DCR Simulator is part of the DCR Designer suite offering different ways to edit and test the DCR Process Model. The purpose of DCR Simulator is to be able to verify that the process model does as you expect.
DCR Simulator is designed for collaborative simulation among co-wokers, either from within the portal or using your smartphone from the https://sim.dcrgraphs.net.
Introduction to basic usage of DCR Simulator
Using the expense report example we will walk you through how you can use the simulator to test the process model.
You start the simulator from DCR Whiteboard by clicking the blue Simulate button in the top:
This will open the Start Simulation window:
Here you can select co-workers as well as the Agresssive and Lazy user to participate in your simulation. You can also ask your co-workers to join the simulation using the pin. Read more about collaborative simulation below.For now we will just simulate as one person.
Click the blue Start Simulation button and the DCR Simulator window will be shown:
- Tasks – shows the enabled or pending tasks in the process, grouped by role. Tasks can be executed by clicking the blue Execute button
- Time – shows the current simulation time and enables the user to advance time
- Simulation log – shows the history of the simulation as well as the state of the simulation. The blue color indicates that the process is not accepting, i.e. there are pending tasks that must be completed.
- Phases – shows the current phase of the process
- DCR AI Guide – shows recommendation based on the select AI algorithm
- Swimlane – shows the cost of history of the simulation as a swimlane
- Simulation users – the list of the users participating in the simulation. Not shown above is this is a single user simulation.
The time and simulation users are can be hidden by clicking on the arrow icon:
It is possible to turn these elements on and off as described below.
When the user click Execute on the Fill out Expense Report task the simulation is updated:
Notice the various changes:
- The tasks area now shows more tasks than before. As the Fill out expense report has been executed a green checkmark is shown and the border and background of the task is green
- Simulation log shows the the fill out expense report task has been executed
- The phase is changed from New to Awaiting
- DCR AI Guide shows that the next step is approve with 93% probability. Also note that the approve task in the task area has a yellow border indicating this is probably the next task. Please refer to DCR AI Guide for more information about how to use AI algorithm to assist the user.
- Time is unchanged
- In the bottom of the page you see the first step of a swimlane and notice that the cost is updated to 5.
Let’s then try to execute the Approve task.
Again – several changes happens in the simulator:
- The task list is updated
- Simulation log shows the history
- The Swimlane is updated showing two steps
- DCR AI Guide shows that the probably next step is Payout with 99% probability
As the final step we choose to pay out the expense report.
Notice the changes:
- Notice simulation log has changed it text from blue to green writing Proess Completed. This indicates that there are no more pending activities in the process
- The phase is changed to Completed
- The swimlane now show all three steps as well as an end point indicating the process is accepting
If you execute a form activity the log will show both the form execution but you can click details to view the content of the form as illustrated below:
You can now end the simulation by clicking the red Exit button in te top menu.
Clicking the blue Discard and Exit button will exit DCR Simulator and take you back into DCR Whiteboard.
You can also choose to save the simulation as a scenario by clicking Save and Exit button as explained in more details below.
Render the process model
At any point during simulation you can choose to render the process model as outlined below:
Here you see DCR Whiteboard on the left and DCR Simulator inside the options panel on the right.
Note the green border on the enabled activities.
Simulation with time
DCR process models supports deadlines and delays which can be simulated. Rather than having to way one week to see what hapens if the deadline requirements of 7 days from filing an exense report to getting the money paid out, the user can manipulate time manually.
Again – let’s start the simulation as before and let’s fill out the expense report.
Notice the Time web part in the upper left corner.
We can see the next deadline which is 2:20pm. This is the same time as shown on the task Payout on the right in the task when part.
Let us now assume that the manager is on vacation and nother happens for 8 days. In the Time area we can advance time 1, 3 or 7 days using the quick advance time buttons. We can also choose a specific date time using the date time picker above.
When we click 7d we get thie updated time.
Also notice that the Simulatin Log is updated:
If we now clcik >> 1d the system shows the following warning:
We click OK to continue:
Notice that the pay out task in the task area is now red indicating that a deadline was missed.
Simulation log also shows advance time as well as a warning that a deadline was missed:
Now the manager can approve, a day can pass and then the finance department can pay out the expense. Notice the swimlane:
Time was advanced 7+1 days.
We now Exit the simulation but this time we choose to save the simulation as a Scenario.
Saving a simulation as a scenario requires you to choose the type of the scenario as either Required, Optional and Forbidden. Please read more about scenarios on this page.
You can simulate with yourself or with other users that are online in the portal, or can access the SimIT web page from their browser (no login required).
As before let us start DCR Simulator but this time we will await an external user participating in the simulation from his smartphone.
In the browser on the smartphone we enter the address https.//sim.dcrgraphs.net (and yet – we are trying to get a shorter URL). and enters the PIN 7350 as found above.
It is also possible to make simulations public that can be shared as a link.
This brings us to the SimIT registration page. We register with the name “Mortens manager” and choose the role Manager:
Then we click the green Continue button.
In the main DCR Simulator window we notice that a user joins the simulation:
We now click Start Simulator as before.
We notice the change to Simulation Users that now shows two users.
On the smartphone Mortens Manager current does not have any tasks available:
We then Execute Fill out expense report as before in the main window.
This updated the view on the smartphone as outlined below:
The manager choose to approve the task by clicking the Execute button.
In the main window we can now see that Mortens Manager has approved the task and the task list is updated.
Start simulation – advanced panel
When you start a simulation you can choose which elements you wish to see in the simulation. Choose the advanced panel as outlined below:
You can turn off the different elements as explained below:
- Time – show/hide the time area in DCR Simulator
- Simulation Log – show/hide simulation log in DCR Simulator
- Swimlanes – show/hide swimlanes and costs in DCR Simulator
- Phases – show/hide phases in DCR Simulator
- Simulation Users – show/hide simulation users in DCR Simulator
- DCR AI Guide – show/hide DCR AI Guide in DCR Simulator. The Highlight will give the next recommend tasks an orange border.
If you deselect all elements the simulator will only show the task list.
Simplicity is sometimes preferred when discussing process models with end users. Hiding elements of DCR Simulator can make it easier to focus on what is important.