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Basic Modeling

These basic webinars will guide you through basic modeling features within isee software. Learn how to build and publish simple models while becoming familiar with the process, software, and tools.

Stella® 2.0: Loops That Matter™

Stella 2.0 introduces Loops That Matter™, which turbocharges your brainstorming by highlighting the most critical sections of your model without you having to sift through numbers to see how the components of your model interact. Loops That Matter lights up the most important feedback loops, giving you a simple visual guide to the forces behind their behavior. Use it to inform your choices as you build your model, test your model against your understanding, or deepen your knowledge of one you’ve already completed.

Getting Started with Stella® Architect

This tutorial will guide you through our latest modeling and simulation features, and then introduce you to our new interface design and publishing tools. It is designed for people who are relatively new to the field or do not have experience using Stella® products.

Getting Started with Stella® Professional

This free webinar will introduce you to building system dynamics models using the next generation Stella® Professional software. It is designed for people who are relatively new to the field or do not have experience using Stella Professional version 1.0. The webinar will demonstrate how to use Stella Professional to build models using the standard modeling process.

Stella® Professional for v10 Users

For users of STELLA®/iThink®, Stella Professional simultaneously maintains compatibility with the models you’ve been developing over the years and effortlessly brings your modeling to the future.

Getting Started with v10

This webinar will introduce you to building system dynamics models using STELLA® or iThink® software. It is intended for people who are relatively new to the field or do not have experience using STELLA or iThink Version 10. The webinar will demonstrate how to use STELLA or iThink to build models using the standard modeling process.

Model Mysteries

An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place. Just released, this resource is a fun, engaging entry point to modeling. Based on a philosophy that “copying” models is a stepping stone to understanding, each chapter provides a guided path to build and then modify a model, applying one generic structure to a variety of contexts. The webinar will demonstrate how these small models can easily be built using Stella Online, shared with others, and used to foster new insights about how systems work.

Introducing Molecules with Stella®

In this free webinar, Dr. Jim Hines presents an overview of molecules, as implemented by him in Stella. Molecules are small, best practices System Dynamics modeling structures that allow you to reach for a known, well-tested formulation for a specific modeling problem. They are not a set of models for different problem domains, but rather a set of building blocks that allow you to build robust System Dynamics models without reinventing the wheel.

Download slides
View documentation
View molecules


These webinars center around models that help us understand the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Behavioral Implications in COVID-19 Spread and Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered quickly in the USA. However, a surprisingly large number of Americans are unwilling to get vaccinated. Without enough people getting vaccinated, the pandemic will not end. The longer the pandemic persists, the more opportunities exist for more virulent strains to emerge. This model looks at the effects of people’s behavior in containing and ending the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA. Human behavior adds several feedback loops to the standard SEIR model. Comparisons are made between cases with and without behavior loops, with reduced adherence to the recommended or mandated masks and social distancing, with and without the vaccine, and the effects of an early mask mandate termination. The results suggest human behavior must be accounted for in epidemiology models and that removing masks before enough vaccines are administered not only puts those vaccinated at risk, but allows the disease to readily spread again.

Modeling the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Primer and Overview

We read each day of new projections on cases, hospital loads and deaths from COVID-19. In this webinar, Dr. Robert Eberlein presents the basic structure of models used to make these projections and the types of information necessary to get accurate projections. He shows different ways to model interventions such as testing, social distancing, antiviral medications, and vaccines, and their effect on the spread and severity of the disease. The presentation builds understanding from the ground up, starting from the framework of a simple diffusion model, and shows how additional characteristics of disease progression can be added in. There is also a discussion of the special challenges that modeling COVID-19 poses relative to the flu and other infectious diseases.

Models used in this webinar are available here. Slides used in this webinar are available here.

Modeling COVID-19 Policies

Karim Chichakly looks at the efficacy of two policies aimed at protecting both lives and the economy during COVID-19:
1. Vertical isolation, a policy endorsed by President Bolsonaro in April 2020 as a way to reopen the Brazilian economy despite a large number of infections
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2. The CARES Act in the United States, meant to help both businesses and individuals survive the extended lockdown from March to June 2020
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Do either of these policies meet their objectives? I.e., does vertical isolation keep the economy thriving while protecting the lives of the citizens? In the face of stay-at-home orders, do the provisions of the CARES Act protect both businesses and the livelihood of citizens in the short and medium term?


Get to know prominent Stella practitioners in our special three-part podcast. These practitioners have dedicated much of their careers to educating the next generation of Systems Thinkers. Hear how they were introduced to systems thinking and where it took them.
Steve Peterson
A long-time partner of isee systems, Steve worked with isee systems’ founder Barry Richmond to shape Stella in its early days. Steve is now a senior lecturer at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.
Diana Fisher
Diana has been a consistent advocate for bringing Stella into K-12 schools. She has authored two books that introduce systems thinking and dynamic modeling to high school courses. She now teaches courses that train teachers to incorporate dynamic modeling into their curriculum.
Jon Darkow
Jon has created an expansive number of models which his high school and college biology students use to experiment with systems both simple and complex. His collection of work can be viewed on the isee Exchange.

