Data Analysis & Simulation

EasyFit Used by NASA to Improve Monte Carlo Risk Simulation Models

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

On April 17 2005, the Millstone nuclear generating plant in Connecticut shut down when a circuit board monitoring a steam pressure line short-circuited. “Tin whiskers” – microscopic growths of the metal from soldering points on a circuit board – were blamed for causing the problem. These whiskers are comprised of nearly pure tin, and are therefore electrically conductive.

Field failures attributable to tin whiskers have cost individual programs many millions of dollars each. As a result, manufacturers of high-reliability systems are forced to use Monte Carlo simulation models to decide whether the use of tin poses an acceptable risk in a given application.

Recently a group of NASA scientists lead by Karim J. Courey, a Principal Engineer with the Orbiter Sustaining Engineering Office, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, used our distribution fitting software EasyFit to better understand the underlying process and develop a probability model that can be used to improve existing Monte Carlo risk simulation models… read the full case study

How To Speed Up The Distribution Fitting Process?

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Since fitting probability distributions to large data sets can be a time-consuming task, we are currently researching the possibility of using multi-core processors to make EasyFit work faster. During the past several years, major processor manufacturers have been promoting the multi-core technology on the desktop processors market. Multiple cores in a single chip allow for better performance/price ratio on a range of tasks, however, existing software needs to be updated accordingly to take full advantage of this type of hardware.

We have modified the original distribution fitting algorithm to utilize all cores available on a system, and used it to fit distributions to a simulated set of 200,000 data points. In a series of tests on an Intel dual-core processor, the new algorithm executed almost twice as fast, yielding up to 90% performance increase, compared to the version currently used in EasyFit. These are very good results, and we will definitely be including this feature into the next release of EasyFit.

On a related note, last week we were contacted by a customer regarding our upcoming Simulation & Probabilistic Analysis SDK. They need to analyze large volumes of data, and from their description of the problem we estimated that the typical analysis would take up to 20 hours on a modern PC. With the new distribution fitting algorithm, it can take less than 12 hours on a dual-core CPU, or even less on quad-core processors popular in the server space. In a decision making environment where several hours can mean the difference between profit and loss, this is a very important improvement.

Need To Deal With Risk and Uncertainty in Your Software Applications?

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Lately we have received a couple messages from customers asking if it’s possible to use the Monte Carlo simulation and distribution fitting features of EasyFit in their own software applications. The short answer is yes, but these features are limited to calculating some distribution functions in Excel VBA. There’s currently no way to run simulations, fit distributions to data, perform goodness of fit tests, or use distribution functions from C#, C++, VB.NET, and other programming languages.

To fill the gap, we are considering to create a Simulation & Probabilistic Analysis Software Development Kit (SPA SDK) for software developers who need to deal with risk & uncertainty in their applications, but don’t have time or expertise to design and implement the required features on their own. We already have in place the tried and true technology that’s a basis for our distribution fitting products EasyFit and EasyFitXL, so creating an SDK would be possible in a short period of time.

Since we have had only a few requests for an SDK, we would like to know whether you would be interested in such kind of product. Below is our vision for the SDK – you are welcome to express any thoughts or specific requirements you might have. Please feel free to contact us and we will take your input seriously.

Update: The free beta version of the SDK is now available for download – please click here for details.

What is a Simulation & Probabilistic Analysis Software Development Kit (SPA SDK) ? (more…)

EasyFit Available To Italian Customers Through SxST

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

We are glad to announce that customers from Italy can now purchase EasyFit, our distribution fitting software product, through SxST, the Milan-based company specializing in software solutions for science and technology.

SxST provides a wide range of scientific software products from recognized vendors to Italian businesses, government organizations and academic institutions. According to the agreement, SxST will be offering the Italian version of EasyFit and the first level support in Italian language to their clients, ensuring the best customer experience at the same cost as for the rest of EU countries.

It is really fascinating for us to see EasyFit standing in line with statistical software packages by Systat Software, Minitab, GraphPad, and StataCorp. Our partnership with SxST can be thought of as a milestone indicating that EasyFit has reached the quality level of brand name products offered by these long-established companies.

Fitting Distributions in Excel

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Excel has become the de facto standard application for data analysis and presentation across a variety of industries, so if you deal with random data of any kind, chances are your data is stored in Excel workbooks. However, analyzing probability data in Excel can be tricky as the standard Excel package includes no facilities for fitting probability distributions to data. That is when EasyFitXL, the distribution fitting add-in for Excel, comes in handy… read the full article

EasyFit Used for Environmental Fate and Risk Assessment

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Since 1991, the European Union has been promoting the use of numerical models to assess the environmental fate and risk of pesticides. Recently a group of scientists from the Catholic University and the Marche Polytechnic University (Italy) in association with Informatica Ambientale, the Milan-based research and computer science company, developed a tool that integrates one of the pesticide fate models with GIS software. Several distribution fitting software products were tested to introduce distribution functions in the risk assessment study, and EasyFit was selected as the most appropriate tool for analyzing annual mean pesticide concentration and determining the most suitable distribution… read the full case study

EasyFit 5.0 Released

Monday, October 27th, 2008

We are pleased to announce that a new version of EasyFit is now available for download.

EasyFit and EasyFitXL (distribution fitting add-in for Excel) now include support for 15 new probability distributions used in economics, finance, actuarial science, hydrology, communications theory, mechanical engineering, and other fields. To learn more about new features in this release, click here.

Upgrading From Previous Versions

If you purchased EasyFit on 23 October 2007 or later, you are entitled to a free upgrade, otherwise you qualify for a discounted upgrade. In either case, please contact us for upgrade information.

EasyFit: select the best fitting distribution and use it to make better decisions. learn more
EasyFit Screenshot - Click To Enlarge
Download Free Trial