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Unique IDs questions 17/02/2015 at 12:34 #69268
TimTamToe
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Hi everyone

I've been looking on the forum and the wiki but there are a couple of questions regarding UIDs that I have and couldn't find the answers to, that I wanted to check before getting too far along writing a new timetable and then finding I need to change things.

1) Does the format of the UID have to be a letter followed by numbers or can they be in any arrangement.

2) How many characters does the core code read for an UID as the wiki gives example of A12356 but then for a new activity needing $A123456 (I know about needing $ for the activity). Thinking of the situation where the timetable runs from midnight - 2am the following day with a train entering at 00:10 and 24:10 with the same real UID I wanted to know if by adding an extra character to the end, would the sim read all of them or just the first 6 etc.

3) Related to number 2 is for trains that join en-route but keep the same UID. At the moment for trains that join at Haywards Heath eg 1F25-1 joining 1H25-1 I have them becoming 1H25-2 so that the train description panel is correct for the rest of the time the train is in the sim eg xxxx Littlehampton - Victoria (Cl 377 4 car SN) becomes xxxx Littlehampton - Victoria (Cl 377 8 car SN). The real UID doesn't change which for this example is W71751; so if I added A to the pre join 1H25 and B after its join at Haywards Heath, would it be correctly distinguished by the sim.

Hope that makes sense

Gareth

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Unique IDs questions 17/02/2015 at 12:39 #69269
Sacro
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1) Any, Network Rail timetables use a letter prefix, followed by an incremental number, but you could use any other system
2) Should read the full UID, if not I'd consider it a bug
3) Yes that should be fine, a feature that automatically generates suffixes for the description might be nice...

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Unique IDs questions 17/02/2015 at 18:11 #69276
GeoffM
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Per Ben but a couple more comments:

1. The random ID in SimSig generates 3+3 alpha+numeric to avoid clashes with NR UIDs.

2. It uses the whole string.

3. There should only be two trains (schedules) for this particular combination: one for the through train, one for the joining train. Both should join to each other's UIDs at Haywards Heath.

SimSig Boss
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Unique IDs questions 17/02/2015 at 19:23 #69277
58050
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Another thing you can do with UIDs Gareth to make the timetable more realistic is to have 2 or 3 different train consists for the same train. So each time you run the timetable you aren't guaranteed to get the same train. For example in the King's Cross summer 1985 I'm currently writing all the freightliner services have 2 train types:-
1. Cl.47/0+20 loaded FFA/FGAs freightliner flats
2. Cl.37/0x2+25 loaded FFA/FGA freightliner flats
so you enter 2 schedules with the same timings e,g,
4L62 2204 SX Freightliner Stratford FLT - Leeds FLT (TI Cl.47/0) UID: 4L6247
4L62 22:04 SX Freightliner Stratford FLT - Leeds FLT (TI Cl.37/0x2) UID: 4L6237
then you set up a set of rules for e.g.
4L62/$4L6237 and 4L62/$4L6247 are alternatives
4L62/$4L6247 and 4L62/$4L6237 are alternatives
so whenever you run the timetable your not guaranteed to get the same train consist which gives the feel of more realism whereby the book loco may have failed somewhere else on the system & a replacement has had to be found.
You could do this to greater extent with your southern region timetables as there is still a large number of different unit classes that could be used to covered all sorts of services. I tend to use the trainID & at the end add in the loco class when I'm setting up 2 or more different train consists as per what is stated in the freight train loads book. If you want to add in more than 3 different train types for 1 train I tend to use the 'AddXOR list' tab in the 'Rules' tab & then amend the rules the the program sets up from 'mutally exclusive' to 'are alternatives' which when I tested the timetable I wrote for Aston whereby the Rugeley MGR trains were worked by Cl.58, Cl.56 or Cl.20x2 seemed to work OK. So for UID purposes I always tend to use the train ID as the UID & then a subsequent letter or number if there is more than 1 train with the same TD. It also makes it alot easier to remember what train your are dealing with in the creation of timetables. Definately a major step in the right direction to just having 4 characters in the TD.

