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Impossible Activities
Huecuvoe
post May 5 2009, 11:45 AM
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In my learning experience with Activity Generator I noticed that AG sometimes generates activities that are impossible to complete. Using a template for the L&PS I generated a simple switching activity. The options used were:

Source Track: CN Interchange

Work Tracks: 1 Region - London (the CN Interchange is in this region).

Final Destination: L Track 4 - E London

"Allow pickups from source tracks in one region to be set out in that same region."

AG generated the following work order:

CODE
Activity created by Activity Generator Version 4.2.11
REGION------------TRACK NAME-----------------WORK----CONSIST-CAR#-CAR DESCRIPTION-----TYPE-NOTES/INSTRUCTIONS-----------

London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   0    MNA3240-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   1    NP47919-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   2    LPS200-FMlumber     FMlu DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   3    ACD28753-VA         VA   DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   4    SPS2003-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              

London            L Freight Shed 1           PICKUP  32781   0    LPS3-XM             XM   DEST: L Track 4              

London            L Freight Shed 2           PICKUP  32782   0    GN25096-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            L Freight Shed 2           PICKUP  32782   3    LPS5-XM             XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            L Freight Shed 2           SETOUT  32783   4    SPS2003-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        

London            L McManus Coal Trestle     PICKUP  32768   0    LPS5-XM             XM   DEST: L Track 4              

London            L MCR Freight Shed N       SETOUT  32783   0    MNA3240-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        
London            L MCR Freight Shed N       SETOUT  32783   1    NP47919-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        

London            L MCR Team                 PICKUP  32775   1    LPS212-FMcrates     FMcr DEST: L Track 4              
London            L MCR Team                 SETOUT  32783   2    LPS200-FMlumber     FMlu FROM: CN Interchange        
London            L MCR Team                 SETOUT  32783   3    ACD28753-VA         VA   FROM: CN Interchange        

E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32768   0    LPS5-XM             XM   FROM: L McManus Coal Trestle
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32775   1    LPS212-FMcrates     FMcr FROM: L MCR Team            
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32781   0    LPS3-XM             XM   FROM: L Freight Shed 1      
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32782   0    GN25096-XM          XM   FROM: L Freight Shed 2      
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32782   3    LPS5-XM             XM   FROM: L Freight Shed 2      
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   0    MNA3240-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   1    NP47919-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   2    LPS200-FMlumber     FMlu FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   3    ACD28753-VA         VA   FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   4    SPS2003-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange

As you can see all of the pickups from the CN Interchange have 2 destinations, an industry in London AND L Track 4 in E London. Consequently, it is not possible to successfully complete the activity. Is this something else I am doing wrong or is it an "undocumented feature"? cool.gif This seems to happen often when the Final Destination option is used. I do have the SLGDiag.txt diagnostics file if it would be useful.


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jrmeindl
post May 5 2009, 05:42 PM
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QUOTE(Huecuvoe @ May 5 2009, 12:45 PM) *
In my learning experience with Activity Generator I noticed that AG sometimes generates activities that are impossible to complete. Using a template for the L&PS I generated a simple switching activity. The options used were:

Source Track: CN Interchange

Work Tracks: 1 Region - London (the CN Interchange is in this region).

Final Destination: L Track 4 - E London

"Allow pickups from source tracks in one region to be set out in that same region."

AG generated the following work order:

CODE
Activity created by Activity Generator Version 4.2.11
REGION------------TRACK NAME-----------------WORK----CONSIST-CAR#-CAR DESCRIPTION-----TYPE-NOTES/INSTRUCTIONS-----------

London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   0    MNA3240-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   1    NP47919-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   2    LPS200-FMlumber     FMlu DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   3    ACD28753-VA         VA   DEST: L Track 4              
London            CN Interchange             PICKUP  32783   4    SPS2003-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              

London            L Freight Shed 1           PICKUP  32781   0    LPS3-XM             XM   DEST: L Track 4              

London            L Freight Shed 2           PICKUP  32782   0    GN25096-XM          XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            L Freight Shed 2           PICKUP  32782   3    LPS5-XM             XM   DEST: L Track 4              
London            L Freight Shed 2           SETOUT  32783   4    SPS2003-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        

