When running a parameter variation experiment, that is, simulating over several iterations and replicates using parallelization, we usually need to collect a huge amount of data and have them in a format that we process using Python or R.

The best way to do this in Anylogic is by using a database and then export, read, or connect to the database to process simulation results. We can do that using Anylogic.

Every time an experiment finishes, we can export the data (from a database) to an Excel file manually. The issue with Excel files is, on the one hand, they are Excel files, and on the other, they are not suitable for big data (more than 1 million rows). We can create a function to save all the simulation tables into an Excel file as our experiment finishes. However, we will still have the limit-of-rows limitation (check the Anylogic file linked below for a function to export Excel files).

Here I follow a different approach by exporting an Anylogic database table to a CSV file within Java. The general setup using Anylogic PLE 8.6 would be:

  • Create the databases you need for your experiment, and be sure you add the columns iteration and replicate.
  • Create a function to save the data of your simulation runs (e.g., agent’s status, age, etc.)
  • Define a parameter variation experiment.
  • Define a variable to specify where to save the data (i.e., path).
  • Write code in the experiment Java Actions section so that to save data every time you run an experiment.
  • Import functions in the advanced Java section of the experiment.

Databases

I define two tables (data1 and data2). Each agent saves its data at a given rate. After 5 years, the simulation will finish.

insertInto(data1)
    .columns(data1.iteration, data1.replicate, data1.id, data1.dtime, data1.drandom)
    .values(main.v_iteration, main.v_replicate, this.getIndex(), time(), normal(1.0))
    .execute();

insertInto(data2)
    .columns(data2.iteration, data2.replicate, data2.id, data2.dtime, data2.drandom)
    .values(main.v_iteration, main.v_replicate, this.getIndex(), time(), normal(0.3))
    .execute();

if (time() > 5) {
    finishSimulation();
}

The tables include a column with the experiment iteration and replicate, in addition to the agent’s index, time, and a random value from a normal distribution.

From DB to CSV

The key function to export the data to a CSV file is f_SQLToCSV. It uses two arguments, a SQL query (query) and the path to an output file (filename). For instance, we can write:

f_SQLToCSV("select * from data1", "output/data1")

You can use any query for your data, giving you a lot of flexibility on what to export to a CSV file. The f_SQLToCSV method is:

ResultSet rs = selectResultSet(query);
try {
    File file = new File(filename + ".csv");
    file.getParentFile().mkdirs();
    FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file);
    int cols = rs.getMetaData().getColumnCount();
    for(int i = 1; i <= cols; i ++){
        fw.append(rs.getMetaData().getColumnLabel(i).toLowerCase());
        if(i < cols) fw.append(';');
        else fw.append('\n');
    }
    while (rs.next()) {
        for(int i = 1; i <= cols; i ++){
            fw.append(rs.getString(i));
            if(i < cols) fw.append(';');
        }
        fw.append('\n');
     }
     fw.flush();
     fw.close();
} catch (Exception e) {
    getEngine().pause();
    traceln("--> An Exception happened, continue? ...");
    e.printStackTrace();
}

The next step would be to create an experiment and complete the Java actions accordingly. First, we clear our tables.

// inital experiment setup
deleteFrom(data1).execute();
deleteFrom(data2).execute();

Then, we collect information on the iteration and replicate of the simulation run:

// before simulation run
root.v_iteration = getCurrentIteration();
root.v_replicate = getCurrentReplication();

Finally, at the end of the experiment, we save the data and clear the tables again:

// after experiment
f_exportTables(v_path);
deleteFrom(data1).execute();
deleteFrom(data1).execute();

The method f_exportTables is just a function that goes through each table and export them to a CSV file. v_tables is string array with the name of the tables I want to export {"data1", "data2"}:

ArrayList<String> tables = new ArrayList<String>();
for(String tab : v_tables) {
   tables.add(tab);
}
for (String t : tables) {
    f_SQLToCSV("select * from " + t, path + t);
}

Remember to import some functions in the imports section:

// imports section
import java.io.BufferedWriter;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileWriter;
import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.FileReader;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.text.*;

From there, we can create additional functions to select the tables to be exported. For more details, download the Anylogic File here.