The Fault Programming Language

March 09, 2023

USDS alum Marianne Bellotti just released a new programming language for modeling using System Dynamics called Fault. Happening upon this was a true throwback, as I learned about the field of System Dynamics as an undergrad at WPI. What a neat idea.

A Fancier Excel Spreadsheet

At its core System Dynamics is a fancier and more formal version of Excel spreadsheets that most people might use to evaluate things like their monthly household budget. By specifying and modeling a system, the computer might reveal scenarios and challenges that you did not anticipate on your own.

The Challenge of Modeling the Real World

As I have worked on data problems from software to campaigns one of the largest challenges remains trying to find your blind spots. A programming language like Fault can be a tool to reveal some of these. However it is not foolproof, if you do not account for all the factors in a system, you will still miss things. Caveat emptor!

Fun to Play With

Given how simple this might be relative to other programming languages, and the accessible nature of being written in Go, checking out Fault might be a fun exercise for a software engineer. Give it a go, and see if you an find any bugs.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.