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USER GUIDE FOR SIMPHONY.NET 3.5

U SER G UIDE FOR S IMPHONY .NET 3.5 Simphony.NET Development Team Last updated: April 11,

Simphony.NET Development Team

Last updated: April 11, 2011

TABLE OF CONTENTSTABLE OF CONTENTS

I

PREFACE

II

GUIDE TO AVAILABLE DOCUMENTATION

II

USING THE SIMPHONY.NET USER GUIDE

II

TECHNICAL SUPPORT

II

SIMPHONY.NET OVERVIEW

3

INTRODUCTION

3

BASIC FEATURES

3

Modular and Hierarchical Modeling

3

General Purpose vs. Special Purpose Simulation (SPS)

3

Integration of SPS tools

3

Custom Output Results

3

GETTING STARTED

4

INSTALLATION

4

System Requirements

4

Installation Procedures

4

Simphony.NET Files and Folders

4

THE MAIN INTERFACE

5

Modeling Space

5

Template Area

5

Ribbon Bar

6

Modeling Explorer Window

7

Property Window

7

Trace Window

8

CREATING SIMULATION PROJECTS

8

DEFINE SCENARIO

8

THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF A MODEL

9

Modeling Elements

9

Relationships

10

STEPS FOR CREATING A SIMULATION PROJECT

11

Create a Project

11

Create a Layout

11

Define Parameter Values

12

Check Integrity of the Model

12

Run Simulation

12

Examine Results

12

Preface

Guide to Available Documentation

The Simphony.NET User Guide is a document that is useful for new users who are not familiar with Simphony.NET’s environment, and those interested in using Simphony.NET for building and experimenting with construction simulation models, based on the existing modeling element library. SPS template specific documentation is also available for each template you wish to use.

Using the Simphony.NET User Guide

This document describes the main interface of Simphony.NET and the features available for creating new modeling elements. It is organized as follows:

Simphony.NET Overview: This section briefly discusses some of the basic features and concepts in Simphony.NET and its major advantages over other simulation packages. Getting Started: This section contains information on Simphony.NET installation and describes the main components of the Simphony.NET Interface. Creating Simulation Projects: Contains a description of the model developing process in Simphony.NET for template users.

Technical Support

For information or inquiries please contact:

Simphony.NET Development Team 3-133 Markin/CNRL Natural Resources Engineering Facility University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta Canada, T6G 2W2

simphony_support@cem.civil.ualberta.ca

Simphony.NET Overview

Introduction

Simphony.NET represents an evolution in computer simulation and its integration into the construction industry. It is the result of over ten years of research in the application of simulation-based planning techniques in the industry. Simphony.NET consists of a foundation library as well as specialized computer programs that allow for the development of new construction simulation tools in an efficient manner.

Simphony.NET’s promise is that, as a user, you do not need to posses any simulation background in order to take advantage of the benefits of simulation. When you build models, you have access to a domain- specific set of building blocks called “Modeling Elements”. This means that you create a simulation model using a library of modeling elements with names that you can relate to. An earth-moving model, for example, is built with modeling elements such as source locations, road segments, intersections and excavators. Similarly, a model of an aggregate production plant is built by selecting from a list of modeling elements that includes jaw crushers, screens and product piles.

There is a large library of modeling elements that are available with the base distribution of Simphony.NET. If any of the existing modeling elements are not flexible enough to meet your modeling needs, or if you need new modeling elements to be developed for different construction operations, then you will need to contact a developer to extend your library.

For more information regarding the individual modeling elements that are available in the library and their function, consult the appropriate Special Purpose Simulation template manual supplied by the developer.

Basic Features

Modular and Hierarchical Modeling

The main model building block in Simphony.NET is the Modeling Element. The user builds a simulation model in Simphony.NET by creating instances of modeling elements that resemble real components of a construction system, and linking them together in ways similar to those that exist in a real system.

