Qualitative Reasoning Group

The Qualitative Reasoning Group is part of:


Our research focus is the development tools and expertise that supports the acquisition of a conceptual understanding of dynamic systems through conceptual modelling and simulation. The two most notable applications of this technology are in science education and science.

Within science education, our interactive learning environment DynaLearn allows for a novel form of active learning called learning by (conceptual) modelling. In this approach, students are "involved in the process of creating, testing, revising, and using externalized scientific models that may represent their own internalized mental models". Particularly, learners can refine their understanding of systems by constantly improving their conceptual models based on the simulations that they produce. Such learning occurs particularly when simulations reveal inconsistencies in students' ideas and when simulation outcomes differ from students' expectations.

Scientists use our modelling and simulation software Garp3 to develop explicit conceptual (causal) representations of scientific theories and particular systems to which they apply. The simulations allow scientists to test their ideas for consistency and agreement with observations in reality. Our tools have become an established tool within environmental science.

Selected Publications

Recent Projects

DynaLearn logo DynaLearn
DynaLearn is a collaborative project, funded by the European Union. The project's goal is to develop an intelligent and motivating learning environment that supports learners in actively dealing with theoretical concepts to develop their understanding of how systems behave.
QRM portal
The Qualitative Reasoning and Modelling (QRM) portal provides software tools (Garp3), documentation and support for users to build and simulate qualitative models.
NNR logo NaturNet-Redime
The NatureNet-Redime project was a European Union funded project. Its goal was to improvement the knowledge and the provision of education concerning all different aspects of sustainable development.
(see also NNR for the QR related tasks)
MONET: Network of Excellence in Model-Based Systems and Qualitative Reasoning
Monet was a European Network of Excellence of academics, industrialists and others interested in promoting emergent Artificial Intelligence technologies into the commercial world.
These technologies, Model-based Systems and Qualitative Reasoning, offer solutions to complex problems which are only partially understood.



(Former) visiting researchers


Supervised Students


Bert Bredeweg

Visiting Address:
Room C3.261 Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Postal Address:
P.O. Box 94323
1090 GE Amsterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0)20 525 6788
+31 20 525 7462 (secretary)