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iThink software STELLA software

Model Building & Simulation Tutorials

These tutorials demonstrate how to use STELLA and iThink to construct a simple model of a population constrained by natural resources. Each link will launch a short video that requires Adobe Flash Player to run. For hands-on experience building this model, open STELLA or iThink and follow along.

PDF File PDF Diagram of Model Used in Tutorials

Tutorial 1: Building Blocks

Learn the basic mechanics of creating a stock and flow diagram and assigning values to model entities.
  1. Placing stocks
  2. Adding documentation and color
  3. Drawing inflows and outflows
  4. Viewing equation layer
  5. Entering values for stocks and flows

Tutorial 2: Running the Simulation

See how to set the parameters for running a model with run specs and to create graphs and tables for viewing the results.
  1. Choosing run specs
  2. Creating graph pads
  3. Scaling variables
  4. Creating table pads
  5. Formatting tables

Tutorial 3: Adding Feedback

Learn how to create converters, link model entities with connectors, and display the cause and effect relationship between model elements by assigning polarity to their connection.
  1. Placing converters
  2. Adding connectors
  3. Defining converters
  4. Defining graphical functions
  5. Defining ghosts
  6. Assigning polarity

Tutorial 4: Organizing and Testing

See how sensitivity analysis can be used to test the effect of changing the value of a model variable.  Become familiar with sector frames and how they are used to organize and test parts of a model. Learn how to save and reload simulation data using the data manager
  1. Setting up sensitivity analysis
  2. Running sensitivity analysis
  3. Creating sector frames
  4. Running sectors
  5. Managing data from model runs

Tutorial 5: Working with Modules

Learn how to create hierarchical models that use modules to piece together common structure.
  1. Creating modules
  2. Importing module structure
  3. Building module structure
  4. Defining inputs and outputs
  5. Assigning inputs to variables
  6. Running modules

Tutorial 6: Importing and Exporting Data

Learn the basic mechanics involved in importing data from and exporting data to Microsoft Excel.
  1. Importing data
  2. Exporting data
  3. Managing import and export links

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