For representation of complex and large construction projects, Simphony.NET provides a hierarchical modeling feature. A project can be represented by an abstracted model at the higher level that contains a limited number of modeling elements and relations. At a lower level, each of these elements can have its own child model, which represents the sub-system working inside that element. The number of these hierarchical levels is only limited by the computer system’s resources.

General Purpose vs. Special Purpose Simulation (SPS)

Simphony.NET supports both general purpose modeling constructs (e.g. CYCLONE) which can be used to model different construction processes, as well as specialized templates for specific construction methods (e.g. Earth-moving and aggregate production) which are suitable for users with little simulation background.

Integration of SPS tools

Simphony.NET allows the extension of specialized SPS tools through the construction of models based on several templates. For example, this feature can be used to build a paving project that requires, in some parts, a special gradation of aggregate provided by an aggregate production plant.

Custom Output Results

Simphony.NET modeling elements can generate custom output results in the form of tables and graphs.

Getting Started

Installation

System Requirements

Simphony.NET requires the following, at minimum, for installation:

600 MHz Pentium processor or higher (recommended).

Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7

128 MB of RAM; 256 MB recommended.

50 MB of available disk space

SVGA monitor with minimum resolution of 800 X 600.

Installation Procedures

To install Simphony.NET, run the MSI file from the distribution set and follow the instructions.

Simphony.NET Files and Folders

The installation program will create a folder called “Simphony.NET 3.5” at the location specified during installation.

The Simphony.NET folder will contain the following folders and files:

\Simphony.NET

3.5\Templates\: the template folder, which contains all of the template files (*.dll).

\Simphony.NET

3.5\Components\: contains files required to develop templates (*.dll).

Simphony models have file extension ‘.sim’, and the Simphony.NET program can be started by clicking either

1. \Simphony.NET

2. Start > All programs > Simphony.NET 3.5 > Modeling Environment

3.5\Simphony.UI.exe

The Main Interface

The main interface of Simphony.NET appears as follows:

Ribbon Bar Model Explorer Modeling Space Template Area Property Grid Trace Window
Ribbon Bar
Model
Explorer
Modeling Space
Template
Area
Property
Grid
Trace Window

Modeling Space

The Modeling Space is the main workspace for building simulation projects. Modeling elements are placed in the window by dragging and dropping from the Template area. The Modeling Space can accommodate multiple tabs, called Scenarios. Each Scenario contains an independent simulation model, which can represent either the entire project, or several instances of the same project with different starting settings, to be used for comparison purposes. Users can assign a meaningful name to each Scenario, and the hierarchical structure of the entire model is shown in the Model Explorer. The model created in the Modeling Space can be zoomed in or out (from 1% to 200 %) using the slide bar placed on the right bottom corner.

Template Area

The template area displays a list of all elements available in the modeling element library which can be used to construct new projects. These elements are categorized by the templates to which they belong and by folders within the templates. Users can add SPS templates by clicking ‘Add

Template’ and typing

\Simphony.NET

3.5\Templates\ *.dll. ’

Users can add SPS templates by clicking ‘Add Template’ and typing ‘ \Simphony.NET 3.5\Templates\ *.dll. ’

Ribbon Bar

The ribbon bar contains five menus, ‘File’, ‘Edit’, ‘View’, ‘Run’ and ‘Help’

File menu:

‘Edit’, ‘View’, ‘Run’ and ‘Help’ File menu: N e w ( C t r l +

New (Ctrl+N):

Create a new simulation project

Open (Ctrl+O):

Open an existing simulation project

Save (Ctrl+S):

Save the simulation project.

Save As (F12):

Save under different file name.

Add Template:

Display ‘Open Template’ Dialog Box and load the selected template into

Remove Template:

Template Area. Remove the selected template from Template Area.

Add Scenario:

Insert new scenario into simulation project. A new tap is added into

Remove Scenario:

Modeling Area and Model Explorer. Remove the selected scenario tap from Modeling area and Model explorer

Print Preview

Display a print preview of Modeling Area

Print

Print the contents of the Modeling Area.