London            L McManus Coal Trestle     PICKUP  32768   0    LPS5-XM             XM   DEST: L Track 4              

London            L MCR Freight Shed N       SETOUT  32783   0    MNA3240-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        
London            L MCR Freight Shed N       SETOUT  32783   1    NP47919-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        

London            L MCR Team                 PICKUP  32775   1    LPS212-FMcrates     FMcr DEST: L Track 4              
London            L MCR Team                 SETOUT  32783   2    LPS200-FMlumber     FMlu FROM: CN Interchange        
London            L MCR Team                 SETOUT  32783   3    ACD28753-VA         VA   FROM: CN Interchange        

E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32768   0    LPS5-XM             XM   FROM: L McManus Coal Trestle
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32775   1    LPS212-FMcrates     FMcr FROM: L MCR Team            
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32781   0    LPS3-XM             XM   FROM: L Freight Shed 1      
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32782   0    GN25096-XM          XM   FROM: L Freight Shed 2      
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32782   3    LPS5-XM             XM   FROM: L Freight Shed 2      
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   0    MNA3240-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   1    NP47919-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   2    LPS200-FMlumber     FMlu FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   3    ACD28753-VA         VA   FROM: CN Interchange        
E London          L Track 4                  SETOUT  32783   4    SPS2003-XM          XM   FROM: CN Interchange

As you can see all of the pickups from the CN Interchange have 2 destinations, an industry in London AND L Track 4 in E London. Consequently, it is not possible to successfully complete the activity. Is this something else I am doing wrong or is it an "undocumented feature"? cool.gif This seems to happen often when the Final Destination option is used. I do have the SLGDiag.txt diagnostics file if it would be useful.




I do believe that there was a post about this some time back from Steve. I was just playing around with AG this evening. It only happens to me when I uncheck the "Check here for sequential pickup/setouts" box. If I leave it checked, I do not get the dual setouts.

Jim
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Huecuvoe
post May 6 2009, 09:05 AM
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QUOTE(jrmeindl @ May 5 2009, 05:42 PM) *
I do believe that there was a post about this some time back from Steve. I was just playing around with AG this evening. It only happens to me when I uncheck the "Check here for sequential pickup/setouts" box. If I leave it checked, I do not get the dual setouts.

Jim

Jim,

You are correct and I am guilty of not searching adequately before my post. In this thread

http://skylinecomputing.com/forums/index.p...post&p=2060

Steve said that he thought he had resolved this issue. I guess the update hasn't been posted yet (v4.2.11 is dated 9/8/2008). I wonder if this issue is related to a similar problem where a pickup will be listed twice in the switch list (and in the activity). I will simply need to be patient and wait for the next update.


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nbeveridge
post May 6 2009, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE(Huecuvoe @ May 6 2009, 09:05 AM) *
Jim,

You are correct and I am guilty of not searching adequately before my post. In this thread

http://skylinecomputing.com/forums/index.p...post&p=2060

Steve said that he thought he had resolved this issue. I guess the update hasn't been posted yet (v4.2.11 is dated 9/8/2008). I wonder if this issue is related to a similar problem where a pickup will be listed twice in the switch list (and in the activity). I will simply need to be patient and wait for the next update.


I will flag this to Steve.


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Norman
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sgdavis
post May 8 2009, 09:43 AM
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QUOTE(nbeveridge @ May 6 2009, 05:59 PM) *
I will flag this to Steve.


I do remember it being discussed and I thought resolved. I'll make sure the latest update has been posted. It's possible that it hasn't.

Thanks,

Steve


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Huecuvoe
post May 15 2009, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE(sgdavis @ May 8 2009, 09:43 AM) *
I do remember it being discussed and I thought resolved. I'll make sure the latest update has been posted. It's possible that it hasn't.

Thanks,

Steve

Steve,

Have you had an opportunity to check that the latest update to AG is v4.2.11? My first guess is that it hasn't since my problem is identical to that reported in the earlier thread. If it has then the problem hasn't been solved yet.

On another subject, it appears that editing the Template.ctp file will skew the mix similarly to CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED? In other words, edit the existing Template.ctp to included extra boxcars so that the "ANY" tracks will include more of that car type. Is this true, or does including extra entries for the same car type cause other problems?


