Power

Under the easy to use surface of Aliquis, you will find some very powerful features which allow you to model extremely complex processes.

If you are new to the idea of simulating your activities, this page may seem a little daunting. Pleases remember the software's user interface is multi-layered. You have the option of getting started with the standard libraries and then gradually learning about the more advanced features.

However, if you need to understand an overview of the product's features this page provides it!

Either way , we suggest you download the software and conduct the free trial which includes a set of introductory tutorials. These tutorials outline the following key concepts which give the software real ability to model complex situations.




Associated mathematics

A user defined attribute network

As well as modelling events in time, you can create your own attributes/variables at all levels in your model. Your process model can drive associated mathematical models. You can use this feature to model finances, CO2 production, accumulated machine hours - in fact any quantity you wish.

Mathematical functions

Any attribute in your Aliquis model can be set by a comprehensive set of functions. This means, for example, you can set the process time of a machine to a complex formula. The function set includes all the usual maths operators, numerous random variable generators, standard maths functions and 1D array mathematics. This capability includes referencing other attributes elsewhere in the model. The inclusion of random number generators means that you can model your uncertainty and risk. If you do this, your model will produce a different result everytime it runs. If you run it enough times you will obtain a probability distribution of results rather than a single number. (This is called Monte Carlo simulation of a stochastic model).

Aliquis BellCurve

Aliquis also enables you to capture real data sets to drive these random numbers.

Event driven calculations

You can trigger the calculation of any attibute by a process based event, such as a block being activated or the simulation finishing.

Token management

The objects that pass though your Aliquis model during a solve are called tokens.

All Aliquis blocks have a powerful mechanism for routing tokens to the correct destination which can be a pool or 1 of multiple ports on the block. Some blocks also have secondary routing channels, so for example, a gate block can baulk a token if it would make the queue too big.

Tokens also have the ability to hold user defined attributes just like any other object in the model. This means, for example you can set the delay of a delay block based on information in the token. This feature, combined with the routing options can also be used to determine a token's route through your model.

Advanced functional blockset

As well as standard process modelling blocks such as source, queue manager, delay and sink, Aliquis gives you blocks for

Aliquis blockset

Calendars and schedules

Aliquis models can be solved in generic time or calendar time. If you select calendar time you can use any number of calendar or schedule blocks. Each calendar contains a list of time periods when it is on. A schedule contains a simple list of date-times. So, for example, you might set up different works calendars for a process that crosses a number of time zones or test an existing production schedule. The other blocks in your model can refer to a selected calendar. If they do, then they are effectively switched off when the calendar is not active. Source blocks can refer to a schedule for token production.

Resource management

You can define and model the flow of resources in and out of your process model. The resourcer block allows you to

  • Select multiple resources required for a process
  • Select alternative resources required for a process
  • Define priorities for resource allocation
  • Define re-use policies for resources

In Aliquis resources are represented by token objects. This means they can be given a flexible set of attributes just like any other object in the model.

Inter block messaging and broadcasting

Aliquis allows an event occuring in one block to trigger a change in an attribute in another block or to trigger an action in another block. So for example you can change a process time in block A when block B has completed or open a queue gate based on some event elsewhere.

You also have the option to broadcast these messages. Based on an event in a block, you can send a message to a broacaster. This message will then be relayed to all blocks that are tuned into that broadcaster.

Model structuring

Aliquis allows you to encapsulate model elements into 'subsystems' which can be seen as individual blocks which can be opened up to reveal their contents.

Aliquis Subsys Block

This functionality allows you to package large models into manageable sections and to easily create re-useable components which can be copied elsewhere.

Advanced graphical features

All Aliquis model objects have a graphical representation which is under the user's control. In other words you can make a block look like anything you like! The main system has a background which you can draw or import graphics into. So, for example, you can superimpose an Aliquis block model on a map to show a logistics operation.

Each block can be shown as any number of alternative images. You can base the image to be displayed on a state set by attributes in the model. This means, for example, that you can show different graphics for a gate block depending on whether it is open or closed.

These graphical features combine to give you the ability to effectively communicate your intentions.

Library management

Aliquis is shipped with a number of predefined block libraries and templates. These can be used as a basis for you to create your own. You can change the graphics, the maths and build your own re-useable components to make modelling in your application really easy.

Solve control

The Aliquis solver allows you to step throught the solve, to animate it or to run multiple solves as fast as possible. This allows you to debug your model carefully and, when you are happy it is working correctly, quickly run as many solves as you wish in a Monte Carlo simulation.

State save and operational work

You also have the ability to stop the solve if certain conditions are reached. Once a solve is stopped, you can save the model in that state. The whole solve can be seen as a single modelling command. In practice this is useful for operational work. For example you could create a business plan for a new business. Once the plan is in operation you could solve the model you created stopping the solve at today's date. You could then remodel whatever does not reflect reality and continue the solve . This will give you a better idea where you will be say in 3 months time.

Solve Warm ups

Some models give spurious results if you start collecting them from the start of the solve. For example you cannot compute the effiicency of machines in a production line until the production line has been filled. Aliquis allows you to set up a warm up period and only gather results when the warm up is completed.

Results management

Within Aliquis you can view results as tables, histograms, scatter and line graphs.

Aliquis results

You can record all the changes to any attribute with the option of time stamping each record or stamping with another attribute. For more advanced work you can export results as a csv file which can be used by most spreadsheet packages.

Solve within a solve

Aliquis contains a shelled solving structure. This allows you to design experiments around key variables in your model or to conduct optimisation studies. This also gives you a graphical programming structure if an attribute must be set according to a complex algoirithm and dispenses with the need to have a textual programming language associated with attributes in the model.