Edit menu:

t Print the contents of the Modeling Area. Edit menu: U n d o ( C

Undo (Ctrl+Y):

Undo the last action

Redo (Ctrl+O):

Redo the undone action

Cut (Ctrl+X):

Cut the selected element.

Copy (Ctrl+C):

Copy the selected element.

Paste (Ctrl+V):

Display ‘Open Template’ dialog box and load the selected template into

Delete (Del):

Template Area. Delete the selected element.

Select (Ctrl+A)

Select all elements displayed in Modeling Area

View menu:

Select all elements displayed in Modeling Area View menu: T e m p l a t

Templates:

Show/hide Template window.

Model Explorer:

Show/hide Model Explorer window

Properties:

Show/hide Property window.

Trace:

Show/hide Trace window.

Restore Defaults

Restore default layout of the Simphony.NET interface by showing and

Zoom:

positioning Template, Model Explorer, Property and Trace window Zoom in/out the views displayed Modeling Space by setting

100%

magnification factor Restore the zoomed view to the initial size

Zoom to Selection

Fit the selected figure in Modeling Space by arbitrary zoom in/out

Run menu:

figure in Modeling Space by arbitrary zoom in/out Run menu: C h e c k :

Check:

Run integrity check routines associated with the modeling elements.

Run (F5):

Run/resume the simulation.

Pause:

Pause the running simulation.

Halt:

Halt the running simulation.

Help menu:

H a l t : Halt the running simulation. Help menu: A b o u t

About:

Display general information about the current version of Simphony.NET.

Modeling Explorer Window

The Modeling Explorer displays a navigation tree representing the structure of the current simulation project. It contains all the Scenarios created in the simulation project and the Composite elements belonging to each scenario. Composite elements can have their own child models. Various forms of composite elements are defined for different SPS templates. Double clicking on an entry in the tree view will bring up a model in the Modeling Space.

the tree view will bring up a model in the Modeling Space. Property Window The Property

Property Window

The Property Grid displays the property of each scenario or modeling elements. Users can specify the name and input parameters of scenarios or modeling elements. Some of the input parameters can be defined with user defined code written in Visual Basic or C#. The associated output for each scenario or modeling element is also displayed as well as the relevant statistics. The detailed property information of each element can be found in the associated template manual.

statistics. The detailed property info rmation of each element can be found in the associated template

Trace Window

The Trace window consists of two tabs. The Trace tab displays trace messages defined in the Trace modeling element or in user code during a simulation. The messages can be copied or printed. The Error List tab shows feedback regarding any errors that occur during the modeling process.

regarding any errors that occur during the modeling process. Creating Simulation Projects The following procedures
regarding any errors that occur during the modeling process. Creating Simulation Projects The following procedures

Creating Simulation Projects

The following procedures describe the typical steps followed in the development and simulation of a Simphony.NET model.

Define Scenario

Simphony.NET provides an environment in which multiple scenarios are built within a certain project simulation in order to compare different simulation options or break down the project into smaller simulations. When multiple scenarios are generated, Simphony.NET will execute each scenario one at a time, sequentially, until all scenarios are simulated. The execution of a given scenario is not completed until all runs within it have been made. Scenarios can be added by clicking the ‘Add Scenario’ button in the Ribbon Bar. Some SPS templates provide specific scenario types. For example, Earthmoving SPS modeling elements need to be built on the earthmoving scenario.

Grid

Grid:

Grid size to be displayed

Scale Factor:

Dictate ruler’s scale and default size of

ShowGrid:

the modeling elements Show/hide Grid on the Modeling Space.

ShowRulers:

Show/hide rulers on the Modeling Space.

