13-14 November 2006
The tropical surroundings of the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami sets the stage for the 2006 Palisade User Conference: Americas.
:: Regional Seminars
Project Risk Assessment
using @RISK for Project
July 31–Aug 1, Ithaca, NY
Risk and Decision Assessment Training using @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite
August 3-4, Vancouver
Risk and Decision Assessment Training using @RISK and the DecisionTools Suite
August 14-15, Anaheim, CA
:: Live Web Training
Risk and Decision Assessment Using @RISK: Part I
Risk and Decision Assessment Using @RISK: Part II
I love the flexibility of @RISK's results reporting. However, while I'm simulating some of my large, multi-sheet models, I need to access the simulation data in real-time, before the simulation is complete. How can I store intermediate results outside the Excel workbook while the simulation is running?
All editions of @RISK 4.5 come with a comprehensive VBA macro command library, enabling you to control @RISK with almost unlimited flexibility.
Professional Employment Opportunity:
:: Technical Trainer/Consultant
Palisade Corporation is looking for a talented Technical Trainer/Consultant to conduct hands-on software training for our clients. Located in Ithaca, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region, Palisade employees enjoy a beautiful area, a low cost of living, and a challenging yet relaxed work environment. Ithaca is the home of Cornell University and Ithaca College, and offers big-city cultural and entertainment options, in a smaller town setting - a great place to start or continue your career.
:: Technical Trainer/Consultant Job Duties:
A college degree with background in risk and decision analysis, statistics, computer science, and/or related quantitative field is required, as is the ability to understand a client's underlying problem and create a model of it in Excel. Candidates with training or teaching experience, the ability to work with minimal supervision, strong communication skills, and the ability to adapt to different job duties are desirable.
:: Send cover letter and resume to:
798 Cascadilla Street
Ithaca, NY 14850 USA
Or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings . . .
Managing agricultural crop pests is a complex, moving-target type of challenge for farmers and biologists. One tactic often employed is biological control, or releasing good bugs to eat bad bugs that damage crops. However, sometimes the good bugs eat other good bugs, which may create other problems.
:: @RISK Weighs Good Bugs and Bad Bug
Working with a team of researchers, Robert L. Koch, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, developed a quantitative risk assessment model using @RISK to better understand the potential impact of the multi-colored Asian lady beetle - originally intended to combat crop-eating aphids - on monarch butterflies. The butterflies became unwitting fodder for the lady beetle when the aphid population fell. This assessment considered a potential worst-case scenario for the impact of the lady beetle on monarch butterflies, and @RISK was used to characterize the distributions of the measures of exposure.
:: Modeling Butterfly Population
To incorporate uncertainty into the model, Koch used @RISK to model the probability distribution of outcomes by sampling exposure values for each input variable from their own respective probability distributions. Such input variables included habitat productivity (egg density of monarch butterfly by area, crop, and lady beetle density), exposure assessment (quantity, proximity, and time of lady beetle exposure to immature monarch stages), and effect assessment (predation of lady beetle on immature monarch stages and aphid densities). He then calculated the model outcomes through 100,000 iterations with Latin hypercube sampling. Probability distributions for variables in the model were obtained by fitting theoretical distributions to observed data using Palisade's BestFit and @RISK.
To determine the relative importance of each input variable in the model and the sensitivity of the model to small changes of these variables, @RISK provided a way to conduct multivariate stepwise regression, a statistical regression technique that ranks the order of impact that each input has on the bottom line. Results of these analyses were then displayed in tornado graphs indicating standard deviations in relative productivity changes. The order of impact of the different developmental stages of the lady beetle on the different life stages of the monarch butterfly could then be better assessed.
:: Key Risks Revealed
In this case, Koch's @RISK model assessment demonstrates that the multi-colored Asian lady beetle has a 42.78% potential for killing all instances of third developmental stage monarch butterflies under certain conditions. More importantly, however, this research highlights the importance of exposure analysis in estimating overall risk. In particular, exposure and subsequent risk varied greatly between corn and soybean cropping systems. This risk assessment may be used as a model for future assessments incorporating additional habitats and other influential factors.