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nbeveridge
post May 16 2009, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE(Huecuvoe @ May 15 2009, 05:17 PM) *
On another subject, it appears that editing the Template.ctp file will skew the mix similarly to CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED? In other words, edit the existing Template.ctp to included extra boxcars so that the "ANY" tracks will include more of that car type. Is this true, or does including extra entries for the same car type cause other problems?



I don' t know what a template.ctp file is. None of the templates that I have designed seem to have one.


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jrmeindl
post May 16 2009, 07:39 PM
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QUOTE(nbeveridge @ May 16 2009, 07:49 PM) *
I don' t know what a template.ctp file is. None of the templates that I have designed seem to have one.



I do know that there is a file created with the extension *.ctp for all newer templates, but that file is for determining what cars are used for the "Any" type to fill those sidings calling for "Any" car types such as yards. Is it possible that a new template is being created that has the name "Template" for this route? That would account for a file named template.ctp.

Jim
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Huecuvoe
post May 16 2009, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE(nbeveridge @ May 16 2009, 06:49 PM) *
I don' t know what a template.ctp file is. None of the templates that I have designed seem to have one.

Norman,

Jim is correct, the CTP file contains a hyphen (-) delimited list of which cars can be used for "ANY". I "shorthanded" the name, the actual name of the file will be TemplateName.CTP. I think it only applies to AG4 and later. Since the format is the same as the CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns, I tried editing the file to add more boxcars and hoppers. It seemed to work but I thought I would ask Steve as I might be causing problems somewhere else. I tried it because the standard "ANY" specification seemed to give each of the car types equal billing which is not realistic. On the other hand, to get a ratio of say 10:1 for boxcars and hoppers to the less common types might require an entry with 20 or more car types listed which might over flow an array.

As an example, for my configuration:

XM: Boxcar
HM: Hopper
HMx: Empty Hopper
VA: Ventilated Boxcar (fairly rare)

The standard CTP file entry would be:

XM-HM-HMx-VA

which seems to give an equal probability to each type.

XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-HM-HM-HM-HM-HM-HMx-HMx-HMx-HMx-HMx-VA

would give a probability of:

Boxcar: 45%
Hopper: 25%
Empty Hopper: 25%
Ventilated Boxcar: 5%

which is much better but requires 20 entries in the file. So the question is, does AG do what I think and is there a limit to the number of car types?


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jrmeindl
post May 16 2009, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE(Huecuvoe @ May 16 2009, 09:08 PM) *
Norman,

Jim is correct, the CTP file contains a hyphen (-) delimited list of which cars can be used for "ANY". I "shorthanded" the name, the actual name of the file will be TemplateName.CTP. I think it only applies to AG4 and later. Since the format is the same as the CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns, I tried editing the file to add more boxcars and hoppers. It seemed to work but I thought I would ask Steve as I might be causing problems somewhere else. I tried it because the standard "ANY" specification seemed to give each of the car types equal billing which is not realistic. On the other hand, to get a ratio of say 10:1 for boxcars and hoppers to the less common types might require an entry with 20 or more car types listed which might over flow an array.

As an example, for my configuration:

XM: Boxcar
HM: Hopper
HMx: Empty Hopper
VA: Ventilated Boxcar (fairly rare)

The standard CTP file entry would be:

XM-HM-HMx-VA

which seems to give an equal probability to each type.

XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-HM-HM-HM-HM-HM-HMx-HMx-HMx-HMx-HMx-VA

would give a probability of:

Boxcar: 45%
Hopper: 25%
Empty Hopper: 25%
Ventilated Boxcar: 5%

which is much better but requires 20 entries in the file. So the question is, does AG do what I think and is there a limit to the number of car types?


I believe there is no limit to the car types that can be used. I believe to increase the probability of a certain type of car, you would need to change the line in the template (CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns) to have that happen. For example: If the siding has a cartype of BX-HP-F, you can increase the probability of getting more boxcars by making the line ready BX-HP-BX-F-BX. I think there was a posting about this. I found the link regarding this.

http://skylinecomputing.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=256

Jim
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nbeveridge
post May 17 2009, 08:23 AM
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QUOTE(jrmeindl @ May 16 2009, 07:39 PM) *
I do know that there is a file created with the extension *.ctp for all newer templates, but that file is for determining what cars are used for the "Any" type to fill those sidings calling for "Any" car types such as yards. Is it possible that a new template is being created that has the name "Template" for this route? That would account for a file named template.ctp.