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Unique IDs questions 17/02/2015 at 22:12 #69280
TimTamToe
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Thanks Ben, Geoff and Pascal for your replies, they are really helpful.

Regarding 3 as I say Geoff the only reason I had split the through train into two was so that after its split / join its description in the pop up timetable had the correct formation listed rather than its former. Whether that is something that in future could be included to the join / split activity menu in f4 when writing the tt. maybe like initial formation and an option for formation after join / split where the train retains its same headcode throughout? So it then changes automatically in the pop up timetable after the activity has completed like the length already does on f2.

Pascal I think that will be easier as I had started using NR's UIDs before realising I didn't have them all! Using the headcode and extra digits if needed will certainly be easier to follow especially when adding in the rules and also when updating previous timetables written before UIDs so that they all match together!

Gareth

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 07:24 #69281
clive
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" said:
then you set up a set of rules for e.g.
4L62/$4L6237 and 4L62/$4L6247 are alternatives
4L62/$4L6247 and 4L62/$4L6237 are alternatives
You only need one of those rules, not both.

Quote:

If you want to add in more than 3 different train types for 1 train I tend to use the 'AddXOR list' tab in the 'Rules' tab & then amend the rules the the program sets up from 'mutally exclusive' to 'are alternatives'
Similarly, that will work but you'll have far more rules than you need. Unlike "mutually exclusive", "are alternatives" is transitive and so you can do it with N-1 rules for N trains. Or you can use the wildcard feature whose exact syntax I've forgotten and do it all with one rule.

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 10:42 #69285
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Clive wrote:
Quote:
You only need one of those rules, not both.

I'm not convinced that is correct Clive. The first timetable I tested this on was Aston summer 1988(still a WIP due to things missing & waiting for update) & I used the 'AddXOR List' option for the 3 sets of MGR trains with different traction & that worked OK. The 2nd timetable I did on was Coventry summer 1988 & when I first did it I used the rule:-
"xxxx56/$xxxx56' and 'xxxx58/$xxxx58' are alternatives(xxxx denoting the trains TD). Now when I tested the timetable whatever was the first train in the alternatives rule was the train that appeared & never the second. Now either that was an amazing conincidence I don't know but all the MGR trains to & from Didcot Power station only appeared with a Cl.56 loco at its head & never a Cl.58. Onkly when I added a second rule with the trains reversed did I then get a mixture of both. Hence the reason why since then I've added more than 1 rule. I even asked some of the other testers at the time & there responses was the same as what I found.

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 11:13 #69287
Finger
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" said:
Another thing you can do with UIDs Gareth to make the timetable more realistic is to have 2 or 3 different train consists for the same train. So each time you run the timetable you aren't guaranteed to get the same train. For example in the King's Cross summer 1985 I'm currently writing all the freightliner services have 2 train types:-
1. Cl.47/0+20 loaded FFA/FGAs freightliner flats
2. Cl.37/0x2+25 loaded FFA/FGA freightliner flats
so you enter 2 schedules with the same timings e,g,
4L62 2204 SX Freightliner Stratford FLT - Leeds FLT (TI Cl.47/0) UID: 4L6247
4L62 22:04 SX Freightliner Stratford FLT - Leeds FLT (TI Cl.37/0x2) UID: 4L6237
then you set up a set of rules for e.g.
4L62/$4L6237 and 4L62/$4L6247 are alternatives
4L62/$4L6247 and 4L62/$4L6237 are alternatives

Seriously, why such complications? You can just create two 4L62's, no UIDs (although you can set them to anything you like) and create rule "4L62 are alternatives" (see the example timetable attached).

" said:
If you want to add in more than 3 different train types for 1 train I tend to use the 'AddXOR list' tab in the 'Rules' tab & then amend the rules the the program sets up from 'mutally exclusive' to 'are alternatives' which when I tested the timetable I wrote for Aston whereby the Rugeley MGR trains were worked by Cl.58, Cl.56 or Cl.20x2 seemed to work OK. So for UID purposes I always tend to use the train ID as the UID & then a subsequent letter or number if there is more than 1 train with the same TD.

