System Dynamics Glossary
What is the meaning of Root Defintion?
A root definition is a concise, tight construction of a
human activity system which states what the system is; what
is does is then elaborated in a conceptual model which
is built on the basis of the definition. Every element
in the definition must be reflected in the model derived
from it. A well-formulated root definition will make explicit each
of the CATWOE elements. A completely general root definition embodying
CATWOE might take the following form:
A (...O...)-owned system which, under
the following environmental constraints which it takes as given: (...
E...), transforms this input (...) into this output (...) by
means of the following major activities among others: (... ...
...), the transformation being carried out by these actors (...
A ...) and directly affecting the following beneficiaries and/or victims
(... C ...). The world-image which makes the transformation meaningful
contains at leas the following elements among others: (... W
...) (Checkland, 1993: 317).
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