Welcome to the Fall
2003 Issue of the GoldSim Newsletter!
The mission of
the GoldSim Technology Group is to provide state-of-the-art
software, training and expert consulting to help you understand
complex systems and make better decisions in an uncertain
world. Our GoldSim simulation software package provides the
power, flexibility and usability necessary to efficiently
simulate and understand the future behavior of complex systems
in business, engineering and science.
The goal of the GoldSim Newsletter is to provide information
that helps you get the most out of GoldSim. We also hope that
the Newsletter can act as a vehicle to build connections between
users within the GoldSim community.
Each newsletter delivers the latest GoldSim news, as well
as a number of regular items. This one includes GoldSim news
items, a Featured GoldSim Application, a tip from the GoldSim
developers, a list of new models added to the GoldSim Model
Library, a list of new GoldSim Knowledge Base articles, and
a description of new features that the GoldSim Development
Team is currently working on. Each Newsletter is archived
on our website so you can revisit old issues.
Since this newsletter is for you, we encourage you to send
us your comments and contributions. Send your contributions
GoldSim Technology Group
GoldSim Version 8 Released
Version 8 of GoldSim was released on November 4, 2003. Version
8 has a number of new features. One of these is a new element:
the Convolution Element. This is a powerful new element that
lets you simulate future consequences that can be mathematically
described as convolution integrals. There are many applications
for convolution integrals in business, engineering and science.
Two examples of its application have been added to the Model
Library (see side bar on left).
Other new features include a new array constructor that allows
you to create arrays "on the fly" within an input
field, the ability to define Stochastic elements as vectors,
improved array functions (the if statement and exponentiation
can now be applied on a term-by-term basis to arrays), improved
hyperlink functionality, a new Text Box object that can be
used to document models, and improved functionality for globally
changing symbols for elements. A number of powerful improvements
were also made to the Contaminant Transport Module, including
a new 'direct transfer' option for mass flux that provides
a very general first-order transfer process for cases that
aren't advective or diffusive. In addition to the more visible
changes, over 200 "behind-the-scenes" changes were
also made to GoldSim to improve its overall performance.
All current members of the GoldSim
Subscription Program can download Version 8 now from the
GoldSim Resource Center (GRC). Note that both the GoldSim
User's Guide and the Contaminant Transport Module User's Guide
have been modified for this version and these can also be
downloaded from the GRC. Of course, all of the new featues
are also described in the Help file, which will automatically
be updated when you update the software to this version. Once
you update the software, don't forget to read the Release
Notes to see a complete list of the new features and changes
included in Version 8.
GoldSim Reviewed in August Issue of ORMS Today
A review of GoldSim appeared in the August issue of ORMS
Today. ORMS Today is the magazine for members of the Institute
for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS).
This bi-monthly publication provides a comprehensive look
at operations research and management science through stories,
feature articles, case studies, software reviews and surveys
authored by recognized leaders in the field. Operations research
and management science are interdisciplinary sciences aimed
at solving operational and societal problems arising in all
areas of industry, business and government. The review is
FEATURED GOLDSIM APPLICATION
Modeling Infectious Disease Transmission Using GoldSim
and Todd Ruthman, Decisionalysis
Risk Consultants, and Barry Michaels, The Michaels Group.
The need to better understand the transmission of infectious
agents has been underscored by recent events, including the
international SARS crisis and reports of the considerable
burden of disease associated with infections acquired in hospitals.
Many questions remain regarding the best way to reduce transmission
of infectious agents. The answers are of great interest to
public health as well as to the health care, food service
and consumer products industries.
The transfer of pathogens between patients and health care
workers in a hospital is an important consideration in developing
hospital policies and procedures. Hospitals may implement
one or more mitigation strategies (e.g. gloves and other barriers,
isolation of patients, hand hygiene products or procedures)
to reduce the incidences of infection due to pathogen transfer.
These mitigation strategies are implemented in a very complex
and dynamic environment. Computer simulation of the transmission
and mitigation processes can improve our understanding of
exactly how the system generates and propagates risk and how
to most effectively manage it.
This article discusses the use of GoldSim to model the transfer
of pathogens between patients and health care workers in a
hospital. The model generates simulated outbreaks in hospital
wards, where the onset, extent of spread, and control of the
outbreak is a manifestation of natural variability and the
impact of simulated control strategies.
Although we just released a new version, the GoldSim development
team is already hard at work preparing for a point release
(Version 8.1) in early 2004. Version 8.1 will contain some
features that we are very excited about, but could not complete
in time for Version 8. This includes:
Container-Specific Timesteps. This is a powerful
new feature that allows different parts of your GoldSim
model to use different timesteps. That is, if part of
your model (e.g., a Container representing a specific
subsystem) requires short time steps, but the rest doesn't,
you will be able to specify shorter steps just for that
Improved Spreadsheet Element Functionality. We
are completely rewriting the Spreadsheet element to make
it more powerful and easier to use. This will make it
much easier to dynamically import and export data between
GoldSim and an Excel spreadsheet. In addition to adding
an optional wizard to expedite the entire process, you
will be able to specify the spreadsheet range to which
you are linking by simply opening the spreadsheet and
selecting a range (rather than having to type in the range).
When exporting data to a spreadsheet, you will be able
to specify ranges dynamically (e.g., outputs for different
timesteps and/or realizations will be able to be sent
to different columns or different sheets). You will also
be able to easily shift specified spreadsheet ranges up,
down, left, right and to different sheets so that when
a linked spreadsheet is edited, it can quickly be remapped
to the Spreadsheet element.
Reliability Module. For nearly a year we have
been working on a powerful new module that will facilitate
simulation of the reliability and performance of complex
engineering systems (e.g., vehicles, spacecraft, factories,
power plants). This Reliability Module is in beta testing
and we continue to tweak and improve it. We expect to
release it with Version 8.1.
As always, we encourage our users to send their requests and
suggestions for improvements to GoldSim. If you have a specific
request, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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