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Running models : Working with visualisation tools

Working with helpers

A helper is a tool that can be used to interact with a simulation. Simile provides helpers to display the results of a simulation, for example, to plot graphs, or tabulate data, or to enter data into a simulation as it proceeds. Some helpers do both: for example, the grid display helper also enables the user to set a value for any grid square. It is simple to add new helpers to Simile. If you are interested in learning how to develop new helpers for your own models, please contact us at Simulistics.

Most of the helpers are used as follows:

  • If using the Single-window Model Run Environment, select or create an empty pane
  • Add a helper tool, either by clicking that helper's button in the MRE toolbar or by selecting it from the pull-down menu ("Add..." or "I/O Tools" -> "Add...")
  • Specify which model variables will drive the display, by clicking on them either in the model diagram or in the Model Explorer tool
  • If the tool can display multiple data items, hit the + button to add further items to the display.

Extra features common to several helpers:

  • Clear the display with the clear button
  • Remove a data item from the display with the - button (values already displayed for it may persist)
  • Add notes to the display area of canvas-based helpers (e.g., plotter, grid display) with the T text button
  • Configure the helper with the configure button

Simile comes provided with a number of standard helpers. Some are generic, such as the "Plotter" and "Data table" helpers. Others are quite domain-specific - the "Lollipop diagram" helper, for example, was developed for displaying tree growth - but are included because (with a little imagination) they can be applied to a range of situations.

The configuration of helpers best suited to viewing a particular model can be saved to a file.

In: Contents >> Running models