Version 11.5 introduces a wide range of enhancements in our Platform and Solver Engine products, designed to help you build models more quickly, solve them more quickly, and obtain better solutions.
New Distribution Wizard
For most users, the main challenge when building a simulation model is how to choose the right probability distribution and the right parameters for each uncertain variable. The new Distribution Wizard in V11.5 can help! Try it by choosing Distributions – Distribution Wizard from the Ribbon, and simply following the prompts.
New Constraint Wizard
The main challenge when building an optimization model is specifying constraints. The new Constraint Wizard in V11.5 makes this easier – for normal constraints, ‘chance constraints,’ and restrictions such as ‘integer’ on decision variables. Try it by choosing Constraints – Constraint Wizard from the Ribbon, and following the prompts.
Improved Guided Mode Dialogs
Guided Mode can give you great insight into why your model is difficult or easy to solve – but when you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to overlook its messages. We’ve re-worded nearly all of the Guided Mode dialogs, so you can determine at a glance what the analysis means for your model. Try it – leave Guided Mode on for a while.
More Example Models, Easier to Find
We’ve expanded the set of example models installed with Risk Solver Platform, and made it much easier to find the examples most relevant to you. Try it – choose Help – Examples from the Ribbon, and select examples by their summary descriptions, special features, and industry or functional area.
Faster Solutions for Large Quadratic and Nonlinear Models
We’ve speeded up the PSI Interpreter, when it’s analyzing your model type, and when it’s being used by a Solver Engine to compute rate-of-change and curvature information to guide the Solver to an optimal solution. For large quadratic and nonlinear models, the speedup can be quite dramatic!
Next Generation Methods in Evolutionary Solver
To help you solve arbitrary Excel models with IF, CHOOSE, LOOKUP and similar functions, we’ve greatly enhanced the algorithmic methods in our popular Evolutionary Solver, so it finds high-quality solutions faster on many models, and much faster on some models. Try it - select the Evolutionary Solver engine on the Task Pane Engine tab, then set the Legacy Mode option to True (to use the older algorithms) or False (to use the newer algorithms) and see which works better for your particular model.
Visualization of Solution Values for Recourse Decision Variables
Risk Solver Platform is unique in its ability to solve stochastic optimization models with recourse decision variables – models that accurately describe many real-world plans and decisions, but that cannot even be defined in competitive products, let alone solved. When such a model is solved, each recourse decision variable has many solutions, corresponding to different realizations of uncertainty. In V11.5, recourse decision variables have built-in charts and statistics, much like uncertain variables – giving you greater insight into the optimal solution. Try it -- just double-click on a recourse decision variable cell after solving your model.
New Decision Tree Capabilities in Risk Solver Pro
Risk Solver Pro now includes decision tree capabilities formerly only available in Risk Solver Platform. Decision trees can be used alone to model risky, high-stakes decisions, and you can easily apply sensitivity analysis and simulation to decision tree models, to gain much greater insight into the decisions and outcomes you are modeling. Click on Help – Examples and then click on the Decision Tree Examples button to see for yourself how useful decision trees can be.
Faster and More Flexible Distribution Fitting
We’ve made distribution fitting more flexible, with a new PsiFit() function that fits distributions dynamically when your model changes. We’ve also speeded up distribution fitting dramatically when you're fitting a large number of sample points.
Large Scale Solver Engines Feature Best-Ever Performance
Several of our plug-in large-scale Solver Engines have major enhancements in V11.5 – notably the KNITRO Solver, Large-Scale SQP Solver (on non-smooth models), Gurobi Solver, and XPRESS Solver. If you have a large model or one that’s difficult to solve, be sure to download, install, and try the V11.5 plug-in Solver Engines. If you check Automatically Select Engine at the top of the Task Pane Engine tab and then solve your model, you can see quickly in the Output tab which Solver engine was identified as best for your model.