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Epicenter Updates: Simulate Models Now Supported!

If you’re familiar with creating models in Simulate, then you are probably also familiar with SimLang, the modeling language created by Forio that consists of decisions, variables, and properties (sometimes previously referred to as Forio Modeling Language).

Now you can use your Simulate models with Epicenter, the next generation of our web-based modeling program.

Background: Forio Epicenter

Forio Epicenter is a computational platform for hosting server-side models, creating interactive interfaces, and sharing insights. Epicenter makes it easy for developers, forecasters, data visualization experts, and data scientists to turn analyses into interactive applications that anyone can use.

Epicenter is a little bit different from Simulate — our previous, but still supported, modeling platform — and more powerful:

  • Epicenter provides more options for creating user interfaces for your projects. Start with the drag-and-drop UI Builder, which generates JavaScript and HTML5. Add additional customization using our JavaScript libraries, or even use our REST APIs if you prefer: you can develop anywhere in our stack.
  • Epicenter allows for team development. Build your projects collaboratively, and specialize when needed. It takes a diverse set of skills to produce a professional analytics application or training simulation, and Epicenter provides separation between your project’s model and UI so everyone can concentrate on what they do best.
  • Epicenter includes scalability. Epicenter automatically scales for thousands of users. You can set your computational requirements on a per-project basis, then pay based on the end user usage you receive.
  • Epicenter’s design is based on years of experience. We’ve been at this for more than a decade. As our third generation modeling platform, Epicenter includes all of the lessons we’ve learned along way.

Expanding Modeling Capabilities within Epicenter

Epicenter’s capabilities continue to expand. A big part of this work is supporting additional modeling languages — which means both that we can reach more modelers and that we can provide better support for solving different kinds of problems. Today Epicenter supports models written in Python, Vensim, and Julia, with R support coming soon. As as expected, Epicenter now supports Simulate models too!

Creating New Simulate Models in Epicenter

Creating a SimLang model in Epicenter is easy. Simply:

  1. Sign up for your free Epicenter account at https://forio.com/epicenter/register.
  2. Follow the steps in the QuickStart guide to:
    • Create a personal project.
    • Write your model in SimLang.
    • Create an interface for the model, for example using Epicenter’s drag-and-drop UI Builder.

Migrating Simulate Projects to Epicenter

If, rather than creating a new project, you want to use a model from a project you’ve created in Simulate, that’s easy too! Simply:

  1. Download your SimLang model (.eqn file) from your Simulate account.
  2. Sign up for your free Epicenter account at https://forio.com/epicenter/register.
  3. Create a new project in your Epicenter account.
  4. Upload your SimLang model (.eqn file) to the Model folder of your new project.
  5. Create an interface for your project, for example with the Epicenter UI Builder.

In most cases, the migration process is just that simple. You can read more about migration here.

Playing with an Example Project

We migrated our old favorite, the Near Beer Game, to Forio Epicenter following exactly these steps.

Once you sign up for your free Epicenter account, you can have a copy of this project to play with yourself!

  1. From the Dashboard, select Create a New Project.
  2. From the Example Projects, select SimLang, then choose Near Beer.
  3. Select to Use this Example.
  4. Browse the code! The model code is written in SimLang and the interface code was generated automatically: the user interface was built with the Epicenter UI Builder.

For additional background on SimLang, see the SimLang Epicenter documentation.

For additional background on the UI Builder, see the documentation or check out our recent webinar on the UI Builder and how to customize the code it generates.

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