Interface Design

Learn how to design engaging interfaces that will captivate audiences. From interactive data visualizations, to dynamic animations, to multiplayer games, create simulations that people will want to run again and again.

Designing Interfaces

Using Stella® Architect, learn to build, and then deploy to the web an entire user interface for a preexisting model. Learn how to use interactive elements such as: buttons, annotations, images, graphs, sliders, knobs and stories to reveal and explain the insights generated by your models.

Creating Engaging Content

Learn how to develop engaging interactive data visualizations powered by your models without writing any code. Change color, scale, rotation, opacity and position of objects to create dynamic animations of your data. Quickly and easily visualize arrayed data or simply create movement to bring your simulation to life.

Multiplayer Simulations

Learn how to build from scratch a multiplayer simulation game. We'll use Stella® Architect's interface design capability to build a competitive multiplayer game which can be played by 2 or 3 people. Topics covered include templates, simulation events, and publishing. These features require Stella® Architect 1.4.

Models used in this webinar are available here.

Multiplayer Games Using Arrays

During this hour-long free webinar, lead developer Billy Schoenberg teaches the current best practices for constructing multiplayer games including waiting rooms, debrief screen construction, and using wildcards, a feature introduced with Stella® Architect 1.8.2. Wildcards enable the simulation author to reuse pages, graphs, tables, sliders, etc. to display different slices of arrayed variables, making array-based multiplayer game construction quick and efficient.

Models used in this webinar are available here.

Deploying Simulations

Learn how to deploy simulations and models to the isee Exchange using authentication and data collection. We'll discuss how to use the isee Exchange to privately host your content, enabling you to share your work with authorized users only. We'll also discuss how to set up data collection, which allows you to track user activity within your published simulations.

Designing Business Simulations

Gain an appreciation for how tools such as STELLA® and iThink® can be used to quickly build effective simulation games for learning and development. The webinar will start by providing context on the rapidly growing market for business simulation games, game-based learning, gamification, and informal learning. Examples of iThink business simulation games will then be presented. The webinar will conclude by covering the key aspects of STELLA/iThink which must be mastered to build simulation games.

Advanced Modeling

Learn advanced modeling concepts to develop models around complex issues.

Discrete Batch Processing with Stella®

Combining discrete elements into a stock and flow framework has long been a strength of Stella®. With the release of version 1.9, Stella’s capabilities have been extended to make representing discrete activities simpler and more realistic. In this webinar, Dr. Robert Eberlein discusses batch processing using the queue and oven model elements and contrasts this with continuous representations of the same dynamic processes.

Models used in this webinar are available here.

Community Model Building

This is a recording of isee systems’ first Community Model Buiding webinar on May 21, 2015. More than 85 people joined together in this pioneering attempt to form an online community and to develop models around complex issues facing humanity. Staff from isee systems facilitated a discussion of drought in California and simultaneously mapped the model that was implied from that discussion. Participants were able provide immediate feedback which then got represented live in the model.

The model used in this webinar is available here.

Introduction to Modules

This webinar will introduce modules and how to use them to build models.

Model Analysis

Learn how to analyze models within Stella software, better understand results and optimize parameters for ideal outcomes. Identify system changes and understand the trade offs between conflicting goals.

Introduction to Optimization

Do optimization and calibration confuse you? Are you not sure how to set them up in Stella®? Learn what optimization is, how to use it to optimize and calibrate your models, and how to resolve common pitfalls.


Stella® models show us how systems behave over time as well as help identify system changes that improve outcomes. Optimization allows us to fine tune those changes by finding the set(s) of parameters that give the best possible results. Stella, beginning with version 1.5, provides the functionality to easily set up and perform optimizations.

Models used in this webinar are available here.

Multiobjective Optimization

Many real optimization problems require finding the ideal trade off between conflicting goals. In these cases, single-objective optimization is not sufficient as it gives you exactly one answer. With multiobjective optimization, you can explore the tradeoff curve or surface and decide yourself which is the best solution for your circumstances. Beginning in version 1.5, Stella® includes the ability to perform optimizations, including true multiobjective optimization using differential evolution.

Testing and Debugging Models

Successfully developing a model requires you to make sure that it behaves reasonably. What are some simple checks? How do you track down the problem area when it doesn't behave as expected? Join Dr. Karim Chichakly as he walks you through the simple tests to perform in all models, explores the different ways a model can go astray, and shows how to find and fix these problems. Learn how to manually trace a model's behavior and use Causal Lens to make this process easier.

Sensitivity with Stella®

An integral part of working with models is seeing how behavior changes as you vary inputs and assumptions. You can do this by editing equations or adjusting knobs in Stella Live, or approach it more formally and comprehensively using the sensitivity simulation capabilities in the software. In this webinar, Dr. Robert Eberlein covers the motivation behind sensitivity analysis and demonstrates techniques that Stella® supports for doing this analysis, as well as the tools to view results.

Models used in this webinar are available here.

Calibration and Data Handling with Stella®

Stella® provides many ways to import data into models and use that data to refine those models. In this webinar, Dr. Robert Eberlein provides background on validity checking and confidence building, then explains the process to calibrate a model so that its behavior matches the data as closely as possible.

Models used in this webinar are available here.

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