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It is clear that a transformation to sustainable value creation is needed, because business as usual is not an option for preserving competitive advantages of leading industries. What does that mean? This contribution proposes possible approaches for a shift in existing manufacturing paradigms. In a first step, sustainability aspects from the German Sustainability Strategy and from the tools of life cycle sustainability assessment are chosen to match areas of a value creation process. Within these aspects are indicators, which can be measured within a manufacturing process. Once these data are obtained they can be used to set up a mathematical linear pulse model of manufacturing in order to analyse the evolution of the system over time, that is the transition process, by using a system dynamics approach. An increase of technology development by a factor of 2 leads to an increase of manufacturing but also to an increase of climate change. Compensation measures need to be taken. This can be done by e.g. taking money from the GDP (as an indicator of the aspect ``macroeconomic performance''). The value of the arc from that building block towards climate change must then be increased by a factor of 10. The choice of independent and representative indicators or aspects shall be validated and double-checked for their significance with the help of multi-criteria mixed-integer programming optimisation methods.

The System Dynamics (SD) methodology is a framework for modeling and simulating
the dynamic behavior of socioeconomic systems. Characteristic for the
description of such systems is the occurrence of feedback loops together with
stocks and flows. The mathematical equations that describe the system are
usually nonlinear. Therefore seemingly simple systems can show a nonintuitive,
nonpredictable behavior over time. Controlling a dynamical system means to
define a desired final state in which the system should be, and to specify
potential interventions from outside that should keep the system on the right
track. The central question is how to compute such globally optimal control for
a given SD model. We propose a branch-and-bound approach that is based on a
bound propagation method, primal heuristics, and spatial branching. We apply our
new SD-control method to a small System Dynamics model, that describes the
evolution of a social-economic system over time. We examine the problem of
steering this system on a sustainable consumption path.

The Scenario Technique is a strategic planning method that aims to describe and analyze potential developments of a considered system in the future. Its application consists of several steps, from an initial problem analysis over an influence analysis to projections of key factors and a definition of the scenarios to a final interpretation of the results. The technique itself combines qualitative and quantitative methods and is an enhancement of the standard Scenario Technique. We use the numerical values gathered during the influence analysis, and embed them in a System Dynamics framework. This yields a mathematically rigorous way to achieve predictions of the system‘s future behavior from an initial impulse and the feedback structure of the factors. The outcome of our new method is a further way of projecting the present into the future, which enables the user of the Scenario Technique to obtain a validation of the results achieved by the standard method.

We consider a production planning problem where two competing companies are selling their items on a common market. Moreover, the raw material used in the production is a limited non-renewable resource. The revenue per item sold depends on the total amount of items produced by both players. If they collaborate they could apply a production strategy that leads to the highest combined revenue. Usually the formation of such syndicates is prohibited by law; hence we assume that one company does not know how much the other company will produce. We formulate the problem for company A to find an optimal production plan without information on the strategy of company B as a nonlinear mathematical optimization problem. In its naive formulation the model is too large, making its solution practically impossible. After a reformulation we find a much smaller model, which we solve by spatial branch-and-cut methods and linear programming. We discuss the practical implications of our solutions.

The System Dynamics (SD) methodology is a framework for modeling and simulating the dynamic behavior of socioeconomic systems. Characteristic for the description of such systems is the occurrence of feedback loops together with stocks and flows. The mathematical equations that describe the system are usually ordinary differential equations and nonlinear algebraic constraints. Therefore seemingly simple systems can show a nonintuitive, unpredictable behavior over time. Controlling a dynamical system means to specify potential interventions from outside that should keep the system on the desired track, and to define an evaluation schema to compare different controls among each other, so that a "best" control can be defined in a meaningful way. The central question is how to compute such globally optimal control for a given SD model, that allows the transition of the system into a desired state with minimum effort. We propose a mixed-integer nonlinear programming (MINLP) reformulation of the System Dynamics Optimization (SDO) problem. MINLP problems can be solved by linear programming based branch-and-bound approach. We demonstrate that standard MINLP solvers are not able to solve SDO problem. To overcome this obstacle, we introduce a special-tailored bound propagation method. We apply our new method to a predator-prey model with additional hunting activity as control, and to a mini-world model with the consumption level as control. Numerical results for these test cases are presented.

Identification of trade-offs for sustainable manufacturing of a Bamboo Bike by System Dynamics
(2013)

We develop a generic System Dynamic model to simulate the production, machines, employees, waste, and capital flows of a manufacturing company. In a second step, this model is specialised by defining suit-able input data to represent a bicycle manufacturing company in a developing country. We monitor a set of sustainability indicators to understand the social, environmental and economic impact of the company, and to estimate managerial decisions to be taken in order to improve on these criteria. We show that the social and environmental situation can be improved over time without sacrificing the economic success of the company's business.

We consider a system dynamics model that describes the effect of human activity on natural resources. The central stocks are the accumulated profit, the industry structures, and the water resources. The model can be controlled through two time-dependent parameters. The goal in this paper is to find a parameter setting that leads to a maximization of a performance index, which reflects both environmental and economic aspects. Thus, the goal is to identify the most sustainable stock of industry structures within the model's constraints and assumptions. In order to find a proven global optimal parameter set, we formulate the System Dynamics Optimization model as a mixed-integer nonlinear problem that is accessible for numerical solvers. Due to the dynamic structure of the model, certain steps of the solution process must be handled with greater care, compared to standard non-dynamic problems. We describe our approach of solving the industry structure model and present computational results. In addition, we discuss the limitations of the approach and next steps.

We study System Dynamics models with several free parameters that can be altered by the user. We assume that the user's goal is to achieve a certain dynamic behavior of the model by varying these parameters. In order to the find best possible combination of parameter settings, several automatic parameter tuning methods are described in the literature and readily available within existing System Dynamic software packages. We give a survey on the available techniques in the market and describe their theoretical background. Some of these methods are already six decades old, and meanwhile newer and more powerful optimization methods have emerged in the mathematical literature. One major obstacle for their direct use are tabled data in System Dynamics models, which are usually interpreted as piecewise linear functions. However, modern optimization methods usually require smooth functions which are twice continuously differentiable. We overcome this problem by a smooth spline interpolation of the tabled data. We use a test set of three complex System Dynamic models from the literature, describe their individual transition into optimization problems, and demonstrate the applicability of modern optimization algorithms to these System Dynamics Optimization problems.

Identification of trade-offs for sustainable manufacturing of a Bamboo Bike by System Dynamics
(2013)