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Insight Maker News: Jan-Feb 2013

There has been a lot of news about Insight Maker over the past few months. In addition to the catalogue of recent changes here are some things we would like to highlight:

New Powerful Optimizer

Insight Maker now includes a built-in optimization tool. This tool automatically adjusts parameters in your model in order to maximize or minimize some goal. If you've used "Goal Seek" in Excel before, it is the same idea.

Imagine you have a model projecting business growth into the future. You could use the optimizer to adjust your investment strategy to maximize long term profits. Or, as another example, imagine you are trying to create a model to match historical data. You could then use the optimizer to adjust parameters in order to make your model best fit the historical measurements.

Read more about the new optimizer in the Insight Maker Manual or watch a video on it at SystemsWiki.

Blazingly Fast Models

Over the past year, a lot of effort has been put into optimizing the performance of Insight Maker. The core algorithms have been optimized to make them faster and many functions have been rewritten to speed them up. As you will see, the results of this effort are very successful. Compared to the Insight Maker code base a year ago, models should now run between 5 and 20 times as fast as before (the speed up varies based on the characteristics of each individual model). This is especially useful when using the built-in sensitivity testing or the new optimizer.

Featured Insight

The featured Insight for this newsletter is the Game of Life. The Game of Life is a fascinating example of how simple rules can lead to complex emergent behaviors. This Insight Maker model illustrates how to use Agent Based Modeling to recreate the Game of Life using a few simple equations. See Wikipedia for more information of the Game of Life itself.