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Announcing Analytica 4.5

Lonnie Chrisman 11 Feb 2014 Analytica tips, News

Lumina Decision Systems has announced the release of Analytica 4.5.

One change that is sure to garner lots of attention is the new Analytica Free 101 edition. That's right -- there is now a fully functional edition of Analytica that you can use to build your own models, or to use models built by other people, which costs nothing and never expires! This is especially great for students, who can use it in their courses that use Analytica in the curriculum, and then continue using it after the course ends for other projects. It can even be used in moderate-sized commercial projects.

The Analytica Trial and Analytica Player editions have now been eliminated. They are now replaced by the Analytica Free 101 edition. The Power Player and Power Player with Optimizer still exist.

Where does the "Free 101" name come from? It allows the models you build to have up to 101 user objects, and it appropriately sounds like the name of an introductory college class. That's enough to do some real work, although the most serious users will still find it well worth ponying up for a Professional, Enterprise or Optimizer edition.

Lumina has also eliminated the price difference between the 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

The What's New in Analytica 4.5 page lists a treasure trove of new features. I'll mention a few of my favorites here.

Choice and Checkbox control in Edit Tables display as controls in edit mode. Choice and Checkbox control in Edit Tables display as controls in edit mode.

Many models use Choice pulldowns or Checkboxes in edit tables. In the past, these displayed as controls in browse mode, and as expressions in edit mode. That was so users of your model would have functional controls, but when editing you would can change them. I found I often wanted functional controls from edit mode, and now I have that. A new selector at the top right still lets me access the expression when I need it.

Parameter Assist shows you the possible values for enumerated parameters. Parameter Assist shows you the possible values for enumerated parameters.

Another time saver is the new Enumerated Parameter Assist feature, a new facet of Expression Assist. This one has already saved me a lot of visits to the Analytica Wiki or User Guide when I can't remember the possible parameter values.

Support for unicode characters expands international appeal. Support for Unicode characters expands international appeal.

International users in particular will appreciate the new support for Unicode characters, non-english collation orders, and accent awareness.

I also find it much more convenient to compare results from different variables. Just hold Shift down to select multiple nodes and press the result button. Bingo, you have graph or result table with all the results together. This works even in browse mode. From edit mode you may optionally save this view as a new node, but you don't have to.

Other notable enhancements include better tabbing and indentation support while editing definitions, assignment of Choice and Checkbox controls, built-in Logistic Regression functions, built-in complex number support including built-in FFT, complex singular value decomposition and other matrix functions, new and expanded spreadsheet integration functions, easier relational table to multidimensional array transformations, improved multidimensional array export and import, improved dimensional correspondence when using copy table between multi-dimensional tables, fixed-precision arithmetic that avoids many round-off errors, repeated parameter forwarding, built-in Wilcoxon and Negative Binomial distributions, and a few others. For these, I refer you to the What's New in Analytica 4.5 page.

If you aren't yet an Analytica user, get started at the Analytica Free 101 edition page. If you are an existing user and have active support, visit the Lumina Downloads page to download and run the newest installer.

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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!

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