SnapToGrid

If set to True, the location of modeling element will snap to grid

Inputs (Miscellaneous category – Misc)

Name:

Enabled:

Max Time:

Run Count:

Seed:

The scenario name. Control for whether that particular scenario should be simulated. The time allowed for the scenario to be simulated. The total number of runs to be simulated in that scenario Enables the replication of random numbers if set to any value other than zero.

of random numbers if set to any value other than zero. Reports Cost: Emissions: Statistics Document

Reports

Cost:

Emissions:

Statistics

Document of compiled costs from simulation the scenario. Visible only when data has been collected using the Cost element within the scenario. Document of compiled emission values. Useful when the Emissions Resource is used in the scenario. Compile intrinsic (time dependent) & non-intrinsic (time independent) statistics for the scenario. Used together with resource element, file

element and counter.

The Building Blocks of a Model

Modeling Elements

The main component of a simulation project in Simphony.NET is the Modeling Element. A project is a collection of modeling elements connected to each other by relationships. The main property categories of

a modeling element that the user will deal with are: design, inputs, layout, outputs, statistics, and

connection points. They are accessed through the Property Grid Window. The contents of the Property Grid

are updated upon clicking of modeling elements displayed in the Modeling Space.

Design Design category contains Name and Description which users can specify

in order to distinguish an element.

Inputs The appropriate input parameters of each modeling element need to be assigned for the purpose of the project simulation. Each modeling element requires a unique set of input data. The types of input data are integer, float, string, statistical distribution, and formula. Users can define the behavior of a modeling element using Visual Basic or C# code in Formula

) in

Editor. The Formula editor can be accessible by clicking the ellipsis ( the appropriate field.

e by clicking the ellipsis ( the appropriate field. Layout Layout field displays the loca tion
e by clicking the ellipsis ( the appropriate field. Layout Layout field displays the loca tion

Layout Layout field displays the location and size of the element.

Outputs Some modeling elements display outputs in the Property Grid after simulation is completed. They contain information such as the number of entities passing through the elements or waiting to be passed through, and the total simulation time.

Statistics The Counter, Task, Resource, File and Statistic elements have the Statistics property category, which collects various statistics for the associated function of the element. For example, the Counter element shows statistics for inter-arrival time and productivity while the Resource element displays statistics of utilization. The basic statistics collected in Simphony.NET are the minimum, maximum, mean, standard deviation, variance, sum, skewness, and kurtosis. The statistics are collected during

minimum, maximum, mean, standard deviation, variance, sum, skewness, and kurtosis. The statistics are collected during 9

each simulation run, and can be displayed for each run or across all runs. For the collected observation, four types of graphs (histogram, cumulative distribution function, time chart, and cumulative time chart) can be viewed by clicking the ellipsis (…) in the Statistics Name field. Once the graph dialog box is displayed, the graph view can be switched by clicking the relevant tab at the top.

can be switched by clicking the relevant tab at the top. The histogram categorizes the collect
can be switched by clicking the relevant tab at the top. The histogram categorizes the collect
can be switched by clicking the relevant tab at the top. The histogram categorizes the collect
can be switched by clicking the relevant tab at the top. The histogram categorizes the collect

The histogram categorizes the collected observations into equal intervals and shows the percentage of occurrence for each interval. The cumulative density function (CDF) graph shows the probability of occurrence for different values of the statistic in a cumulative form. A histogram and CDF can be displayed for one run or for all runs (i.e., aggregate data over all of the runs). To select which to display, choose the run number from the combo box at the top left corner of the graph, or choose “All runs” to display the graph for the total number of runs. The time chart shows the value of the observed statistics along the progress of simulation time. The cumulative time chart display the aggregated value of the observed statistics as the simulation time progresses. The time chart and cumulative time chart can only be generated for each run individually.

