# MISM5303  MDA5303  SYSTEM DYNAMICS MODELLING   KCA Past Paper

UNIVERSITY EXAMINATIONS: 2018/2019
EXAMINATION FOR THE DEGREES OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN
INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT/ DATA ANALYTICS
MISM5303 MDA5303 SYSTEM DYNAMICS MODELLING
ORDINARY EXAMINATIONS
DATE: DECEMBER, 2018 TIME: 2 HOURS
INSTRUCTIONS: Answer Question One & ANY OTHER TWO questions.

QUESTION ONE [20 MARKS]
a) Discuss the concept and relevance of system thinking. (3 Marks)
b) The internal system structure is characterized by different patterns of behavior including:
i) Exponential growth
ii) Goal-seeking behavior
iii) Oscillation
Clearly discuss and illustrate each of these behavior patterns (6 Marks)
c) Discuss any THREE simple structures that lead to typical patterns of system behavior.
(3 Marks)
d) Most business activities include one or more of FIVE types of stocks. Discuss. (5 Marks)
e) Describe the notation used for creating causal links. (3 Marks)
QUESTION TWO [15 MARKS]
a) Describe the notation used for creating causal links. (3 Marks)
b) Quantitative modeling of stocks and flows makes two simplifying assumptions. Clearly
explain these assumptions and state your reservations about each of them. (6 Marks)
c) Describe a typical feedback structure involving a production sector. Also draw a diagram to
illustrate this. (6 Marks)
QUESTION THREE [15 MARKS]
a) Explain how stock and flow diagrams extend causal loop diagrams. (2 Marks)
b) Consider the following Vensim equations for an advertising model:
(1) Actual Customers = INTEG( sales , 0)
(2) FINAL TIME = 100
(3) INITIAL TIME = 0
(4) Potential Customers = INTEG( – sales , 1e+006)
(5) sales = IF THEN ELSE ( Potential Customers > 0, 25000, 0)
(6) SAVEPER = TIME STEP
(7) TIME STEP = 1
Clearly explain each of the lines 1-7 (5 Marks)
c) The following is a system structure demonstrating service quality:

i) Describe this system structure in detail and interpret all the signs involved. (5 Marks)
ii) What would be the resultant pattern of behavior? Justify your answer. (3 Marks)
QUESTION FOUR [15 MARKS]
A city’s life cycle is characterized by a period of economic growth followed by a period of
transition toward equilibrium. During the growth period, the city appears to be economically
healthy: business activity is expanding, and unemployment is low. The “Population” and the
number of “Business Structures” grow quickly. During the transition period, conditions
become less desirable and pressures arise which impede further growth. The “Construction”
rate of “Business Structures” becomes smaller, and so does the rate of “In Migration” into the
city. In equilibrium, when the “Population” and the number of “Business Structures” stop
growing, the city suffers from problems such as high unemployment.
a) What is the problem your proposed system dynamics model can address? What is the reason
for building the model? (6 Marks)
b) i) Identify and briefly describe the key variables in the system. (2 Marks)
ii) Sketch the expected behavior of all the key variables over an appropriate time horizon on
a graph. (3 Marks)
c) State your initial working hypothesis as to why “Business Structures” and “Population”
initially grow and eventually become stagnant. (2 Marks)
d) Map out the two interacting sectors of the “Business Structures” and the “Population.”
(2 Marks)

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