Principles of Systems Author:Jay W. Forrester "Principles of Systems" (copy is 9th printing, 1980) explains the basic principles behind system behavior. It introduces the concepts of structure and dynamic behavior on which were based the author's books "Industrial Dynamics" (1961, awarded Best Management Book of the Year by Academy of Management); "Urban Dynamics" (1969); and "World Dynami... more »cs" (1971). Due to the general nature and wide applicability of the principles discussed, the book has been accepted as a starting point for teaching dynamic systems in many multidisciplinary courses on urban ecological, corporate, and other complex social systems. Ten chapters are 170 pages; 10 additional chapters W1-W10 provide a workbook for each chapter of the text.« less
Jay W. Forrester was one of the nation's leading engineers in the design and application of computers. In 1968 he received the Inventor of the Year Award from George Washington University and in 1969 the Valdmer Poulsen Gold Medal from the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences.
His writings laid the foundations for the application of "System Dynamics" to the behavior of complex social systems.
Chapters cover different characteristics of feedback loops (first- and second-order negative, positive, nonlinear); structure of systems (closed boundary, levels and rates - substructure within feedback loops); equations and computation; models (dimensions, solution interval); and flow diagrams. At the time Forrester was most influential, there was a computer model "DYNAMO" that was designed to support simulation and modeling of system dynamics studies. With the advance in computing power over 40 years, newer and more sophisticated simulation tools have been developed and improved. However, the logic and techniques described in this text and the exercises in the workbook represent the basic essentials for this approach to optimizing system behavior.