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Friday, December 23, 2005

Richard Duncan's Model

A couple of years ago Dr. Richard Duncan used a commercial piece of software, Stella, from ISEE Systems, to forecast future trends in oil production. I got around to evaluating his model with a trial version of the software and, although usable, it really demonstrates no groundbreaking ideas. Since the vendor markets Stella as a system's modeling tool which ostensibly solves linear and non-linear dynamics, I thought Duncan may have gone the extra mile and actually done something above and beyond using it as simply a charting and bubble diagramming tool.

The company also provides a sample model for Oil Price Dynamics. Based on my own evaluation of a 30-day trial version, I believe that Stella, with enough screwing around, may turn out as potentially useful to someone as a depletion modeling tool. However, with a single-seat license costing around $1800, I will pass on it.

Other than using my own custom-programmed algorithms, I have had better success modeling oil depletion using a free-ware electrical circuit simulator than my rudimentary attempts at using the Stella tool. Frustrating to say the least. (Cut to Marlon Brando screaming at the top of his lungs)


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