Wasn't it your 1985 timetable that was being tested lately, where almost nothing worked (the basics)? If yes, please refrain to give advice about timetabling - first make your timetable perfect, then try to understand how SimSig treats it, then give advice.

" said:
Regarding 3 as I say Geoff the only reason I had split the through train into two was so that after its split / join its description in the pop up timetable had the correct formation listed rather than its former. Whether that is something that in future could be included to the join / split activity menu in f4 when writing the tt. maybe like initial formation and an option for formation after join / split where the train retains its same headcode throughout?

Do you know the client in SimSig can't read the timetable of the continuation in this case? I suggest, if you really want to make it known that the train changes its formation during the journey, make only one timetable for the headcode, and use some ingenious free-form text as the description - like "4x 442, after Washwood Heath 8x" - that achieves this purpose.

Please, timetable writers, bear in mind that basing timetable on UIDs has a great potential to obfuscate the timetable to the point of being unplayable. Especially because signalers in simsig can't get to any UIDs whatsoever. So pay attention to the users as well.

On a similar note, you can't generally use NR UIDs as such if they could repeat themselves along the run of the timetable (eg. timetables running past midnight).

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 11:34 #69288
58050
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Finger you do it your way & I'll do it my way. Yes it was my timetable being tested the other night & for your information the host was told via e-mail that it isn't perfect by any means. I write timetables for many developers would wouldn't be asking me to do it unless they thought the product produced at the end was good. When you write timetables as good as I do then I might listen to what you've got to say & until then I take your comments with a pinch of salt. I'm not even talking about the train changing consists en route. I'm talking about the fact that trains run with varied locomotives on the front usually due to the booked loco being a failure.
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 11:57 #69289
Finger
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" said:
Clive wrote:
Quote:
You only need one of those rules, not both.

I'm not convinced that is correct Clive. The first timetable I tested this on was Aston summer 1988(still a WIP due to things missing & waiting for update) & I used the 'AddXOR List' option for the 3 sets of MGR trains with different traction & that worked OK. The 2nd timetable I did on was Coventry summer 1988 & when I first did it I used the rule:-
"xxxx56/$xxxx56' and 'xxxx58/$xxxx58' are alternatives(xxxx denoting the trains TD). Now when I tested the timetable whatever was the first train in the alternatives rule was the train that appeared & never the second.

Just tested it on KX, and it works fine. Only one "Are alternatives" rule needed. You must have used another rule type (MutEx?) or there was a bug which was fixed in the meantime (which I doubt because the AreAlternatives rule is very reliable, even on old sims where the other rules, MutEx and NotIf, are basically a joke).

" said:
Unlike "mutually exclusive", "are alternatives" is transitive and so you can do it with N-1 rules for N trains.

That is not true, I just tested it. Moreover, any given train should probably not be in more than one AA rule (SimSig can't, as yet, solve sudoku, so it will have strange results).

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 12:00 #69290
Danny252
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In my experience, Finger's timetabling advice has always been overly aggressive and less than helpful - I wouldn't be overly fussed by his insults against everyone else's timetabling ability, Pascal!
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 12:17 #69291
58050
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The only thing I've got to say about him is that his username is right & give him the finger, but with regards to anything else he says regarding railway operations in this country or timetabling on SimSig you could fit it on a postage stamp. I mean who the hell does he think he is? I just dis-regards any of his posts from now on.
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 13:25 #69293
postal
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" said:
Or you can use the wildcard feature whose exact syntax I've forgotten and do it all with one rule.
Doesn't work with UIDs, only TDs for the "are alternatives" rule. I queried this and was told it was something which has been specifically written into the core code.

Syntax is "1A00??? are alternatives". One "?" for each character and all in the group must have the same number of characters.

