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# Visualizing Systems

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Concise overview of 4 different types of diagrams for visualizing systems followed by brief treatment of animated approaches to explaining systems.

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### Visualizing Systems

8. 8. Graphs๏ Most standardized system visual ➡ Used to present recorded data ➡ Taught in schools, used (and abused) by large number of disciplines ➡ Lots of software tools available for drawing these๏ Several roughly synonymous names ➡ graph ➡ chart ➡ plot๏ Abstracted, non-representational view ➡ Many types: line, bar, dot, spider, etc. ➡ All based on cartesian system (x vs y) © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
9. 9. Line Graph Conventions axis Plot of y=x title 5 y (units)dependent variable axis 0 7 Origin x (units) independent variable © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
10. 10. Complex Example This is actually 3 graphs displayed on top of each other: 2 line charts and 1 bar2 y-axes chart key © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
11. 11. Independent Variable not always Time In drug development an important relationship is the response (dependent variable) or outcome that occurs for a given dose (independent variable) of a drug Dose vs Response © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
12. 12. Simple plots are never “true” best “fit” This graph actually displays a great recorded value deal of qualifying information uncertainty © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
13. 13. System response is probabilistic Probable Response at Dose log10-4 Progesterone (M) 50 40 % Inhibition 30 © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
15. 15. Flow Diagrams๏ Represent system dynamics in a static form๏ Some standardized conventions ➡ standard generic flow chart conventions ➡ detailed standards for engineering flow disciplines like electronics ➡ attempts at standardization for systems theory๏ Range from representational to schematic © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
16. 16. Generic Flow Chart Conventions Start A Process Step 1 Process Step 2 Process Step 2 No Decision End Yes A “I’ve run out of space, find a similar symbol elsewhere in drawing to continue flow” © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
19. 19. Heating Dynamics as Stocks & Flows An existing standard for representing flow in classical system thinking literature. Difficult to parse? © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
20. 20. Heating Dynamics as Flow Schematic Feedback: Classic Example Thermostat regulating room temperature (via a heater) Desired temperature e.g. 68º . . is indicated by adjusting the . Alternative temperature control lever external electrical source . . . sends current to. . . which in turn moves the bi-metal coil; increasing the desired temperature moves the coil closer to the contact point; representation of decreasing the desired temperature moves the coil further from the contact point thermostat system by Dubberly & Pangaro. output input Bi-metal coil. . .bends to touch the. . . . Contact point . . . . which sends a signal to the. .Heater . (as it cools) . . .bends the opposite . . . . thus no signal is sent, is measured by can increase direction to lose and the heater shuts off contact with the. . . (as it warms) System air temperature in the room Why does a bi-metal coil bend? lowers the bi-metal coils consist of two layers of metal (usually iron and copper) joined together to form one flat strip; because the metals have different coefficients of expansion, the strip will bend in one direction as it cools, and the opposite direction as it warms Cold air outside January 2010 | Developed by Paul Pangaro and Dubberly Design Ofﬁce 41 © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
21. 21. Generic Flow Schematic Feedback: Formal Mechanism Goal . . . describes a relationship that a system desires to have Combines flow and is embodied in with its environment concept map conventions and is reasonably easy to output input a Sensor passes the current state value to a Comparator . . . . . . . . . . responds by driving an Actuator ‘read.’ . . . has subtracts . . . has resolution – (Accuracy) the current state value resolution is measured by frequency – (Latency) from frequency A better standard for affects the range – (Capacity) the desired state value range to determine the error System systems flow Environment visualizations? can affect the Disturbances . . . may be characterized as certain types typically falling within a known range; but previously unseen types may emerge and values may vary beyond a known range; in such cases the system will fail because it does not have requisite variety January 2010 | Developed by Paul Pangaro and Dubberly Design Ofﬁce 39 © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved
23. 23. Illustrations๏ Used to explain behavior or method of construction๏ Very standardized in some contexts ➡ Mechanical Engineering ➡ Architecture๏ Must be representational to be useful ➡ Representation challenging for abstract systems ➡ With abstract systems, illustrations of structure and flow diagrams hard to distinguish from one another © Tim Sheiner, all rights reserved