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FAQs

What is Systems Thinking?

Systems Thinking is a disciplined way of understanding the dynamic relationships between things so that you can make better choices and avoid unintended consequences.

What's the difference between iThink and STELLA?

From a functional perspective, the iThink and STELLA software programs are virtually identical. Each is designed to facilitate the mapping, modeling, simulation, and communication of dynamic processes.

The major difference between the two products is in the supporting documentation. The iThink software is targeted toward an audience of users in business settings. Its documentation is written with the business user in mind. Applications and sample models cover the gamut of business uses including Business Process Re-engineering, Strategic Planning, Financial Analysis, Manufacturing, Operations Research, Forecasting, and Organizational Development.

STELLA, on the other hand, is targeted toward individuals in educational and research settings. Its documentation and sample models cover the natural and social sciences. Within the STELLA product, you'll find out how the software can be applied in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Economics, Psychology, History and Physics.

In deciding between iThink and STELLA , simply match the appropriate product to your own needs. If you're working with business-oriented issues, iThink is the likely candidate. If you're in an educational or scientific research setting, STELLA is the best match.


Can I open iThink models using STELLA and vice versa?

Yes, whether you are using iThink or STELLA you can open both STELLA models (.stmx and .stm files) and iThink models (.itmx and .itm files).


Will the Windows version of iThink or STELLA run Macintosh models and vice versa?

If you are using a Windows computer you can open and run models that were saved on a Macintosh. You do not need to convert the models.

If you are using a Macintosh computer and are running version 9 or later you can open and run models that were saved on a Windows PC. You do not need to convert the models.
If you are running a previous version of the software, you must convert the model to be playable on the Mac using the PC Model Conversion Utility.


What are the system requirements for iThink and STELLA?

iThink and STELLA are available in both Windows and Macintosh versions. Below are the minimum system requirements depending on the operating system of your computer.

For Windows:

Microsoft Windows™ XP/Vista/7
256 MB RAM
200 MB of disk space
QuickTime

For Macintosh:

Intel-based Mac
Mac OS 10.5 or higher
256 MB RAM
200 MB of disk space
QuickTime


Do iThink and STELLA run on a 64-bit Windows 7 operating system?

Yes, iThink and STELLA will run on 64-bit Windows 7 machines with compatibility properties set as shown here .


Why do I have to keep entering the registration number for STELLA or iThink on my Windows computer?

Most likely, this is a permissions issue. To fix this problem, follow these steps:

  1. Close STELLA or iThink.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon to open Windows Explorer
  3. Double-click on Local Disk (C:) (or wherever STELLA or iThink is installed).
  4. If you have a 64-bit operating system open Program Files (x86). Otherwise open Program Files and scroll down to the isee systems folder.
  5. Double-click to open the isee systems folder and then open the STELLA 10.0 or iThink 10.0 folder.
  6. Right-click on the STELLA.exe or iThink.exe file and select "Run As Administrator".
  7. Enter your name, organization and registration number one more time
  8. Close STELLA or iThink and re-open to verify you are no longer prompted to enter a registration number.

Do iThink and STELLA run on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)?

Yes, version 10 of iThink and STELLA supports Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion).


Can models created with previous versions be opened in version 10.0?

Opening a STELLA or iThink model that was created in a previous version will automatically translate the model so that it is compatible with version 10. Click here for details about how the software handles specific translation issues.

What is the difference between isee Runtime and isee Player?

isee Runtime is designed as a presentation tool, showcasing models in a full-screen mode and allowing model authors more control over what end-users see and the functionality available. isee Player, on the other hand, is a read-only version of the STELLA or iThink modeling software. Using isee Player, you have access to toolbars, menus and all model layers but with restricted edit capabilities. The table below summarizes a few of the key differences between isee Runtime and isee Player.

  isee
Runtime
isee
Player
Full-Screen Presentation Yes No
Distribution Rights Available Yes No
Edit & Save Model Parameters Via Author-
Defined Button
No
Print Model Via Author-
Defined Button
Yes
Close Model/Quit Program Via Author-
Defined Button
Yes
View Model Layer Via Author-
Defined Button
Yes
View Equation Layer No Yes
Save Run Output to File No Yes
Help Menu and Files No Yes


How can I make my simulations run on the web?

iThink and STELLA models can easily be published to the web using the isee NetSim add-on utility. isee NetSim allows anyone with a web browser the ability to interact with and run your simulations on the web. For more information about isee NetSim, visit http://www.iseesystems.com/softwares/NetSimWizard.aspx

Another option for running your simulations on the Web is to create a custom Web interface and extend your model using the isee.NET Framework Software Development Kit (SDK). For more information about isee.NET Framework, visit http://www.iseesystems.com/softwares/iseenet/iseenetframework.aspx
 

How can I integrate my model with other applications? 

