Version 2 Tutorial

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Step 1: Download and Open an ST-Sim library

A library in ST-Sim is a database which contains model inputs and outputs associated with a particular landscape or group of landscapes each represented by a project. Typically a landscape is divided into multiple strata, each of which is assigned a pathway diagram. A suite of model inputs in ST-Sim is referred to as a scenario.

You can download a sample ST-Sim library (version 3.0) and use it for this tutorial.

To open an ST-Sim library:

  1. From the File menu, select Open Library:
    • Select the sample ST-Sim library you downloaded (navigate to the folder where you extracted the sample ST-Sim library from above - for example My Documents\My Syncrosim Files and select the file named ST-Sim-Sample.ssim);
    • click Open;

Step 2: Review model inputs

This sample ST-Sim library contains one project which contains a set of model definitions, along with model inputs and results associated with 4 different "what-if" scenarios.

  1. From the File menu, select Project Definitions and click on the various tabs to review the definitions associated with this project:
    • A set of 7 mutually exclusive ecological strata have been defined for this landscape.
    • A library of possible states and transitions have also been defined.
      Step2 1.jpg
    • When done, close the Project Definitions window.
  2. The Library Explorer window lists 1 project and 4 different scenarios, with each scenario consisting of a suite of model inputs. From the list of scenarios in the Library Explorer, right-click on the scenario labelled Current Management and select Open to view the details of this scenario in the Scenario Editor window.
    St-sim-project-explorer-scenario-properties.jpg
  3. Click on the Summary tab in the Scenario Editor window to see general information about the name and description of this scenario.
  4. Switch to the Run Control tab to see information about how the simulation will be run. The simulation will run for 20 timesteps (i.e. years), and will be repeated for 5 Monte Carlo iterations.
    St-sim-run-control2.JPG
  5. Switch to the Pathways tab; you will now see a set of box-and-arrow pathway diagrams representing the state-and-transition model for this scenario. Each ecological stratum in the landscape has a different pathway diagram; you can scroll through the diagrams by clicking on the stratum names at the bottom of the window.
    St-sim-transition-editor.JPG
  6. Right-click on any box in one of the diagrams and select Open to open the State Class Details and view the details of the deterministic and probabilistic transition pathways associated with that particular state class.
    Step2 6.jpg
  7. Click on the Initial Conditions tab to view the landscape area, the number of simulation cells, cell size and proportion of the total landscape in each stratum and state class at the start of the model run.
    St-sim-initial-conditions.JPG
    • Note that the initial conditions are typically derived from a land inventory. Like all model inputs, you can export initial conditions to an Excel file for editing. Right-click in the grid of initial condition values and select Export All. The resulting file can be edited in Excel and imported back into ST-Sim (right-click in the grid and select Import).
  8. Finally, click on the Advanced tab and Transition Targets node to view targets for the area to be treated according to various management actions for this scenario.
    Step2 8.jpg
  9. When you have finished reviewing your model inputs, close the Scenario Editor window for the Current Management scenario.

Step 3: Run the model

All of the scenarios in the sample database already have simulation results: the green checkmark beside each scenario name in the Library Explorer indicates that results exists for a scenario.

  1. To run a new scenario, first make a copy of an existing scenario. Right click on the Current Management scenario in the Library Explorer and select Copy, then right-click again and select Paste; you should now see a new scenario in the Library Explorer named Current Management - Copy
  2. From the Library Explorer, right-click on this new Current Management-Copy scenario, and select Run .
    Step3 2.jpg
  3. Click Yes to the Path prompt about saving the project; the run will start. When the run begins, a Task Monitor window opens that shows the progress of the run. This window also logs any errors that occur during the run, and provides information about them.
  4. When the run is complete, a Results Viewer portion of the library explorer window will list the results for the scenario that you have just run.
    Step3 4.jpg
  5. Close the Task Monitor; the next step in the tutorial begins with the Results Viewer portion of the Library Explorer window.

Step 4: View model results

You can generate graphs of your run results from the Charts tab of the Results Viewer in the Library Explorer. You can create line or bar graphs of state class area and transition area. You can also compare the results of different scenarios. Finally you can export run results to Excel.

  1. To compare the results of the scenario we just simulated to the results generated previously for one of the other management scenarios, return to the Library Explorer, right-click on the Double Current Budget scenario, and select Add to Results.
  2. Return to the Results Viewer portion of the Library Explorer. Notice that there are now 2 scenarios listed in the Results Viewer portion of this window.
  3. On the Charts tab of the Results Viewer, click on the State Class Area Chart, then click on the Open Selected Charts button which has an image of a bar chart on it. You should see a set of 6 line graphs. Each graph represents a time series of the predicted area in a particular state class over the 20 years of the simulation. The 2 different colored lines represent the 2 different scenarios: Current Management and Double Current Budget. The shaded area represents the minimum to maximum range across all five iterations. In this example the graphs highlight the predicted change in vegetation types as a result of doubling the current restoration budget: for example the panes on the right show a significant reduction in tree encroachment (i.e. state classes labelled Tr Enc) when the treatment budget is doubled.
    Step4 3.jpg