Part of the Visual SIMMOD Toolkit
The SIMU04 Explorer helps the analyst review the results from a SIMMOD simulation run. As SIMMOD executes it prints a file called the SIMU04 file.
Depending on the settings the analyst has supplied via TRACE statements in the SIMU09 file, the SIMU04 file contains a detailed accounting of what happened during the simulation in a free-form (it's not actually free-form, but it appears to be) textual manner.
The psuedo free-form nature of the SIMU04 file can make it difficult to read. The SIMU04 Explorer makes reading and searching the SIMU04 file a snap.
Three different color coding schemes ensure that the analyst will be able to readily recognize the data he or she is trying to interpret. The analyst has a choice of coloring by Code, or by Flight, or by Field. To select what should be colored, and how, the SIMU04 Explorer relies upon a very powerful search mechanism called Regular Expressions. It is beyond the scope of this document to adequately describe Regular Expressions but they do provide an extremely flexible method of identifying strings which follow a variety of formats, which is exactly what is found in a SIMU04 file.
The SIMU04 Explorer allows multiple SIMU04 files (possibly one a "control" file and others "experiments") to be observed simultaneously through judicious placement of the internal frames. A menu option can automatically arrange the internal frames for quick optimal viewing. Internal frames can be arranged in a vertical or horizontal manner.
Each internal frame is itself divided into two internal, but, in this case, always contiguous frames. The upper (or left depending on internal frame orientation) frame lists the contents of the entire SIMU04 file. The lower (or right) frame lists the data for a flight which has been chosen (clicked on) from the upper frame.
During the course of working with SIMMOD data it is often necessary to slightly modify the inputs to SIMMOD, re-run SIMMOD, and then review the results. Often this is repeated several times a day.
The SIMU04 Explorer supports the above work schedule by automatically monitoring the status of the SIMU04 file. If the SIMU04 file is updated, or rather in the course of running SIMMOD the SIMU04 file gets changed, then the SIMU04 Explorer detects the change and can either signal the analyst the file has changed or it can automatically reload the SIMU04 file without manual intervention.
The SIMU04 Explorer provides a wide variety of customization capabilities. All of the customizations are stored in a configuration file upon program exit. When the SIMU04 Explorer is restarted the customizations are restored for the analyst.
Some of the items which can be customized are:
- Main window placement and size on the screen.
- Internal frames and size placement in the main window.
- Internal frames orientation. Internal frames can be oriented in a horizontal or vertical format.
- All color coding schemes.
- Regular expression search (and replace in some cases) criteria.
The first coloring scheme is by code. Most of the lines in a SIMU04 file have a code at the end of the line. This code uniquely identifies what type of line it is and more importantly what SIMU09 TRACE produced the line. As shown below the SIMU04 Explorer has the ability to code the lines by their code type. In the example shown, you can see that the TRACE lines are grey on a green background, the RTE lines are blue on a black background, the AIR.200 lines are blue on white and the remaining AIR.###-### lines are blue on orange.
The Flight Coloring scheme only colors the flights in which the analyst is interested. The analyst "locks in" the various flights of interest and assigns each a foreground and a background color. The SIMU04 Explorer remembers the coloring scheme from session to session and from run to run of the SIMMOD engine.
In one respect, a SIMU04 file has two categories of lines, those lines that pertain to flights which have been simulated and all other lines. Lines which pertain to flights generally follow a certain format. They have a time as their second field, a code at the end of the line and the fourth "field" is the unique identifier for the flight.
In the example below ^DAL_00104_SANA^00104_ASAN.SAN has an orange background and a red foreground. ^AWE_00850_SANA^00850 is yellow on red. And ^SWA_00980_SANA^00980 is white on green.
The SIMU04 Explorer can display the SIMU04 file with certain fields highlighted in alternate colors, and bold, italic, or normal fonts. In the example below the AIR.100-### and AIR.500-### lines have the node field highlighted in a bold black on green scheme. By design, the AIR.200-071 line does not have any color coding despite having a node field.
The AIR.500-077 lines have their link fields highlighted in a italicized grey on orange scheme.
Lastly, the AIR.500-074 lines have their route field highlighted in a normal white on black scheme.