If you want to link data to your model, you can set up dynamic data import/export links to Microsoft Excel.
If you want to integrate your model with other applications or databases you can use the isee.NET Framework SDK to programmatically access the interface objects in your model.

For detailed help information about isee.NET Framework, visit the following link.


How do I bend a Flow?

Drop a Flow and start dragging it. When you want it to change direction at a 90 degree angle, hold the shift key while you move the cursor in the direction you want the Flow to go. For more tips and tricks about using iThink and STELLA, read our blog post .


How do I set the precision level for more than one variable in a Table?

To set the precision level for multiple variables in a Table, hold down the Shift key and click on the variable names in the Table that you want to change. Once you have selected all of the variables, double-click on the name of one of the selected variable to open the Format Variable Table dialog. For more tips and tricks about using iThink and STELLA, read our blog post .


How do I delete a page on a Graph or Table Pad?

To delete a page on a Graph or Table Pad, click the page-turn button in the lower left hand corner of the Graph or Table Pad until the page that you want to delete is showing. Next, click on the Dynamite Button button on the toolbar to select the Dynamite tool. Using the Dynamite tool, click on the page-turn button again and the page showing will be deleted. For more tips and tricks about using iThink and STELLA, read our blog post .


Can I change the default color for my model entities?

Yes, you can change the default color of entities for each model that you build. There is no global setting to change default colors across all models. To change the default color for a model entity, click on the Paintbrush Button button on the toolbar to select the Paintbrush tool. Select a color from the color palette and point your curser over the toolbar button for the model entity that you want to change. Press the Alt key (Windows) or option key (Macintosh) so that the Paintbrush tool reappears and click. The color of the toolbar button should now be changed. For more tips and tricks about using iThink and STELLA, read our blog post .


What is a Module?

A Module is a container for lower-level model structure. It is designed to support a process of top-down model design and development. For more information and frequently asked questions about Modules, read our blog post .


Why will a Module run by itself using "Run Selected Modules" but won't run in an upper level of the model hierarchy?

If you have Connectors into a Module that are not being used or there are inputs inside the Module that have not been assigned, the Module will not run in an upper level of the model hierarchy.


Is there any online help documentation for STELLA and iThink?

http://www.iseesystems.com/Helpv10/isee_Help.htm


Why do I sometimes get a "File not Found" message when opening a model?

It may be a missing picture, Excel spreadsheet or some other imported file. When copying a model from one computer to another, you may need to copy more than just the model file. If your model uses other files such as graphics, sounds or spreadsheets you’ll need to package all of them with the model file. For more details, read our blog post


Can I run an iThink or STELLA model from a Windows command line?

Yes, you can open and run an iThink/STELLA model from a Windows command line. You can also perform a host of other operations using the command line. For more details, read our blog post


What is Spatial Map?

Spatial Map is a stand-alone application that allows you to map array data in your model to color values or images so that you can view your data as three-dimensional, spatial information. In the spatial map, the x and y axes are defined by the bounds of the array and z is represented by a color or image. (Elevation and temperature are examples of z values.) To see an example, read our blog post


Do iThink and STELLA support matrix arithmetic?

Yes, iThink and STELLA support matrix operations such as addition, subtraction, transposition, multiplication and division. For more details, read our blog post


Can I create causal loop diagrams (CLDs) in iThink and STELLA?

Yes, you can build causal loop diagrams in iThink and STELLA. Using modules you can also link a CLD to a working stock and flow model. To learn more and see an example, read our blog post


Why is storytelling such a powerful feature?

Storytelling is a feature unique to iThink and STELLA that allows you to present and explain your model piece-by-piece. Even more powerful, however, is the ability to show the behavior as the structure of the model unfurls. Through storytelling, you can clearly create and communicate the link between the structure of the system and the dynamic behavior. For more details, read our blog post

 

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