Anytime there is a potential mismatch between the amount of something available and the amount that is desired some sort of allocation needs to be done. Much of the time it is sufficient to just make sure that the amount used never exceeds the amount available, as is commonly done with shipments from an inventory. If there are multiple actors involved, however, this becomes more complicated as it is necessary to decide as it is necessary to decide how much to take from, or give to, each agent.
The allocation functions in Vensim provide solutions to both the one-to-many and the many-to-many allocation problems. While these solutions do not provide for every possible allocation mechanism, they are the best that we know of for solving allocation formulations.
The material in this section is relevant in general but the functions discussed are only available in Vensim Professional and DSS.