Causal influence diagrams (aka causal loop diagrams) are one of the important tools used by system dynamists to model the dynamic feedback relationships among the components of a complex system. A system is said to be complex if (1) it has a large number of parts (or variables, agents, individuals, components), (2) there are many interrelationships or interactions among the parts of the system, and (3) the parts produce combined effects (synergies) that are not easily foreseen and may often be novel or surprising (chaotic) to the observer— in other words, if there exists an emergent global dynamic resulting from the actions of its parts rather than being imposed by an external or a central agent.

Complex systems are pervasive in our lives: The human nervous ...

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