Proven by Computer? System Dynamics and Disruption Claims

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Ralph Goodchild

September 2018

A paper based on the joint second prize winning entry in the Hudson essay competition 2017 and presented to the Society of Construction Law at a meeting in London on 8th May 2018

The paper evaluates the potential for system dynamics (SD) modelling to be used as a form of delay and disruption analysis. Ralph Goodchild explains how SD modelling seeks to provide a computer simulation of a construction project to analyse the impact of disruption as an alternative to the analysis of ‘real’ project records. He goes on to discuss the challenges of bringing a disruption claim based on an SD model, such as admissibility, the tension with witnesses of fact and the relationships between SD model evidence and traditional delay analysis.

I. SD modelling and the SD ‘world view’ – How an SD model is built – Presentation of SD modelling results – Validating an SD model – II. Challenges in using SD modelling in disruption claims – Admissibility as evidence – Reliance on fact witness evidence – SD models and alternative hypotheticals – Relationship to traditional delay analysis – SD models and correlation with project data – SD models and quantum experts – SD models and legal basis for recovery of loss – The importance of accurate model structure – SD models and assumptions about re-work – The use of model-derived parameter values – III. Conclusion

The author: Ralph Goodchild is an associate solicitor at White & Case LLP, London.

Text: 16 pages

Paper number: 
September 2018, printed and online, 970k

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