If your answers are Yes, you need: @RiskAccelerator
@RISK and @RISKAccelerator
@RISK is an advanced risk analysis tool which adds directly in to Microsoft Excel. @RISK performs risk analysis on your spreadsheet using Monte Carlo simulation techniques. You simply replace uncertain values in your existing spreadsheet with @RISK probability distribution functions that represent a range of possible values. Then, select your output cells - the bottom-line cells whose values you are interested in - and simulate. @RISK recalculates your spreadsheet hundreds or thousands of times, each time sampling random values from the @RISK functions you entered, and recording your outputs. @RISK gives you distributions of possible outcomes, including the probabilities that they will occur. This not only tells you what could happen in a risky situation, but helps you discover the crucial scenarios to encourage or avoid.
@RISK's Monte Carlo simulation is used extensively across a wide variety of industries for analyzing and generating results for models affected by uncertainty. However, some of these models can be complex and involved. Some models include hundreds or thousands of uncertain factors. The impacts of all of these factors are combined in a single simulation to generate results. This can be time-consuming. For example, in the securities industry, the risk and return of portfolios comprised of thousands of different securities - each with a different possible future price path - are often calculated using Monte Carlo simulation. This is a lengthy simulation that is re-run as market conditions, current prices, and portfolio components change.
That's where @RISKAccelerator comes in. @RISKAccelerator is designed to handle large, time-consuming @RISK simulations quickly and efficiently by maximizing the use of available hardware. By using @RISKAccelerator in conjunction with @RISK for Excel, large models such as the portfolio example above can be run in a timely fashion, generating the critical information needed for real-time decision making!
How @RISKAccelerator Works
@RISKAccelerator uses the technique of "parallel processing" for speeding up simulations. With parallel processing, multiple processors work on the same job simultaneously or "in parallel." The @RISKAccelerator software uses the multiple CPUs found in a single machine or over a network to dramatically increase the speed of @RISK simulations. @RISKAccelerator "splits up" a single @RISK simulation and sends it out to available computers and CPUs. Each computer runs its portion of the simulation concurrently with the others, sending results back as they are completed. When the entire simulation is completed, all results are merged back together and the results are displayed just as they are in a standard single-processor version of @RISK. All this happens transparent to the user, with all routing and scheduling handled by @RISKAccelerator.
With @RISKAccelerator, the speed of a typical simulation increases almost linearly with the number of equivalent CPUs used. For example, if 8 CPUs are used for a single simulation, the simulation will run nearly 8 times faster than it currently does in an existing copy of @RISK for Excel on a single CPU PC.
Users Will See Incredible Speed Increases
Large models with long recalculation times will especially benefit from @RISKAccelerator's speedup. By "scaling" @RISKAccelerator up to 10, 20, 50 CPUs or more, users will see an incredible speedup in simulations. Although actual speed increases will vary depending on the model type and computer, network and server configurations, all @RISKAccelerator users will experience a marked decrease in simulation runtimes, allowing more complex simulations to be run more quickly and more often.
Flexible and Easy to Use
There are no restrictions to the type of model that can be used with @RISKAccelerator. Any valid @RISK for Excel model can be used with no changes or extra setup required. No hardware modifications are required for computers on the network or server utilized in the simulation.
A variety of hardware configurations can be used for running @RISKAccelerator. The computers connected across a LAN can be utilized in a single @RISKAccelerator simulation, or a single simulation can be run on a server with multiple computers and CPUs. A desktop computer with multiple CPUs, a new and increasingly popular PC type for users with time-intensive, "number crunching" applications, is also an excellent platform for @RISK - @RISKAccelerator simulations. These PCs are available now with two or four CPUs in a single box, with eight CPUs and more coming in the near future.
Using @RISKAccelerator is as simple as using @RISK. Just start @RISK for Excel as you would when running the standard single-processor version of @RISK. This starts @RISK, Excel, and @RISKAccelerator. After loading your @RISK model, click the Simulate icon to start a simulation. Then, @RISKAccelerator takes over.
During the simulation, an @RISKAccelerator monitor window appears showing the status of the available CPUs in real time. This enables you to see how many iterations of your simulation have been run on each CPU, and lets you watch as @RISKAccelerator "delegates" the simulation to various CPUs as they become available.