Lesson 3 - Brief Overview of Specialized Modules
Although the standard features incorporated within GoldSim can be used to build powerful and complex models, it was realized from the outset of the development of GoldSim that in some situations, specialized features may be required in order to efficiently model some kinds of systems. As a result, GoldSim was designed to readily facilitate the incorporation of additional modules (program extensions) to enable the program to address specialized problems.
One of these modules (the Dashboard Authoring Module) was discussed in detail in Unit 16. The other four modules are as follows:
- The Distributed Processing Module;
- The Financial Module;
- The Reliability Module; and
- The Contaminant Transport Module.
Your license determines which of these program extensions are available to you. Three of the modules (Dashboard Authoring, Distributed Processing and Financial) are automatically included in all GoldSim licenses. The Contaminant Transport and Reliability Modules are licensed separately. You can view the modules that are available with your copy of GoldSim by selecting Model| Options from the main menu and selecting the Modules tab.
The modules are described briefly below.
Distributed Processing Module
GoldSim was designed to provide a highly efficient simulation framework for use on a single Windows personal computer. For most applications, running your GoldSim application on a single machine will be sufficient. For highly complex models, however, running Monte Carlo simulations on a single machine could become impractical. For example, if each realization took one minute to complete, then 1000 realizations would take over 16 hours.
Fortunately, Monte Carlo simulation is the ideal parallel processing application (since every realization is independent). The Distributed Processing Module combines the power of multiple cores and/or computers to carry out a simulation involving multiple realizations.
This is accomplished by a having a Controller GoldSim executable connect to a specified number of Client GoldSim executables. These Client processes can be on a single computer or on computers connected over a network. The Controller assigns and sends individual realizations to the Client processes. Each Client carries out its assigned realization, sends the results to the Controller, and then makes itself available to work on another realization. Once all of the realizations have been completed, the Controller process combines all of the results into a single GoldSim file (and enters Result Mode) just as if the entire simulation had been carried out on the Controller's machine.
Although the Controller and Client processes will typically be connected via a Local Area Network (LAN), they can also communicate via a Wide Area Network (WAN) or even the Internet. In general, the speed of the simulation is proportional to the number of available Client processes.
There are two versions of the Distributed Processing Module. GoldSim DP comes bundled with all versions of GoldSim, and limits the number of Client processes to four. GoldSim DP Plus allows an unlimited number of Client processes, and must be licensed separately.
Learn More in GoldSim Help: Distributed Processing Module
The GoldSim Financial (FN) Module is a program extension to GoldSim that allows you to probabilistically simulate financial and economic systems that include components such as accounts and funds, investments, options, projects or undertakings with specified cash flows, and insurance policies. It adds five specialized elements to GoldSim:
The Financial Module makes it easier to probabilistically model financial instruments, activities and processes such as:
- funds and accounts with specified deposits, withdrawals, interest rates, and compounding periods;
- future returns (in terms of NPV and IRR) of projects, business ventures, and similar undertakings;
- future returns of portfolios of investments, accounting for volatility and uncertainty;
- the acquisition and exercise of financial options (puts and calls); and
- insurance policies.
By combining the specialized financial elements in the Financial Module with GoldSim's underlying probabilistic, dynamic simulation framework, you can quickly simulate and analyze complex financial systems, as well as complex engineering and business systems that have a financial component.
The GoldSim Reliability (RL) Module is a program extension to GoldSim that allows you to probabilistically simulate and analyze the reliability and performance of complex engineered systems over time. It adds two highly specialized elements to GoldSim:
These elements provide the ability to model the interdependence of components through requirements and fault trees, as well as the capability to define multiple independent failure modes for each component for detailed reliability analysis. This facilitates both reliability modeling and risk analysis within a variety of industries, including space and defense, manufacturing, mining, telecommunications, electronics and infrastructure.
The fundamental outputs produced by the Reliability Module consist of predicted reliability metrics (e.g., reliability and availability) for the overall system, and for individual components within that system. The Reliability Module can also be used to compute the probability of specific consequences (e.g., catastrophic failure of the system) to support risk analysis. GoldSim catalogs and analyzes failure scenarios, which allows for key sources of unreliability and risk to be identified.
There are two versions of the Reliability Module: Reliability (RL) Professional and Reliability (RL) Learning Edition. Reliability Learning Edition is included automatically with all versions of GoldSim. Reliability Professional must be licensed separately. Reliability Learning Edition provides all of the features and capabilities of Reliability Professional. The only difference between the two versions is that Reliability Learning Edition limits you to adding no more than ten reliability elements. Reliability Professional imposes no limits on the number of reliability elements that can be added.
Contaminant Transport Module
The GoldSim Contaminant Transport Module is a program extension to GoldSim that allows you to dynamically model mass transport of chemical constituents (e.g., water quality) within complex engineered and/or natural environmental systems. It is the most complex of all of the modules, adding a significant number of specialized elements to GoldSim:
There are two versions of the Contaminant Transport Module. GoldSim CT includes all the functionality necessary to simulate the transport of chemical constituents. GoldSim RT is an expanded version of CT that provides additional elements and capabilities designed to support simulation of the release and transport of radioactive constituents from disposal sites.
The fundamental output produced by the Contaminant Transport modules (both CT and RT) consists of predicted mass fluxes at specified locations within the system, and predicted concentrations within environmental media (e.g., groundwater, soil, air) throughout the system. If desired, concentrations in environmental media can be converted to doses and/or health risks by assigning appropriate conversion factors.
The Contaminant Transport Module extensively utilizes GoldSim’s array capabilities (by allowing you to model a large number of chemical constituents as arrays).
The Contaminant Transport Module is described in detail in a separate online Course.