple Choice Question 18 Following up on the previous two MCQs regarding the OVP model (case 10.13 on page 133) dis- played above: which of the following speciﬁcations does not allow –if applied to a further correctly speciﬁed model– to generate this behavior? In other words, which formula is surely wrong? a. births large herbivores = DELAY FIXED(large herbivores * percentage birth rate * birth season / length birth season * randomizer births, 2, large herbivores * percentage birth rate * birth season/length birth season * randomizer births) b. percentage birth rate = WITH LOOKUP(large herbivores ; ((0, 0.05), (1000, 0.075), (3000, 0.2), (4000, 0.3), (5000, 0.45), (6000, 0.75)) ) c. birth season = PULSE TRAIN(1982.5, length birth season, 1, FINAL TIME); with length birth season = TIME STEP d. smoothed info large herbivores = SMOOTH3I(large herbivores, 1, initial number of large herbivores) Multiple Choice Question 19 The normal death rate of inhabitants of a country amounts to 6 deaths per 1000 inhabitants per year. However, the future death rate may increase due to signiﬁcant deterioration of the drinking water quality. Large quan- tities of chloride per liter drinking water are harmful to public health: the death rate is 1 per 1000 inhabitants higher in countries with 50mg chlo- ride per liter drinking water than in countries without chloride-polluted drinking water, and is even 5 deaths per 1000 inhabitants higher in coun- tries with 100mg chloride per liter drinking water. Suppose you included this eﬀect in the model displayed on the right. The ‘additional death rate through chloride lookup’ function connects following couples: (0,0), (50,0.001), (100,0.005). Which of following speciﬁcations for the deaths ﬂow is then best? a. deaths = inhabitants * (normal death rate + additional death rate through chloride lookup); with additional death rate through chloride lookup a function of chloride in drinking water | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 145 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
11. 11. HOP: MCQs Part III c⃝ 2013 by Erik Pruyt b. deaths = inhabitants * normal death rate * (1 + additional death rate through chloride lookup; with chloride in drinking water being the argument of additional death rate through chloride lookup c. deaths = inhabitants * normal death rate + additional death rate through chloride lookup * chloride in drinking water d. deaths = inhabitants * normal death rate + additional death rate through chloride lookup; with additional death rate through chloride lookup a function of chloride in drinking water Multiple Choice Question 20 Consider the ﬁsheries model displayed above. Which Fish stock behavior could be expected if the model starts with a very small number of ships, the ship building rate is always ≥ 0, all ships are used to ﬁsh, ships are not decommissioned, and the Fish stock starts far below equilibrium? a. continuous exponential growth b. sustainable S-shaped growth c. growth, overshoot, and collapse d. continued cyclic behavior Link to the answers to the 15 right/wrong questions & 20 multiple choice questions in this chapter. Links to web based quizzes: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |STOP | 146 | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\$| | |
12. 12. Flexible E-Book for Blended Learning with Online Materials Although this e-book is ﬁrst and foremost an electronic case book, it is much more than just a set of case descriptions: it is the backbone of an online blended-learning approach. It consists of 6 concise theory chapters, short theory videos, 6 chapters with about 90 modeling exercises and cases, many demo and feedback videos, feedback sheets for each case, 5 overall chapters with feedback, 5 chapters with multiple choice questions (with graphs or ﬁgures), hundreds of online multiple choice questions, links to on-site lectures, past exams, models, online simulators, 126 slots for new exercises and cases, and additional materials for lecturers (slides, exams, new cases). The fully hyperlinked e-version allows students (or anybody else for that matter) to learn –in a relatively short time– how to build SD models of dynamically complex issues, simulate and analyze them, and use them to design adaptive policies and test their robustness. ISBN paperback version: ISBN e-book version: