Towards coherent loop dominance analysis: progress in eigenvalue elasticity analysis
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Formal model analysis tools are essential in understanding how structure drives behavior. Conventional model analysis relies heavily on a time-consuming experimental iterative process. Current formal tools are not mature enough for application to most models. This paper presents a loop dominance analysis approach based on eigenvalue elasticity analysis (EEA). Although a potentially strong formal model analysis tool, EEA has drawn criticisms over the years for a number of reasons. The approach proposed in this study attempts to bring solutions to the issues raised by those criticisms. First, a 10-step procedure is proposed to increase the accessibility of the EEA to a wider audience. Among the most prominent features of the proposed procedure is a new measure that takes all modes of the model into account and a normalization approach for calculated elasticity values. Others include the ability to track the loop dominance dynamics over time, an attempt at codifying the proposed features of the EEA and the ability to track the influences of feedback loops on a specific variable of interest. The application of the proposed approach is demonstrated on two test models. The results facilitate the comparison of the proposed approach to other formal model analysis tools. The contributions of the proposed improvements to formal model analysis and the shortcomings of the EEA approach are discussed along with future directions for research. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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