The IFs modeling system has evolved rapidly in recent years and is now in its fifth generation. For introduction to the character and use of the fifth generation see Hughes and Hillebrand (2006). Full documentation of the International Futures (IFs) modeling system, except for the most recent model developments, exists in the on-line help system of the system itself. Only very basic summary information on the structure of the system and on its capabilities for support of the analysis is provided here.
As stated previously, International Futures is a global modeling system. The extensive data base underlying it includes data for 182 countries over as much of the period since 1960 as possible. The model itself is a recursive system that can run without intervention from its initial year (currently 2000), while the model interface facilitates interventions flexibly across time, issue, and geography.
The overall model incorporates different sub-models, including the Population sub-model, the Economic sub-model, the Agricultural sub-model, the Educational sub-model, the Energy sub-model, the Socio-Political sub-model, the International Political sub-model, the Infrastructure sub-model, the Environmental sub-model, the Technology sub-model, and the Health sub-model.