BestFit: Fit Your Data to the Best Distribution... in Seconds!
:: Decision Analysis in Excel
BestFit finds the distribution that best fits your data. Simply import your data set into BestFit and click the Run Fit button. BestFit tests up to 27 different distribution types to find the best fit for your data. You can display results as presentation-quality graphs, or generate a full statistical report. Automatic goodness of fit testing will show you at a glance the accuracy of BestFit's answers. BestFit 4.5 is available as a stand-alone program or fully integrated with every copy of @RISK 4.5 Professional and Industrial, the risk analysis and simulation add-in for Excel.
:: So why fit distributions to data?
Because if you don't (or if you select the wrong distribution), any analysis you run could have serious errors that can cost you time and money. If your data was generated by a random process, you'll get the best modeling results possible by accurately describing that process. And the best way to do that is with a fitted probability distribution. BestFit's goal is to find the distribution that best fits your input data. BestFit does not produce an absolute answer; it identifies a distribution that most likely produced your data.
:: Who should use BestFit?
:: BestFit Features:
Anyone who works with data can use BestFit. Apply it to business situations such as actuarial or claims adjustment, or to science and engineering problems such as oil well drilling or time between events. You can import data from your spreadsheet and export the results as graphic files to your report or presentation.
:: BestFit Features:
|Fits to sample, density, or cumulative data
Takes data from text files, other Windows applications, Excel, or @RISK
Input up to 100,000 data points or pairs
Direct link to spreadsheet data or @RISK functions in Microsoft Excel for automatic updating of fits
Filtering to remove outliers from data
Fits to 27 available distribution functions
Parameter selection using maximum-likelihood estimators and method of least squares
Uses three goodness of fit tests: Chi-square, Anderson-Darling, and Komolgorov-Smirnov
Complete statistics report, including goodness of fit, confidence levels, percentile and target values
|Presentation-quality graphs displayed in BestFit or transferred automatically to Excel's native format
Sliding delimiters on all graphs make finding probabilities and target values easy
Ability to have multiple data sets and fits in a single project
Fit to custom list of predefined distributions you specify
Full control over Chi-square calculations
Preview and edit distributions
Distribution Palette gallery of Distributions
Alternate percentile parameters for distributions
Draw distributions freehand and fit them to standard distributions
On-line Help with "How Do I?" interface
Get in the Game:
:: @RISK User Conference of the Americas continued from above
Devoted to addressing issues of risk across industries and applications, this innovative 2-day risk analysis forum offers numerous venues to keep you and your organization at the forefront of risk management. Top-level consultants and industry leaders will provide software instruction, best practices, and overviews of the latest trends in risk. Attendees also enjoy a special sneak peak at @RISK 5.0, stacked with new features and capabilities.
:: Risk: More Relevant Now than Ever
Businesses and other organizations face risks unimaginable even ten years ago. The 2006 Palisade User Conference: Americas offers delegates methods for managing risk using best practices and user-friendly, cost-effective software that integrates into existing modeling frameworks. Managers, analysts, researchers and others will attend, representing industries such as oil and gas, securities, pharmaceuticals, and insurance.
The Palisade User Conference: Americas will include:
:: Meet Palisade Engineers
In addition, Palisade's top software engineers will be on hand for roundtable discussions. Delegates will be able to provide feedback about Palisade tools and get previews of unreleased software.
Ask Amy continued from above
You can export data to a text file during simulation by using a VBA macro. @RISK offers the ability to run a user-written macro after every iteration.
The sample VBA macro file at the following link illustrates how this can be done:
To create a custom macro, use the @RISK VBA functions listed in the online manual. Check the @RISK Help File when @RISK is running, or click Windows Start > Programs > Palisade > Online Manuals > @RISK 4.5 Macros - Manual. Performing a simulation that executes a macro after the recalculation of each iteration requires two steps:
In this macro you must:
You can either run the simulation by clicking Tools > Macro > Macros > macroname > Run, or create a button as in the example, so that the macro runs when you click the button.