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  #1  
Old 07-11-2014
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Default Heatmap Module

Hi community!
I've a little something for you ;-) I've developed a little module to show a heatmap in our models. It's brandnew and still beta but I'm interested in our opinion.


Restrictions for this beta:
- no gui
- only for 64 bit
- tested only with FlexSim GP 7.1.4 64bit on a Windows 7 64bit


How to install?
Unzip file to modules folder in flexsim.


How to use?
Just drag your new HeatmapTicker object into your model. That's it.


What does this module?
This module draw a heatmap in your model. It collects the location of your taskexecuters for each tick of the heatmapticker. This shows you how often a location was used. Red means a hot area and blue a cold area.
Which settings options are available?
Even without a gui you have several options to configure your heatmap. You have to access your heatmapticker with the tree view. The settings are in the variables node:
- ticktime -> time interval to add the actual location of your taskexecuters
- gridsizeX -> area in x to summarize locations
- gridsizeY -> area in y to summarize locations
- sizeZ -> if greater than 0, your heatmap goes up in the sky
- objectList -> only for your information, which taskexecuters are registered for the heatmap (robot and elevators aren't added)
- mesh -> heatmap drawing, don't touch
You can make you heatmap invisible if you use the flexsim command switch_hideshape.


Hints:
- very small ticktime, gridsizeX and/or gridsizeY boost your cpu usage
- only taskexecuters in the model tree will be recognized
- only used locations will be stored -> no restrictions for locations
- the colors and optional heights aren't linear -> a natural logarithm will be used with the measured data to make the heatmap more visible

I'm curious about your thoughts and hints. Of course you'll get the final version also. Did I mentioned that it's free?

Thanks to Kris Geisberger who brings the heatmap to my mind

http://cloud.scheffernet.de/owncloud...487d5f6e922fd8 (64 bit FlexSim V7.3.6)
or http://cloud.scheffernet.de/owncloud...9e9609069cb17f (32 bit FlexSim V7.3.6)
or http://cloud.scheffernet.de/owncloud...1aa8b8c6f5762b (64 bit FlexSim V7.5)

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 02-05-2015 at 02:25 AM. Reason: new download links
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2014
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A small preview how it looks like

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 07-11-2014
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Carsten,
I think the heat map idea is really cool. The AStar module kind of does this, but your implementation would extend it universally, which is really useful. The one thing I don't like so much is the way it's drawn. Especially the shadows look weird. And by the fact that you're drawing it with individual quads, each quad being just one color, it doesn't really look like what people would traditionally associate with a "heat map". My suggestion would be to change the draw so that it uses a mesh with gradients to render the heat map. I'm including a proof of concept. Certainly this could be improved. I just used a straight grid of quads, which causes some weird star-like look in some of the points. Maybe if you change the geometry or just provide more vertices it might lessen that issue?
Anthony
Attached Files
File Type: fsm HeatMapExample.fsm (17.1 KB, 61 views)
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2014
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Another option, which would save on graphics card memory over using a mesh with a ton of vertices, is to just implement your own texture using straight gl texture commands in your module dll. Every time the heat map changes, you reload the texture to the graphics card. You'd use glGenTextures() to create the texture object, glBindTexture() to activate it for changing/rendering, glTexImage2D() to reload the texture data every time your heat map changes. Then you could just use a single quad mesh for that texture. That would probably be much more efficient as far as graphics card memory (and rendering speed) goes. Obviously, you have to know OpenGL, but if you do, it's probably a better way to go.
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2014
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Anthony,

I can look at your model at monday (I haven't flexsim at home). Damned time lag

You have mentioned the quads. Maybe I should explain further. Each quad is one information for this area with size in X of gridsizeX and size in Y of gridsizeY. The color represents the value. You get a smoother look if you make gridsizeX/gridsizeY smaller.
I would prefer a floor drawing because it looks more traditional (if you set variable sizeZ to 0).
On the other hand I couldn't resist to use the value for a 3D view of the data Maybe a box instead of a rectangle looks better.

I would also love to know how the performance with a big model would be (like a warehouse). Maybe someone will try this...

P.S.: Does anyone know how to use "alpha" on the vertices?

-----------

At the moment the mesh will be build onPreDraw. My thought was that most simulation models run at the highest speed to generate results and the mesh will only be generated if enough cpu power is left. If I generate the mesh on each change of the data (on each tick) this would reduce the cpu usage on slow simulation speed but increase the cpu usage at high simulation speed, am I right?!

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 07-11-2014 at 11:07 AM. Reason: thoughts to the 2nd post of anthony
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Old 07-14-2014
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The next beta version is available.

Enhancement:
- GUI
- 32- and 64-bit version
- boxes instead flat rectangles possible
- background possible (with color of heatmapTicker-object)
- some changes in the graphics (but still mesh)

Have fun!

https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:04 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Seehafer View Post
At the moment the mesh will be build onPreDraw. My thought was that most simulation models run at the highest speed to generate results and the mesh will only be generated if enough cpu power is left. If I generate the mesh on each change of the data (on each tick) this would reduce the cpu usage on slow simulation speed but increase the cpu usage at high simulation speed, am I right?!
I usually try to get the best of both worlds. I would keep an isMeshDirty member on the ticker class. Then, your tick time event would be:
Code:
updateHeatMapData();
isMeshDirty = true;
Then in OnPreDraw (actually I usually just do it in OnDraw before I render the mesh):
Code:
if (isMeshDirty) {
   rebuildMesh();
   isMeshDirty = false;
}
Then you're not rebuilding the mesh on every refresh, so it's not a hit when you're running slow. And you don't rebuild the mesh on every tick, so it's not a hit when you're running fast.

