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Analytica 5.0 Video Short: Operator + used to concatenate text

Lonnie Chrisman 27 Oct 2017

This is the second installment in the Analytica 5.0 Video shorts series -- short (under 5 minutes) videos showcasing an individual topic or feature in Analytica. The series primarily focuses on features that are New in Analytica 5.0

Since I'm putting this one out there a few hours before the 5.0 release is official, I thought it fitting to cover an error message that you might encounter right away, when you load your legacy model you created in 4.6 into 5.0. As the video shows, it is easy to deal with, so this is a "don't panic" message. Overall, you should be pretty confident in 5.0's backward compatibility (the ability of 5.0 to run 4.6 models), which is extremely high. In a survey of 5.0 users (look for that blog post within a few days), 100% of the responders stated that they encountered no problems running their 4.6 models in Analytica 5.0. Nevertheless, I have seen this particular error appear in several cases, and hence decided to show you what to do in a quick 5 minute video. 

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Lonnie Chrisman

Lonnie Chrisman, PhD, is Lumina's Chief Technical Officer, where he heads engineering and development of Analytica®. He has authored dozens refereed publications in the areas of machine learning, Artificial Intelligence planning, robotics, probabilistic inference, Bayesian networks, and computational biology. He was was in eighth grade when he had his first paid programming job. He was awarded the Alton B. Zerby award "Most outstanding Electrical Engineering Student in the USA", 1979. He has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University; and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of California at Berkeley. Lonnie used Analytica for seismic structural analysis of an extension that he built to his own home where he lives with his wife and four daughters: So, he really trusts Analytica calculations!

Lonnie Chrisman

2017 11 07

When I made the video, I made a comment “in the several models I studied, that didn’t actually happen”—where “that” referred to the model relying on the result of text+ text. I encountered one where it did matter—the PO5 benchmark model in the “Faster evaluation in Analytica 5.0” blog posting. That model dates back to Analytica 3.1, and used + for text concatenation in many places for real. I ended up having to go through that model and change those in about a dozen places. However, because the error pointed me directly to the rogue Definition, it look me about 10 minutes to make those changes.

Lonnie Chrisman

2017 11 07

Once other thing to be aware of is that after you set the “x+y returns NAN for Text” preference, you don’t want to load the model into 4.6 and then save it from 4.6, since that would reset the preference for you. Analytica 4.6 doesn’t know about this preference, plus Analytica 5.0 sets it by default for a legacy model that had been last saved from 4.6.

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