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 13:27 #69294
postal
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" said:
I even asked some of the other testers at the time & there responses was the same as what I found.
Not what I found when I was testing the Cov. TT. I got a roughly 50/50 mix with only the single rule.

“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
Last edited: 18/02/2015 at 13:30 by postal
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 13:31 #69295
Steamer
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" said:

Please, timetable writers, bear in mind that basing timetable on UIDs has a great potential to obfuscate the timetable to the point of being unplayable. Especially because signalers in simsig can't get to any UIDs whatsoever. So pay attention to the users as well.
Not really- the user is still presented with headcodes as normal. The only thing giving away the use of UIDs is a lack of headcode suffixes.

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 13:38 #69296
postal
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" said:
Moreover, any given train should probably not be in more than one AA rule (SimSig can't, as yet, solve sudoku, so it will have strange results).
I'm afraid that is inaccurate advice. I have been involved with a number of timetables where there are 3 or 4 different freight trains timetabled in a "Q" path only one of which will enter on any given day depending on the requirements of the traffic department. You can either set up a group of XOR rules and remember to work out the percentages for entry depending on where the TD is in the pecking order or set up a chain of "are alternative" rules. I now always use the latter course as it removes a statistical oddity which occurs when you use the XOR rules and also reduces the number of rules required. The "are alternative" rules are written in the form "Train A and Train B are alternatives", "Train B and Train C are alternatives", "Train C and Train D are alternatives" and "Train D and Train A are alternatives" so 4 rules rather than 6 using the XOR method.

“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
Last edited: 18/02/2015 at 13:39 by postal
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 13:48 #69297
postal
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" said:
Wasn't it your 1985 timetable that was being tested lately, where almost nothing worked (the basics)? If yes, please refrain to give advice about timetabling - first make your timetable perfect, then try to understand how SimSig treats it, then give advice.
Strange - I thought the point of testing was to find out what doesn't work and fix it before release. It people join a TT test session (and it was advertised as such), it is implicit that there may be things that do not work correctly. Comments like this only serve to show how little understanding there is of the whole iterative testing process. One of Pascal's TTs will typically got through double figures of iterations as errors are identified and corrected (and each iteration will probably involve 2 or 3 full 24 hour runs through the TT). There will be several hundred hours more testing goes into the KX TT before it is fit for release.

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 13:54 #69298
Hpotter
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Gent's, reading through the previous posts, it starting to get out of hand, no personal remarks or the likes please.

We all have op-ion's and the likes, but please be considerate as to how they are voiced.

Any further more doing will result in this being moderated, and that's not what we are after here, surely it's for the benefit of everybody to learn what is happening and possible ways of sorting these little questions out?

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 14:40 #69299
TimTamToe
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" said:


" said:
Regarding 3 as I say Geoff the only reason I had split the through train into two was so that after its split / join its description in the pop up timetable had the correct formation listed rather than its former. Whether that is something that in future could be included to the join / split activity menu in f4 when writing the tt. maybe like initial formation and an option for formation after join / split where the train retains its same headcode throughout?
Do you know the client in SimSig can't read the timetable of the continuation in this case? I suggest, if you really want to make it known that the train changes its formation during the journey, make only one timetable for the headcode, and use some ingenious free-form text as the description - like "4x 442, after Washwood Heath 8x" - that achieves this purpose.
You can looking in f4 and having the train list in time order and having those entered not displayed. The reason I have done it in the past is actually to help the end user, otherwise the pop up may say only 4 cars and the train could be 8 or 12 and cause trains to overhang platforms if people are not aware. Your suggestion also doesn't take into account of the limited length of display of the description field!

This is why I asked whether it was possible in the future to have it coded that the train type is in a separate line in the pop up description and that when the timetable writer selects whatever activity the require, that there is also an option to have "train type after activity" drop down menu that can be selected so that the train type in the description field can automatically change after an activity thus a through train for example can only have one tt entry and always have the correct train type listed.

