Beer Distribution Game - A Review Essay

3880 Words Aug 31st, 2014 16 Pages
SEB223 2014 – Assignment 1
The Root-Beer Distribution Game
A Report on the Gameplay Experience of the Author and its Use of Complex System Management Principles

The Root-Beer Distribution Game, as played by the author and used as the basis for this report, is an on-line adaptation of the Beer Distribution Game originally created in the 1960’s by Jay Forrester, et al, of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
A pioneer of computer engineering and considered the founder of System Dynamics, Forrester and the MIT Systems Dynamics Group devised the Beer Distribution Game as method of demonstrating the dynamics of complex systems and illustrating the behaviour of those systems when interacting with human involvement.
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Further to this understanding, a system is generally regarded as being of either one of two types – open system or closed system. The difference being simply defined as an open system interacts with its environment, whereas a closed system does not.
However, it should be noted that while the concept of the closed system can be utilised for the purposes of theoretical analysis, it can be readily argued that the truly closed system does not exist within reality except for where the possibility of the cosmos itself (as being the only truly closed system) must be considered.
(Feedback) Control Theory
The process of feedback mentioned in the previous description of Systems Theory, is defined within the (Feedback) Control Theory.
In simplistic terms, Control Theory deals with those forces, elements or process, that are concerned with, or involved in, influencing, or regulating, the behaviour of dynamic system.
Within the context of System Theory (as previously discussed), Control Theory deals not only with those elements of the system and the environment, and their interactions, that produce the means by which the input-throughput-output process is controlled, but also with the control process itself.
This process, whereby the collective system itself is involved in regulation of the system, is referred to as feedback. Fernández-Cara and Zuazua (2003, p.4) define the feedback

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