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Building Blocks

These tutorials walk you through building a simple model of a population constrained by natural resources with Stella Architect. Each tutorial is broken out into small segments that tackle one step at a time. Through these tutorials you will come to learn the basic building blocks of Stella, data inputs and outputs, how to set the models simulation specs, as well as organizing and testing your model.

Placing a Stock

Learn how to place and label reservoir stocks, a common starting place for many models. A reservoir stock is a building block that accumulates and stores something. It collects whatever flows into it, minus whatever flows out of it.

Adding Documentation and Color

Learn how to add documentation and incorporate color in your model. The documentation tab allows you to describe a variable and include assumptions. Incorporating color helps organize your model or provides visual cues.

Drawing Inflows and Outflows

Learn how to place, connect and label inflows and outflows to stocks. Flows change the value of a stock by adding or subtracting from the stock.

Entering Values for Stocks and Flows

Start incorporating data to your model by adding values to the variables. For a model to simulate, all variables need to be defined with a constant or an equation. This tutorial will add constant values to all the variables currently in the model.

Choosing Run Specs

Learn how to set and adjust the models’ Run Specs including the simulation length, DT (time steps between calculations), simulation speed, the unit of time used and integration method.

Creating Graphs

Learn how to place a graph and add variables to view their results. Graphs can be used to display the results of multiple variables over a single simulation or comparative results from multiple simulations. This tutorial will add 3 variables to a graph and display the results over one simulation.

Scaling Variables

Learn how to create clean graphs through scaling. Multiple variables on one graph can become difficult to read if the variables have different scales. Setting up correct scales for individual variables in the graph allows for clean, easily read results.

Creating Tables

Learn how to place a table and add variables to view their results. Results can also be displayed in numerical output on tables. As with graphs, tables can display multiple variable results and multiple simulation results. This tutorial will add three variables to a graph and display the results over one simulation.

Formatting Tables

Learn how to format the data in tables. By default, tables use the format and precision settings of the variables displayed. For more uniform results across the table, each variable can be formatted to show the same precision and scale.

Placing Converters

Learn how to place and label converters for your model. A converter is a building block that converts inputs into outputs. Converters can be constant values, equations or can serve as a repository for graphical functions. When converters are added, the model begins to have feedback.

Adding Connectors

Learn how to connect the variables in your model. For models to simulate, some variables must be connected to others through a connector. Connectors indicate an immediate effect that one variable has on another.

Defining Converters

Learn how to define variables through constants and equations using required inputs. Many of the variables are still undefined and some that were defined with constant values now have required inputs due to the connector. If a variable is connected to another variable through a connector, the connected variable becomes a required input for defining the initial variable.

Defining Graphical Functions

Learn how to set up and incorporate graphical functions into your model. A graphical function displays the relationship between an input and an output. In the case of our model, the death rate is dependent on the resources/person. As the resources/person increases, death rates decrease. We can incorporate this relationship into our model using a graphical function.

Defining Ghosts

Learn how to create a copy of a variable using the “Ghost” tool. A Ghost is an alias of a model variable. Ghosts can be used as shortcuts to a variable, so you can use it elsewhere in your model.

Assigning Polarity

Learn how to assign polarity to connectors to help display cause-and-effect relationships. Assigning polarity offers a visual cue that indicates the cause-and-effect relationship between variables. Positive (+) polarity means that as the cause increases, the effect increases. Negative (–) polarity means that as the cause increases, the effect decreases.

Setting Up Sensitivity Analysis

Learn how to set up a sensitivity analysis for variables in your model. Sensitivity analysis allows you to test the validity of your model by generating data under different assumptions. It allows you to change one or more constant over multiple simulations and review the results on a comparative graph.

Running Sensitivity Analysis

Learn how to run Sensitivity analysis and view results. To view the results of the sensitivity analysis, a comparative graph is required. Comparative graphs allow data from multiple simulations to be displayed.

Creating Sector Frames

Learn how to create sector frames around certain variables in your model. Sector frames allow you to organize your model into different parts or to isolate parts for partial simulation. They are often useful tools when developing models in portions.

Running Sectors

Learn how to run individual sectors without running the full model. A benefit to sectors is the ability to run only the model structure within that frame. Only the model variables within that sector needs to be defined for the sector to run. External variables do not need to be defined.

Managing Data for Model Runs

Learn how to operate the data manager and save data from previous runs. The data manager allows you to manage the data from remembered simulation runs and to save that data for future use. Saved data sets can be labeled and reloaded to compare it to new data.

Building Basic Models

These extended tutorials demonstrate how to build and analyze small models.

