Part 2. MM4XL Tools > 1. Strategic Tools > Risk Analyst > Technicalities

Risk Analyst


Issue Limit
Maximum number of simulation runs 60000.
Maximum number of fitted values Limited by the number of rows in MS Excel.
Maximum number of input variables Limited by the number of cells in a worksheet. Reports limited by the number of columns available, 256 in MS Excel 2003.
The system plays a BEEP At the end of the simulation runs. When a pdf cannot be fitted. When there is a problem with the pdf coefficients.

Known issues

When opened for the first time the example files made with Risk Analyst may require to remove the path address in front of formulae. To remove the path, select a cell with a Risk Analyst formula inside, select the path address with the mouse, and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard. Exit the cell and open the Find tool pressing Ctrl+F, paste the path address with Ctrl+V, click on the button Replace and leave the text field blank. Click the button Replace All to replace all path addresses in the sheet.

While working in the Preview window the chart of the main (Wizard) window disappears. To reset the chart simply select a new item from the listbox Distribution and the chart will reappear.

The vertical arrow of the Pdf chart does not reach the minimum and/or maximum value of the chart, for instance, Exponential, Gamma, Uniform.

There may be a delay before the Preview form appears. This is due to the number of simulations and the number of variables in a model.

Some distribution functions take longer than others to return a value. This is due to the complexity of the algorithm. Use the Time Elapsed tool to find out which Pdfs are faster and which are slower.

In certain cases the function mmHYPERGEO can get trapped in a long-running loop that may keep the system busy for a long time. This is due to the fact that the function finds a random variable with the desired shape using a random number seed. The random seed ranges in the interval zero to one, when it takes unusually high or low values this may result in the mmHYPERGEO function getting stuck. In this case simply press the ESC key or the Break key, and click on Stop in the window that appears. Then it may be worth reviewing the arguments of the mmHYPERGEO function that caused Risk Analyst to get stuck.

The chart of the Triangular distribution is drawn with a slightly cut peak, especially when working with figures smaller than 1. To correct this annoyance you can remove the decimal separator. For instance, mmTRI(-0.1599, 0.0347, 0.0977) returns a cut peak while mmTRI(-1599, 347, 977) does not.

A Pdf chart in the main window (Wizard) splits in two halves, disappears, or gets completely filled in blue when Excel fails to solve the probability function of a value.

On chart in the main (Wizard) window:

  • Binomial can take a maximum number of Trials equal to 1000.
  • Inverse Gauss gets stuck with very large values due to an endless loop. Press the Ctrl-Break keys to exit the loop and click on the Stop button in the window that appears.
  • LogNormal may lose its traditional shape with large values, but only on the chart.
Slight computational differences can be due to MS Excel rounding activity and to approximations.

Histograms with many classes may overlap in the reports. To reduce the size, select a chart (or many charts at once by pressing the CTRL key and selecting the charts). Then drag the lower marker of one horizontal side of one of the charts and release it to the desired height. All charts will be resized.

Time series are not taken into account if there is no Risk Analyst function in the model. In this case you can use a fictitious function, for instance multiplying the product of one cell times a function like mmUNIFORM(1, 1), which always returns a 1 and therefore does not affect the result in the cell.

The Function Wizard built in Excel 97, 2000, and 2002 (version 8, 9 and 10 respectively) may fail to create user defined categories for the three kinds of Risk Analyst functions. Excel XP, or version 11 also called 2003, on the other hand does not suffer from this problem.
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