Bassel Daher, Ph.D.

This chapter begins with defining complex systems, presents an overview of the applied science of dynamical systems by focusing on the main components of complexity and chaos, and introduces the concept of dimensionality of systems. Systems have structural and temporal (dynamic) components – they exist in space and time. This chapter focuses on the time dimension, called temporality. The authors classify a third dimension, chaos (randomness), and illustrate that all systems can be defined according to their structure, dynamics, and chaos. These three dimensions constitute the dimensionality of systems, which can be used to define and categorize all types of systems. A system dynamics model to quantify the progress and interactions among the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is introduced. The benefits and limitations of a system dynamics modeling approach in this context are then discussed.

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