" said:


Please, timetable writers, bear in mind that basing timetable on UIDs has a great potential to obfuscate the timetable to the point of being unplayable. Especially because signalers in simsig can't get to any UIDs whatsoever. So pay attention to the users as well.
The reason for using UIDs is actually to make it easier for the end user. Before if you interposed the wrong suffix the wrong tt would be displayed and this goes to help ease this issue. Also the end user can see UIDs (if they really want or need to) as both in f4 the train list and rules list can be set up to be listed in UID order, and by clicking on an activity within a train timetable the UID is also displayed

" said:

On a similar note, you can't generally use NR UIDs as such if they could repeat themselves along the run of the timetable (eg. timetables running past midnight).
Which is way I asked in the original post if the whole string of the UID was read or just a certain number of characters. As Ben and Geoff answered it is a whole string there is no reasons why NR UIDs cannot be used with just an additional character for those at 00:00 or 24:00

All of my original questions were to help me understand the working of UIDs better so that the timetables I produce are to as high a quality as can be and also be as helpful and informative as can be to the end user of all abilities

Gareth

Last edited: 18/02/2015 at 14:45 by TimTamToe
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 22:18 #69322
Stanyon
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based on this info im writing at timetable where a train could be a class 158/142/144/150/2 x 153/155 or 3 car 144 any ideas how i could randomize this to replicate deviation from the "booked" unit?
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 22:26 #69323
Steamer
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" said:
based on this info im writing at timetable where a train could be a class 158/142/144/150/2 x 153/155 or 3 car 144 any ideas how i could randomize this to replicate deviation from the "booked" unit?
You'd have to duplicate the schedule as many times as required, and set up 'are alternatives' rules. You can differentiate the schedules either by using the traditional 1A00-1, 1A00-2 etc. method, or by setting all their headcodes to 1A00 and setting the UIDs to [whatever]-1, [whatever]-2 etc.

I'm not sure if the 'Are alternatives' can be given a weighting (so the booked unit turns up 90% of the time, for example), a different way to do is to have the booked unit schedule running 90% of the time and another schedule running all the time, but with the rule "[other schedule] must not run if [booked unit] runs"

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 23:14 #69324
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Stanyon wrote:[b][/b]
Quote:
based on this info im writing at timetable where a train could be a class 158/142/144/150/2 x 153/155 or 3 car 144 any ideas how i could randomize this to replicate deviation from the "booked" unit?

If you read post #16 in this thread by Postal he explains in that post how you can set up the variations in stock or trains type. Like I mentioned earlier I tend to use the UIDs the same as the train TD & then the last 2 or 3 digits refer to the traction class. So in your example if the train TD is 2A01 then I'd set the uids up as 2A01158(for Cl.158). 2A01144(for Cl.144). 2A01150 (for Cl.150). 2A011532 (for Cl.153x2). 2A01155 (For Cl.155). 2A011443 (for Cl.144 3 car). You could use something similar & then add in a set of rules using the similar parameters as explained by Postal. I've not altered the % of which type of unit or loco is predominantly seen. In the late 1980s the predominant locos on MGR trains were either Cl.58s, Cl.56s or Cl.20x2. Obviously the more vareity you choose to use means more rules, that's why at the moment I've used no more than 3 alternatives & as Steamer says you'd need to duplicate the schedules one for each different type of traction unit you want to use.

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Unique IDs questions 18/02/2015 at 23:42 #69326
Finger
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OK, just to clarify a few points:
" said:
" said:

Please, timetable writers, bear in mind that basing timetable on UIDs has a great potential to obfuscate the timetable to the point of being unplayable. Especially because signalers in simsig can't get to any UIDs whatsoever. So pay attention to the users as well.
Not really- the user is still presented with headcodes as normal. The only thing giving away the use of UIDs is a lack of headcode suffixes.

Actually, yes - this is what I was saying. I meant that 1) the user can't see the UIDs of the trains, 2) the user can't see the UIDs of associated trains in activities if any, 3) the user can't query a timetable with a particular UID, even if that is a future working of something he has on his panel.