Jim



Thanks, Jim. I very rarely use the "any" car type definition file (generally, any is any), so I guess that the templates that I reviewed did not contain this. Which is why I did not know how to answer this question.


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Huecuvoe
post May 17 2009, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE(jrmeindl @ May 16 2009, 08:19 PM) *
I believe there is no limit to the car types that can be used. I believe to increase the probability of a certain type of car, you would need to change the line in the template (CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns) to have that happen. For example: If the siding has a cartype of BX-HP-F, you can increase the probability of getting more boxcars by making the line ready BX-HP-BX-F-BX. I think there was a posting about this. I found the link regarding this.

http://skylinecomputing.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=256

Jim

I do remember the thread concerning the CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns. The question is does the CTP file work the same way for the ANY car type (it seems to) and is there a practical (or impractical) limit on the number of car types that can be listed. For example, to model an industry that wants boxcars but rarely receives a tank car you could enter

XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-TM

so that one out of forty cars will be a tank car. There are (at least) two ways this could cause AG problems. One is the total number of car types in the list if AG stores each item into an array. The second is the physical length of the line. Does AG have a limit on the number of characters in a line or value? Most compilers do have a limit on the number of characters for an alphanumeric variable.


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nbeveridge
post May 17 2009, 08:55 AM
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QUOTE(jrmeindl @ May 16 2009, 08:19 PM) *
I believe there is no limit to the car types that can be used. I believe to increase the probability of a certain type of car, you would need to change the line in the template (CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns) to have that happen. For example: If the siding has a cartype of BX-HP-F, you can increase the probability of getting more boxcars by making the line ready BX-HP-BX-F-BX. I think there was a posting about this. I found the link regarding this.

http://skylinecomputing.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=256

Jim


I know that the usage of BX-HP-BX-F-BX, as in this example, will (over time) give 60% BX, 20% HP and 20% F in the CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED choices made by AG. I would suspect that the same could work for "Any", but I am not sure how this function really works. My remembrance is that AG simply picks a car for "any" and then looks at this table to see if the type is in there. If this is what it does, then multiple entries will have no effect on the percentage of cars of that type on an "any" track. Steve will need to answer this.

Any way, I do not see how setting up the "Any" definition file with duplicate car types can have any harm.


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jrmeindl
post May 17 2009, 09:25 AM
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QUOTE(Huecuvoe @ May 17 2009, 09:25 AM) *
I do remember the thread concerning the CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns. The question is does the CTP file work the same way for the ANY car type (it seems to) and is there a practical (or impractical) limit on the number of car types that can be listed. For example, to model an industry that wants boxcars but rarely receives a tank car you could enter

XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-XM-TM

so that one out of forty cars will be a tank car. There are (at least) two ways this could cause AG problems. One is the total number of car types in the list if AG stores each item into an array. The second is the physical length of the line. Does AG have a limit on the number of characters in a line or value? Most compilers do have a limit on the character size of alphanumeric variable.



Those are probably questions Steve would have to answer since I am not a programmer.

Per the AG Manual: The CTP file is used only if there are some car types that are specialized, such as Maintenance of Way cars. which might placed in a template. Some of these type of cars shouldn't be placed in many sidings as scenery since they are more specialized. By deselecting them, in the CTP file, AG will not use them as siding fillers in the 'world' or place them in the initial train. This way AG will be limited to what cars it will use for the 'Any' car type.

As for car types, I did a check on some of the templates that I modified for my own use. I do have one template that has 37 different car types. In the CARTYPEWANTED and CARTYPESHIPPED columns, I have one line that is using 8 car types. I also checked the number of car types I am using in Activity Master which was 58. Neither have given me any troubles so far.

Jim
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sgdavis
post May 19 2009, 07:48 PM
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QUOTE(sgdavis @ May 8 2009, 10:43 AM) *
I do remember it being discussed and I thought resolved. I'll make sure the latest update has been posted. It's possible that it hasn't.

Thanks,

Steve



I have just posted the update that fixes this. I'm sorry about the delay in posting this. It is version 4.2.12.


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