The isMeshDirty member doesn't need to be saved in the tree. Actually it probably shouldn't be saved in the tree. You just set it to true in your class constructor, so that on the first refresh after loading the model (or dropping the object into your model), it will rebuild the mesh. So you can probably just make it a straight bool class member.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Seehafer View Post
P.S.: Does anyone know how to use "alpha" on the vertices?
You use the MESH_DIFFUSE4 option when you define the mesh. This means it will take four color components (red, green, blue, alpha) per vertex. Alternatively you can use a texture with alpha transparency, e.g. a png, although that doesn't really apply in your case, unless you decide to make your own texture, in which case you need to make sure you upload texture data with alpha included.

However, even when using alpha components, transparency can still be a bit tricky. The problem is the order in which you draw things is important. You should always draw transparent things last in the model render. Otherwise, things drawn after them won't show up behind the transparency. This corresponds to putting the transparent object at the top of the model tree (the model is rendered bottom to top in the tree).
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  #9  
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The next version v0.3 beta is available:


- bugfix graphics
- change of member selection
- new tab for member selection
- quick properties
- cut off option for high values
- installer


Know issues:
- installer window vanishes during install process for 5-10 seconds
- uninstall process is slow

Maybe someone has an idea for those issues?

Thanks for any support!

@Anthony: I've added something similar like your isDirtyMesh yesterday. The mesh will only rebuild in onPreDraw if a tick has happened or some realtime has passed (simulation stopped). I'll play with the MESH_DIFFUSE4 tomorrow


PS: You should remove the old module files before you use the installer. It looks like the installer did not replace existing files!

https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:05 AM. Reason: install advice
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2014
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Maybe it's already annoying for you but here's the next version


I've changed the way how the mesh will be created to get a nice transparency (It's called visibility in heatmapTicker). Also some change to the gui.

The installer is certainly not satisfactory. He takes a break for 10-20 seconds without any window or information?! Maybe I should be more patient but I'm not Any advice for another (free) installer is very welcome!!!

Please uninstall the old module before you install this new one!

What kind of installation would you prefer? With an installer or by hand?

https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 07-16-2014
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Small preview of this module...

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 07-16-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Seehafer View Post
The installer is certainly not satisfactory. He takes a break for 10-20 seconds without any window or information?! Maybe I should be more patient but I'm not Any advice for another (free) installer is very welcome!!!
The WiX Toolset is a free installer that works well.

We just switched from Wise to WiX for FlexSim 7.3.
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2014
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Great work Carsten!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Seehafer View Post
What kind of installation would you prefer? With an installer or by hand?
Since you asked, I'd prefer installation by hand while it is still in development. You might get more participation without the installer as it could intimidate some or raise privilege issues. Maybe post both if you can.
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@Kris: I've attached the same files and version without an installer.

@Phil: You just made my day! It looks very promising

https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

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Old 07-30-2014
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The final version is now available. We vanquished the beta status (this version is a little delayed because of a hospitalization of a family member)

A few changes in short:
- faster because of a new sort algorithm
- multiple HeatmapTicker objects possible
- OnTick-Trigger and an example option
- 2 usercommands (look at OnTick-Trigger)
- documentation and help
- new options Bottom Cut Off and Logarithmical
- bugfix of Top Cut Off
- and some other stuff I've already forgotten

You have to install this module by hand. Just unzip the attached file and drop it into the modules folder in FlexSim.

Don't forget to read the user manual of this module. I hope it is understandable.

https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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The new version v0.8 is available. You can download it from the downloads section: https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310


New features:
- drawing in the 3d view can be deactivated (data will still be collected)
- new command createObjectList() forces the ticker to recreate his object list during simulation run (p.e. for TaskExecuterFlowItems)
- export of the heat map into a html document

It's still for FlexSim v7.1.4 and will not work with FlexSim v7.3.X.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carsten Seehafer View Post
The new version v0.8 is available. You can download it from the downloads section: https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

It's still for FlexSim v7.1.4 and will not work with FlexSim v7.3.X.
I hope it will be able to be used in v7.3.x soon.

Thanks a lot.
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Version 1.0 is available and compatible with FlexSim 7.3.4: https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310


A few changes to manipulate the internal object list during simulation run with user commands and some minor changes as well.
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  #19  
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Exclamation Installer Versions

It looks like that the download link isn't working at the moment because of an unapproved status. Nevertheless the download contains all files for installation by hand (32- and 64-bit).

The new installer versions are attached in this post. One for 32-bit and another for 64-bit. Just double click on the msi-file to install. If you want to remove the module please use the control panel of Windows.

All versions are still v1.0.0.

Have fun!

https://www.flexsim.com/community/fo...do=file&id=310

Last edited by Carsten Seehafer; 12-03-2014 at 10:09 AM.
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  #20  
Old 10-01-2014
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Carsten,
Nice job, thanks for sharing it.
I 'm curious to understand the meaning of the color scale (i guess they represent the time spent for each TE in each part of the grid).
Could it be changed to a different scale, could it use a different color map ?
BR
Maurizio
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The Following User Says Thank You to mgiubilato For This Useful Post:
Carsten Seehafer (10-02-2014)
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