:: Live Web Training
Risk and Decision Assessment using @RISK, Part I
Risk and Decision Assessment using @RISK, Part II
Free Live Webcasts
Using Bayesian Networks within an @RISK Monte Carlo Simulation Environment
Selecting the Right Distribution
How do I go about defining a distribution in @RISK for Project so that its sampling is dependent on the occurrence of an event?
@RISK Professional for Project distributions can include "optional arguments." A useful optional argument, for example, is "EnableWhen()". Conditions can be specified as the argument for the EnableWhen(). The condition will determine whether the distribution will be sampled.
For example: Duration=RiskNormal
The above function will only sample the defined RiskNormal() when the Global variable called "RiskOccurred" is equal to 1. Conditional statements for the EnableWhen() can only refer to Global Variables.
Announcing the 2007 Palisade User Conference Europe
London April 23-24, 2007
The 2007 Palisade User Conference Europe will be held in London on April 23-24, 2007. Taking place at the renowned Trinity House, just across from the Tower of London, the event follows up on the success of last year's inaugural conference. Experience not just cutting-edge risk analysis techniques, but take in the historic Tower of London, the world-famous Tower Bridge, and all that central London has to offer.
:: Register Now
You can save over $150 if you register by February 28, 2007. Attend for only £150, or about $285.
NeuralTools in Scientific Computing: "Simplicity Itself"
Professional recognition of Palisade software continues with Scientific Computing's recent review of NeuralTools. Author John A. Wass, Ph.D. asserts "This analysis add-on is simplicity itself" as he begins with a synopsis of Palisade's user-friendly approach, and continues with a history of neural networks in computing before taking NeuralTools through a rigorous examination from installation to performance.
:: Flawless Installation and Integration
Dr. Wass asserts, "It might be supposed that any software purporting to have 'artificial intelligence' would be a quick and easy load. Here NeuralTools measures up. In 32 seconds, the program loaded from a CD and flawlessly integrated with my Excel Spreadsheet."
:: Performance: A Study in Efficiency and Accuracy
The measure of a software product's performance begins with its interface with the user. In this arena Dr. Wass writes, "The program is simplicity itself and the learning curve extremely gentle. It appears that a lot was done to simplify actions, guess at user needs, and integrate intuitive actions whenever possible. This is a fairly easy program to master in about an hour."
Four steps are required to complete an analysis: defining and formatting the data set, selecting and training an appropriate net, validating the results, and then predicting values with the trained network. "To format the data takes mere seconds, as [NeuralTools'] Data Set Manager will recognize the most common aspects of the Excel format and allow specification of the variable type and header row." The author continues, "In all instances, the software correctly classified a sample or predicted a biochemical activity (usually in a yes/no fashion). There were several tools and helps that made this a very valuable program in terms of ease of use and flexible functionality". Another valuable feature is the Best Net Search. This tool "allows several net types to be run simultaneously on the data and the results of each displayed with the resultant error, therefore saving time by not having to run each net manually."
Dr. Wass summarized by stating that users "can count on [NeuralTools'] many user-friendly features to ensure a loyal following", and "the functionality is such as to extend into a number of fields and disciplines."
FLEXnet Network Licenses
Maximum Deployment Flexibility with Minimal Hassle
Palisade offers FLEXnet concurrent-user network licenses for @RISK, DecisionTools Suite, and other software products. With FLEXnet concurrent-user networks, companies have maximum flexibility and minimal hassle in how they deploy Palisade software within their organization. Anyone in the organization may be designated to access the software - the only limit is on the number of users accessing the software at the same time. The FLEXnet server will monitor license usage and make sure that the maximum number of concurrent users is not exceeded. There is no need to maintain a list of users or worry about changing computers or personnel. You don't need authorization from Palisade to transfer licenses among users. In fact, the only time you may need to contact Palisade is to increase the maximum number of concurrent users!
:: "Borrowing" Licenses When not on the Network
License borrowing or "check-out" is also available to make use of the software when disconnected from the network. For example, if someone needs to use the software on a laptop during a two-week trip, that user may borrow a license from the pool of concurrent users. Once the user returns, they can check their software license back in. Borrowing the license reduces the number of concurrent user licenses available, but it permits the person disconnected from the network to use the software.
With FLEXnet concurrent-user licenses:
:: FLEXnet: The Industry Standard
FLEXnet licensing is widely used throughout companies in many industries. If you are already running a FLEXnet server, then adding Palisade's FLEXnet software is as simple as dropping another license file into the appropriate directory. If you are new to FLEXnet, Palisade provides the server software at no additional charge.
Contact Palisade Sales to learn more:
DecisionTools Suite Guides Environmental Financial Liability Decisions for Fortune 500 Companies continued from above
Tim Havranek, a consultant with Triangle Economic Research, an Arcadis company, relies on @RISK and PrecisionTree® when working with Fortune 500 clients to simulate the least costly routes to managing their “environmental risk portfolios.”
:: A Typically Complicated Case
In one recent case, a major industrial manufacturer sold approximately 15 of its active plants to another manufacturer. The terms of these sales included the provision that the original corporate owner would retain responsibility for historical environmental impacts. As time passed, environmental claims against the original corporate owner continued, and the corporation sought appropriate means of reducing cost and risks, such as receiving regulatory closure and/or selling the properties and liabilities to other parties.
In addition, the historical environmental impacts at times limited the ways that the new owners could manage and expand the properties. This often led to disagreements. Such disagreements were anticipated during the sale, and the purchase agreement included an arbitration clause to address issues as they arose.
:: Three Routes to Resolution
The corporation identified three possible solutions:
Havranek used Triangle’s time-tested procedure for framing the model. He met with all the stakeholders to identify all known cost elements, inherent uncertainties, and future potential liabilities for each of the three alternatives. The model included more than 100 unknowns. In order to pinpoint those issues on which the company would need to prevail in arbitration, Havranek and his team performed sensitivity analyses on the cost drivers identified during the framing meeting. The model was then simulated using @RISK and PrecisionTree.
:: Outside Verification
The outcome was intriguing: the least costly alternative was to stay with the asset purchase agreement and arbitrate as needed. The model indicated an expected value savings of more than $30 million. An outside actuarial group verified and validated the model using proprietary actuarial software. In the end, the actuarial group’s projections agreed not only with Triangle’s inputs and assumptions but also with its findings, generated by @RISK and PrecisionTree.
:: Simplifying the Complex
Although other companies may turn to proprietary software to parse environmental risks, Havranek sees no reason to use custom software to accommodate the many complex inputs he includes in his models. He likes the convenience of working in Excel and being able to share his results with clients. But most important, he says, “I am always trying to streamline my models. To simplify simulations you need the flexibility that proprietary tools don’t always offer. These tools have that flexibility without any sacrifice of power. @RISK and PrecisionTree have all the power you need.”
Ask Amy continued from above
However, you can also use the special argument “prob=” to assign probabilities of occurrence.
For example: Duration=RiskNormal(10,2,EnableWhen(prob=0.5)) The above function will only sample the defined RiskNormal() variable for 50% of the iterations during the simulation. In other words, the RiskNormal has a 50% chance of occurring.