Contact: Daniel Fylstra
INCLINE VILLAGE, NV -- March 5, 2007 -- Frontline Systems is shipping Risk Solver Engine V7.1 for Excel -- a new approach to Monte Carlo simulation that enables Excel users to play 'what if' with uncertain values as easily as they do with ordinary numbers. Version 7.1 features enhanced support for the discipline of Probability Management -- a better way to manage risk analysis and simulation models in large enterprises -- as well as new probability distributions, correlation support, and distribution fitting. A trial version is available for download from www.solver.com.
Risk Solver Engine offers a uniquely user-friendly approach to risk analysis: Each time a user changes a number on the spreadsheet, it performs a simulation with thousands of trials -- often in no more time than a single spreadsheet recalculation -- and a full range of simulation results and statistics can be displayed instantly. Users programming in Excel's VBA language can fully control Risk Solver Engine and build custom applications.
"Risk Solver Engine provides the easy to use, lightning-fast Interactive Simulation in Excel that I've envisioned," said Dr. Sam Savage, president of AnalyCorp, consulting professor at Stanford University, and a noted authority on Monte Carlo simulation. "Its improved support for Certified Distributions and Stochastic Libraries makes it an even better tool for Probability Management."
"Risk Solver Engine has been used in a number of innovative applications within large companies, enabling users to understand and deal with risk," said Daniel Fylstra, president of Frontline Systems. "We've enhanced both its simulation power and its unique support for building risk analysis models that can be meaningfully compared, and even 'rolled up' to consistently reflect the impact of uncertainty across an entire business unit or enterprise."
Proven PSI Technology Key to Speed
Risk Solver Engine is the fastest Monte Carlo simulation tool for Excel available. It uses Frontline's Polymorphic Spreadsheet Interpreter technology to achieve breakthrough simulation speeds -- up to 100 times faster than normal Excel-based Monte Carlo simulation -- thus making Interactive Simulation practical every time a user changes a number on the spreadsheet.
PSI Technology was first developed to greatly enhance the performance of the Premium Solver Platform, Frontline's leading product for optimization in Microsoft Excel. Licensed by Frontline to Denver-based Decisioneering Inc., it also powers the Extreme Speed feature of Crystal Ball, Decisioneering's leading product for Monte Carlo simulation in Microsoft Excel.
New Support for Publishing and Using Certified Distributions
Version 7.1 introduces new facilities for defining and 'publishing' Certified Distributions, making them easily available to non-expert users. A Certified Distribution is a custom probability distribution, created or reviewed by an expert, that is made available in easy-to-use form to end users building risk analysis models. A library of Certified Distributions can help users with ordinary spreadsheet skills, but without in-depth knowledge of probability and statistics, to create meaningful risk analysis models.
Certified Distributions may be defined using any of Risk Solver Engine's 38 analytic distributions or 5 forms for custom distributions, or via Stochastic Library Units, Relationships Preserved (SLURPs) -- which provide pre-generated Monte Carlo trial data, ensuring that end user risk analysis models are "stress-tested" against a common and extensive set of uncertain scenarios. Non-expert users can use a Certified Distribution by simply typing an Excel formula such as =PsiCertified(name) in a cell.
Automated Tests Help Ensure that Risk Analysis Models Can be Compared, Rolled Up
The discipline of Probability Management stresses the importance of creating risk analysis models that can be compared to, or 'rolled up' with other models. But it's been a challenge to ensure that models are built in a way that permits this to be done. Risk Solver Engine defines and automatically tests for two properties -- Certified and Coherent -- of a risk analysis model. A model tested to be Coherent can be compared and 'rolled up' with other models based on the same source of uncertainties.
Simulation Optimization at Unprecedented Speed
Once they've modeled uncertainty, users want to make choices for the factors that are under their control, to achieve best results over the range of future scenarios explored by Monte Carlo simulation. Risk Solver Engine works with Frontline's market-leading Premium Solver Platform for Excel to solve simulation optimization problems, at speeds often a hundred times faster than other Excel-based solutions. Users can for example seek to maximize expected profits that depend on uncertain demand, sales and costs, while maintaining inventory levels within acceptable limits.
Models Created with Excel Functions or VBA Code
Risk Solver Engine is aimed at consultants, modelers and application developers. It operates "behind the scenes" with no graphical user interface, offering over 80 new functions that can be used in Excel formulas to create Monte Carlo simulation models and access simulation results. It also provides a complete object model in Excel VBA that enables Visual Basic programmers to quickly create custom risk analysis applications.
Version 7.1 adds six new probability distributions, enhanced numerics for existing distributions, more extensive distribution fitting, new aids for creating rank correlation matrices, and aids for exchanging models with other users. It also licensing support for Windows Vista.
Engine Empowers Application Developers
Consultants and application developers can use Risk Solver Engine to create a wide range of custom applications that may be offered to clients or distributed commercially. Dr. Savage's firm AnalyCorp has created custom applications for clients in several fields, ranging from oil exploration for a global firm to retirement planning for individuals.
Dr. Savage expects that "Interactive simulation models throughout organizations will serve as light bulbs, illuminating risk and uncertainty. But instead of electricity they will be powered by centrally certified stochastic libraries." Risk Solver Engine provides the technology for a more intuitive approach to dealing with uncertainty in millions of decisions made by businesses and individuals every day.
About Frontline Systems, Inc.
Frontline Systems, Inc. (www.solver.com) is a leading developer of optimization and simulation software, and the leader in spreadsheet optimization software that helps analysts and managers optimally allocate scarce resources - money, equipment, and people - to realize substantial cost savings. Frontline developed the solvers/optimizers in Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro, distributed to more than 400 million spreadsheet users.
Founded in 1987, Frontline is headquartered in Incline Village, Nevada (775-831-0300 or firstname.lastname@example.org).