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Search results for: Nathaniel J Mass
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Understanding Oscillations in Simple Systems
Author(s): Nathaniel J Mass, & Peter M Senge Subject: System Dynamics
  This paper presents some arguments to succcesfully develop insight into simple oscillating systems. The paper analyzes a one-level model for the population growth of rabbits in a closed field to illustrate why a first-order negative-feedback system exhibits a smooth transition to equilibrium. It also analyzes a simple inventory workforce model to provide an intuitive explanation of the causes of convergent, divergent, and undamped oscillations. (D-2045-2, SDG, MIT 1975)

Complex Systems Connection: Cause within System. This paper addresses the topic of oscillation and can be used as a precusor to the Oscillations curriculum. In this curriculum, five interdisciplinary areas are covered in a series of lessons, utilizing a family of models that all generate oscillation. Oscillation in real-world systems is often considered problematic rather than a consequence of system structure. This progression of lessons will help students understand that undesirable behavior can be a consequence of system structure and not a result of outside, uncontrollable influences. In other words, a system that oscillates does so because it has an inherent tendency to do so.
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