Introduction to Modeling

In this tutorial, lead developer Billy Schoenberg demonstrates the basics of Stella Architect. You will learn to build a simple model and interpret its output with Loops That Matter™, our revolutionary new tool for analyzing the driving forces in a system.

Interface Building

This set of tutorials shows you how to build an interface for your model with Stella Architect. You will learn how to create pages and navigation, and reusable templates. We include adding graphics, video, text, and annotations. We add objects for interacting with the model such as action run buttons for simulating, and for viewing results such as graphs, tables, and gauges.

Adding and Naming Pages

Get a feel for how the Stella Architect interface window works and learn how to map out, add, and name interface pages.

Creating Templates

Learn how to create templates that can be used on an interface page or another template page, and how to create text boxes for page banners.

Adding Graphics Frames

Learn how to add images to your Stella interface using Graphics Frames.

Using a Navigation Bar

Learn how to apply templates to templates, and how to add a Navigation Bar that will help the user move around the interface.

Applying Templates and Using Navigation Buttons

Learn how to apply templates to interface pages. Then learn how to add Navigation Buttons as another way for the user to move from page to page.

Adding Actions and Images to Buttons

Learn how to add actions to buttons, such as restoring all devices or starting Stella Live. Also learn how to add an image to a button.

Editing Text Boxes

Learn more ways to make text boxes look professional.

Adding Annotations

Adding text to your interface helps users understand your simulation. Learn how to add annotations that appear at the click of a button.

Adding Graphs and Shapes

When experimenting with the simulation interface, results need to be visible to the user. Learn how to display your results with a graph.

Adding Input Devices

To enhance understanding of the dynamics of a model, learn how to add devices like sliders and knobs, which allow users to change parameters.

Introduction to Placeholders (Part 1)

Selectors and placeholders are great tools for decluttering your interface. In part one of this two-part tutorial, we show you how to avoid having too many graphs or tables by using selectors and placeholders.

Introduction to Placeholders (Part 2)

Selectors and placeholders are great tools for decluttering your interface. In part two of this two-part tutorial, we show you how to avoid having too many graphs or tables by using selectors and placeholders.

isee Exchange™

These tutorials showcase the main features of the isee Exchange, isee systems' platform for posting and viewing models online. These short tutorials allow you to quickly get up and running with Stella® Online™ and the isee Exchange.

Adding New Models and CLDs

Learn how to quickly create or upload new models or CLDs for both Stella Online and Stella Professional Online™.

Group Sharing

Learn how to create user groups to authenticate specific users to view your privately hosted Sim Apps.

Linking Accounts

Learn how to link your isee systems and isee Exchange users accounts. Customers with supported Non-educator and Faculty licenses who link accounts gain full access to Stella Professional Online.

Private Models and CLDs

Learn how to make your models and CLDs private under the All Rights Reserved license. These models or CLDs will only be available to the author. This functionality is only available with Stella Professional Online.


Learn how to share all your public work on the isee Exchange via a link. The link will work on any modern web browser and requires no software downloads for the viewers.

Uploading Sim Apps

Learn how to upload both free and privately hosted interfaces to create Sim Apps on the isee Exchange.

User Profile

Learn how to update information on your user profile to better network with other modelers on the isee Exchange.

Multiplayer Games

These tutorials walk you through creating a multiplayer game that includes a waiting room and a debrief screen. Some of the features used in this tutorial, including wildcards, are only available in Stella Architect version 1.8.2 and later. To build a multiplayer game in an earlier version of Stella Architect, refer to the Multiplayer Simulations webinar, available here.

1. Overview of the Model and Finished Interface

Learn the basic features of the sample model and how users will interact with the finished interface.

2. Creating a Dashboard Page

Learn to build a dashboard page, which uses a pie chart and table to show the current status of the game.

3. Creating a Design & Navigation Template

Learn to give your simulation a consistent design with a template, and to allow navigation between the dashboard and company info pages with a Navigation Control object.

4. Creating a Reusable Player Specific Page Using Wildcards

Learn to create a reusable player-specific page that contains both player-specific information (provided by wildcards) and information shared by everyone.

5. Setup the Multiplayer Game & Publish

Learn to configure your game, test it by yourself, and use Object Visibility controls to conditionally hide and show objects.

6. Constructing a Waiting Room & Notify Users That Time Has Advanced

Learn to create a waiting room that tells players when to make their next decisions.

7. Create a Debriefing and an Option to Replay

Learn to build a debriefing, which summarizes the game's results and gives players the option to replay it, and allow players to reach the debriefing with Simulation Events.

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