Connection points Every modeling element may have a number of connection points through which it can be connected to other elements. Connection points are classified into two types: “Input” and “Output.” Connections between elements flow from output connection points to input connection points. By default, the input connection point is positioned at the left side of an element while the

output connection point is located at the right side of the element. However, the user can change these locations by left-clicking on the element and selecting ‘Adjust Ports’; the user can then drag the connection point around the element’s bounding rectangle with the right mouse button.

element’s bou nding rectangle with the right mouse button. Relationships By default, a relationship between two

Relationships

By default, a relationship between two modeling elements is represented in Simphony.NET by a series of arrow segments with a few pivot points if required. To establish a relationship between two elements, click on the output connection point of

few pivot points if required. To establish a relationship between two elements, click on the output

the first element and drag close enough to the input connection point of the second element, then drop when the relation is generated. To specify a multi-segment relation or edit the shape of a relation, right-click on a segment or a pivot point, and select a command from the pop-up menu. You can add/delete segments or pivot points at any time.

Steps for Creating a Simulation Project

Create a Project

New

The first step in creating a simulation project is to create a new file for the project. This is done by clicking ‘New’ button on the ribbon bar or executing the Simphony.NET program, resulting in a blank new tab named ‘Scenario1’ in the Modeling Space Window. The new simulation project then can be saved anytime by clicking ‘Save’ button. The file names of the projects generated by Simphony.NET have the extension ‘*.sim’.

Scenario Properties

After creating the project, the properties of the scenario need to be defined. They can be viewed in the Property Grid Window by clicking on a clear area of the Modeling Space. The simulation of a certain scenario can be terminated by defining the maximum simulation time (MaxTime). A scenario can also be run a particular number of times by specifying a run count. If the Seed number is set to any value other than zero, the same simulation result from the scenario will be generated for each run.

Create a Layout

The next step is to create the initial layout of the simulation project. This is done by selecting appropriate modeling elements in the Template Area and adding them to the Modeling Space, then defining necessary relationships between these elements.

Adding New Instance of an Element

To add a modeling element to the Modeling Space, click on the desired element in the template area and drag and drop it onto the Modeling Space.

Deleting an Instance of an Element

To delete an existing element, first select it by clicking on its graphical representation, then press the “Delete” key. This will delete the selected element, all its children, and any defined relations. Elements can also be deleted by clicking the ‘Delete’ button in the Ribbon Bar ‘Edit’ category.

relations. Elements can also be deleted by clicking the ‘Delete’ button in the Ribbon Bar ‘Edit’
relations. Elements can also be deleted by clicking the ‘Delete’ button in the Ribbon Bar ‘Edit’

Creating a Child Model

A Child model can be generated inside a Composite element. Users need to specify the number of input and output connection points in the property grid of the composite element. To create a child model, double click on the Composite element in the Modeling Space or the Model Explorer; a new tab with the name of the Composite element in the Modeling Space will be displayed. By default, the same number of input and output connection ports (triangular shape elements) are generated in the child model.

Dragging Elements

To change the graphical position of a given element, click and drag its graphical representation. Hold down the Shift key while dragging to generate another instance of the element.

Relationships

After creating the required elements in the model, they must be linked together with the appropriate relationships. Relationships between elements can be added by clicking the output connection point of the source element, then dragging a connector to the input connection point of the destination element. The relationship can be manipulated at any time by clicking the right mouse button on the required part of the connector (segment or pivot point) and selecting a command from the pop-up menu.

Define Parameter Values

The property of the each element can be defined in the Property Grid window. The contents of the Property Gird are refreshed once an element is selected.

Check Integrity of the Model

Click the ‘Check’ button on the Ribbon Bar ‘Run’ category to initiate the integrity checks associated with the elements in the model. If any integrity violations are encountered, the associated messages will be displayed in the Trace Window.

Run Simulation

Start the simulation process by pressing F5, or clicking the ‘Run’ button in the Ribbon Bar ‘Run’ category.

Examine Results

Examine the simulation results including element outputs and statistics. If results are not acceptable, change the model layout and/or element parameter values, and run the simulation again until you are satisfied with the results. Element outputs and statistics are shown in the associated Property Grid.