Contact: Dan Fylstra
Risk Solver Platform, a new software product from Frontline Systems, brings together best-in-class simulation for risk analysis, best-in-class optimization for resource allocation, and a new, simpler user interface, aimed at the sine qua non of business decision-making: robust optimal decisions that deal effectively with uncertainty. A set of short online videos illustrates several of Risk Solver Platform's key features.
Integration: Risk Solver Platform integrates the capabilities of Premium Solver Platform and Risk Solver in one product, with one consistent user interface that reduces overall learning time. It can be used for risk analysis and for optimal allocation of scarce resources, even in the presence of uncertainty. It also has new capabilities for graphical exploration of models, and for multiple parameterized optimizations and simulations.
Best in Class: Risk Solver Platform has all the capabilities of Risk Solver –- so it performs Monte Carlo simulations faster than any other product, and is unique in offering interactive simulation on every Excel "what-if" change. It also has all the capabilities of Premium Solver Platform –- built-in Solvers for every type of problem, and plug-in Solver Engines for linear programming problems with up to millions of decision variables and constraints, nonlinear optimization problems with up to hundreds of thousands of variables and constraints, challenging mixed-integer problems, and global optimization and non-smooth optimization problems using multistart methods, interval methods, genetic algorithms, and tabu search/scatter search.
Charts and Graphs: Risk Solver Platform brings new graphics and charting to optimization, while building on Risk Solver's popular charts and graphs for simulation. With one ribbon selection, any worksheet cell can be charted against the decision variables, selecting points along a user-chosen vector in N-space. This makes it easy to see (and show students or colleagues) just what a linear or nonlinear function, or a convex or non-convex function looks like. Risk Solver Platform also features charts of probability distributions, tornado charts, scatter plots, box-whisker charts, trend charts and more for analyzing simulation results.
Modeless Operation: Risk Solver Platform sports a new user interface, integrated into the Excel 2007 Ribbon and Task Pane. In contrast to "modal" dialogs in previous Frontline and most competitive products, in Risk Solver Platform both the optimization model and the simulation model can be viewed at any time in a "modeless" Task Pane -– a standard Office user interface element –- that docks against the side of the Excel window, or may be free-floating. Further, the model can be edited, analyzed or solved from within the Task Pane. Options for Risk Solver Platform or any built-in or plug-in Solver Engine can be viewed or changed via the Task Pane.
More Useful Results: The Task Pane includes an Output tab with a log of events while analyzing, simulating or optimizing a model, a solution status area that's especially useful for long-running mixed-integer problems, and a scrolling chart of the objective during the solution process. Key result messages appear at the bottom of the Task Pane, and stay there for examination later, along with the full log of events. Reports and charts from the last optimization or simulation run can be selected at any time from the Ribbon.
Automatic Mode: Risk Solver Platform can automatically determine whether a model is linear, nonlinear or non-smooth, automatically 'linearize' certain non-smooth functions (IF, MIN, MAX, etc.), automatically form the stochastic programming deterministic equivalent or the robust counterpart of a stochastic linear programming model, automatically select a Solver Engine suitable for the problem, and automatically respond to certain error conditions by adjusting options and re-solving.
Faster Analysis and Solutions: Frontline Systems' PSI Technology provides high-speed Monte Carlo simulation (up to 100 times faster than using Excel alone), and high-speed optimization with automatic differentiation. In Risk Solver Platform, the PSI Interpreter supports "incremental analysis" of both optimization models and simulation models. After startup, this means that less time is needed when analyzing and solving models –- response time often appears 'instantaneous' –- and "total solution turnaround time" is greatly reduced when models are re-solved.