A Scenario as a Folder

To keep track of different scenarios that are generated, and their corresponding documentation, it is necessary to establish a protocol for handling the inputs and outputs for the range of scenarios you will be dealing with. We already discussed saving a scenario in the section called “Saving a Scenario”. When a scenario is saved, a separate folder is created for each scenario. The folder name will be the scenario name and will contain both inputs and outputs:

  1. Inputs - Scenario settings - These files allow you to save the exact 'state' of the model at that particular time. You can reload all or part of a scenario using these files:

    • Block availability - every block's status for the scenario

    • Target summary - target values for each period

    • Target status - status of weights and target values

    • Schedule - scenario allocation for the entire horizon

    • Route - routes used in conjunction with the schedule

    • Exclusives - product destinations for each product

  2. Outputs - Scenario reports - All reports defined in the PIN file, including default target reports are in this folder, such as HTML reports, GIF stacked bar charts, and CSV data files.

In Figure 69, “Scenarios Saved in Folders”, you will see three saved scenarios in the "analysis" folder. The C5_Aspatial1 scenario folder is expanded to show all the reports and scenario settings found within. The folders beginning with "detail" and the "maps" folder correspond to the folders found in the "Reports" tab in the main Patchworks window. These are reports defined in your PIN file or with the Report Wizard. The "scenario" and "targets" folders contain the scenario settings of that particular scenario. Clicking on the file "index.html" within the C5_Aspatial scenario folder will open up the index report in a web browser and will provide links to all the other reports in the folder.

Figure 69. Scenarios Saved in Folders

There are three scenarios in the "analysis" folder: C5_Aspatial1, C5_Null and C5_Spatial1. Within each of these scenarios, there are report folders and scenario settings, i.e. the scenario folder and the targets folder.

By using the "scenario way" in Patchworks, your project is practically self documenting; meta-data is stored with each scenario, scripts exist that give exact instructions to recreate the scenario (see Automating Patchworks), and another analyst could take over your work from where you left off if need be.

Systematially adjusting inputs and observing their impacts on the outputs is carried out through sensitivity analysis and structured analysis.