" said:
" said:
Moreover, any given train should probably not be in more than one AA rule (SimSig can't, as yet, solve sudoku, so it will have strange results).
I'm afraid that is inaccurate advice. I have been involved with a number of timetables where there are 3 or 4 different freight trains timetabled in a "Q" path only one of which will enter on any given day depending on the requirements of the traffic department. You can either set up a group of XOR rules and remember to work out the percentages for entry depending on where the TD is in the pecking order or set up a chain of "are alternative" rules. I now always use the latter course as it removes a statistical oddity which occurs when you use the XOR rules and also reduces the number of rules required. The "are alternative" rules are written in the form "Train A and Train B are alternatives", "Train B and Train C are alternatives", "Train C and Train D are alternatives" and "Train D and Train A are alternatives" so 4 rules rather than 6 using the XOR method.

postal, what you say is wrong. This chain of AA rules actually allows (in theory, and general understanding of the word "alternative"trains A&C to both enter, or B&D. In SimSig, it gets complicated due to statistical and algorithmic oddities. For an example, see the attached timetable with such chain. I ran it several times, the histogram of the cases I saw was this:

[code]1:
2: IIIIII
3: IIIII
4: IIIII
13:III
24:[/code]
As you can see, it gives very odd results, and certainly not what you meant (select one out of 4 uniformly at random).

Basically, when dealing with such a situation,

  • AA wildcard rules are your friends - they deliver uniform random sampling, easily. I understand they can't be always used though

  • AA for each pair will select you a single train, but not uniformly

  • engaging a train in more AA "groups" (groups = complete maximal subgraphs of AA rules) is playing with fire, the results can be very surprising

  • NotIf web of rules + adjusting percentages will give you uniform sampling, but only if there are no delays. With delays, uniformity is lost. Still, you'll get a single train, always



In other words, there is no free lunch

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Unique IDs questions 19/02/2015 at 00:06 #69328
Finger
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" said:
" said:
Wasn't it your 1985 timetable that was being tested lately, where almost nothing worked (the basics)? If yes, please refrain to give advice about timetabling - first make your timetable perfect, then try to understand how SimSig treats it, then give advice.
Strange - I thought the point of testing was to find out what doesn't work and fix it before release. ...

I disagree - as I understand it, the point of testing is to find out errors which haven't been obvious earlier. Particularly, I really didn't expect errors which would show up after a single click on Analyze button, such as missing timetables for divided engines. That's why you have multiple "levels" of tests - smoke tests, functionality tests, stress tests, integration tests etc., each complementing the previous level.

" said:
The reason for using UIDs is actually to make it easier for the end user. Before if you interposed the wrong suffix the wrong tt would be displayed and this goes to help ease this issue. Also the end user can see UIDs (if they really want or need to) as both in f4 the train list and rules list can be set up to be listed in UID order, and by clicking on an activity within a train timetable the UID is also displayed

There is a misunderstanding - by client, I meant client in MP games, ie. the one who doesn't have any F4 functionality.

Also, if you interposed the wrong suffix, you would still get the correct timetable if its 4-letter headcode was unique on-screen.
If you happened to have more trains with the same 4-letter headcode, but different suffix, you'd get correct timetables if they were interposed correctly - with UIDs you'll never see one of the timetables.
If no trains with a given headcode were present, you'd get any of the trains with different suffixes by writing their headcode with a suffix in a sticky, so you could see what happens next etc. - with UIDs, you'll only see one of the timetables sharing the same headcode, and this isn't even the next one running.

So in two cases, using UIDs makes some things impossible, while the third case just stays the same. Not an improvement by my standards.

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Unique IDs questions 19/02/2015 at 00:07 #69329
postal
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" said:
For an example, see the attached timetable with such chain.
It would be helpful if you could identify which sim should be used to run your timetable. Until then all we have is one reported set of results which may or may not be replicated when someone else uses the same source data.

“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
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