This invention describes computer based virtual models of complex systems, together with integrated systems and methods providing a development and execution framework for visual modeling and dynamic simulation of said models. The virtual models can be used for analysis, monitoring, or control of the operation of the complex systems modeled, as well as for information retrieval. More particularly, the virtual models in the present implementation relate to biological complex systems. In the current implementation the virtual models comprise building blocks representing physical, chemical, or biological processes, the pools of entities that participate in those processes, a hierarchy of compartments representing time-intervals or the spatial and/or functional structure of the complex system in which said entities are located and said processes take place, and the description of the composition of those entities. The building blocks encapsulate in different layers the information, data, and mathematical models that characterize and define each virtual model, and a plurality of methods is associated with their components. The models are built by linking instances of the building blocks in a predefined way, which, when integrated by the methods provided in this invention, result in multidimensional networks of pathways. A number of functions and graphical interfaces can be selected for said instances of building blocks, to extract in various forms the information contained in said models. Those functions include: a) on-the-fly creation of displays of interactive multidimensional networks of pathways, according to user selections; b) dynamic quantitative simulations of selected networks; and c) complex predefined queries based on the relative position of pools of entities in the pathways, the role that the pools play in different processes, the location in selected compartments, and/or the structural components of the entities of those pools. The system integrates inferential control with quantitative and scaled simulation methods, and provides a variety of alternatives to deal with complex dynamic systems and with incomplete and constantly evolving information and data.