Path

Paths and nodes are space markup elements that define the locations of agents in the space:

Nodes can be connected with paths. Altogether they compose a network. In the network, node defines a place where agents may stay, while paths connecting nodes define the routes that agents may take when moving from one node to another. Movement always is done along the shortest path between the origin and the destination nodes. Agents and resource units may have individual speeds, moreover, those speeds may change dynamically. For example, you can set different speed for loaded and unloaded forklift truck. It is assumed that segments have unlimited capacity, so agents moving along a segment do not interfere. 

You can select a path as Agent location in the following Process Modeling Library objects's properties: Delay, Queue, Match, Combine, Seize, Service, Conveyor, Batch, RackStore.

Drawing a path

Path may contain any number of linear and/or curved segments.  

 To draw a path

  1. Double-click the  Path element in the  Space Markup palette.
  2. The icon of the element should turn into . It means that the drawing mode is activated and now you can draw path in the graphical editor point by point.
  3. Click in the graphical editor to draw the first point of the path. Do more clicks to add more points.
  4. To draw a curved segment, press the left mouse button at the path's next turning point, move the mouse with the left mouse button being pressed until you get the segment of the required shape. Release the mouse button when finished adjusting the form of the path segment.

  5. Finally put the final point of the path with the double-click.

You can continue drawing the path after you finished it with the double-click, and edit the path by making segments linear or curved.

To add a segment to the path

  1. Right-click the path you have drawn and select Append line from the context menu. You can append a line to any end point of the path by clicking this point.

  2. You are now in the drawing mode again. You can add as many new segments as you need, both linear and curved. 
  3. Put the final point of the path with the double-click.

You can change a linear line to curved and vice versa as well as edit the curve shape anytime.

To change a curved segment into linear
  1. Click a path in the graphical editor to select it. 
  2. Press Ctrl button on your keyboard and hold it. At the same time drag end point of the curved segment.
  3. Release the buttons when the segment has the required shape.

To change a linear segment into curved
  1.  Right-click the path and select Edit Using Guiding Lines from the context menu. The guiding lines will appear for editing points. Left-click an editing line point and drag it around without releasing the left mouse button.

     

  2. Right-click the path and deselect Edit Using Guiding Lines from the context menu to switch off this editing mode.

Several paths can be connected together, with or without the use of nodes. You can disconnect the paths too.

To connect two or more paths into one path

  1. When you connect two paths at their end points, they become one path. In the example below, the option Append Line was used to connect path to path1.

  2. The connecting point where the two paths merge is highlighted with the cyan color. Two shapes have now become one element, path. The former segments of path1 have inherited the name and the direction.

  3. As long as you connect the paths by their edge segments, they will merge into one path.

To connect two or more paths with a point node

  1. You can connect paths using a point node if you draw a segment that connects anywhere to the path and not to its end point. In the example below, the element path was connected to path1 in the middle. Multiple paths can be connected with each other this way.


  2. The point node will appear itself in the place of connection. It is highlighted in the cyan color. Now you have created network with several paths in it. In the example below, the point node breaks the path into parts, path and path2 while path1 does not merge with path, but remains a separate path.

    You can connect in one point node as many paths as you need.
  3. The first click selects all elements of this network, make one more click to select the point node. Right-click the point node in the graphical editor and select Create node from the context menu to create the Point node element in the point of connection. If you right-click the point node and select Delete from the context menu, the paths will be connected graphically, but they will not be a network anymore.

You can split the paths that are connected at the point node or split one whole path into several paths by segments.

To disconnect the paths or segments

  1. Right-click the path in the graphical editor and select the option Split into Two Shapes from the context menu. 
  2. When the editing points are highlighted, click an editing point where you want to break the path, either you want to disconnect the path from the point node or separate a segment. The path will be split to two separate paths. Moreover, the next click that point will allow you to edit the segment as it is the end point of the path now.

Properties

General

Name – The name of the path. The name is used to identify and access the path from code and flowchart blocks properties.

Ignore – If selected, the path is excluded from the model.

Visible on upper level – If selected, the path is also visible on the upper level where this agent lives.

Lock – If selected, the path is locked. Locked shapes do not react to mouse clicks - it is impossible to select them in the graphical editor until you unlock them. 

Visible – Here you specify whether the shape is visible on animation at model runtime, or not. Using the control, choose yes or no

Bidirectional - Here you can enable movement on the path in both directions.

Appearance

Type – The type of the path. Choose between Dashed line, Line, Road, Railroad or Conveyor.

Road

Railroad

Conveyor

Note that by setting Type to Road, Railroad or Conveyor you only change the visual appearance of the path. It does not add any specifics to the path logic. Typically you use such paths in the models with high abstraction level only.
    For road traffic simulation, use Road Traffic Library and road traffic markup shapes (road, intersection, etc.).
    For low-level railway simulation (considering every single railway track of the simulated rail yard), use Rail Library and rail markup shapes.
    For bulk transportation simulation, use Fluid Library and Bulk conveyor belt markup shape.

Line color – The path color if the type is Dashed line or Line.

Line width – The width of the path if the type is Dashed line or Line.

Width – The width of the path when its type is set to Road, Railroad or Conveyor.

Position

X – X-coordinate of the path's start point.

Y – Y-coordinate of the path's start point.

Z – [Enabled if Show in: 2D and 3D or 3D only options are selected] Z-coordinate of the path's start point. 

Points

The table located in the Points property section enables users to view and adjust coordinates of the path turning points.  

Here you define relative coordinates, not the absolute ones. The first point always has coordinates (0, 0, 0) that can not be changed.
Other rows of the table define relative coordinates of the successive points. Coordinates of each point are actually offsets of the corresponding point from the start point along X, Y (and optionally Z) axes correspondingly.

Advanced

Show in - Here you can choose whether you want the shape to be shown both in 2D and 3D animation, or in 2D only, or in 3D only.

Show name – If selected, the path's name is displayed on the graphical diagram.

Movement direction

Each path has a direction - the first point you draw is treated as the starting point of the path.

When a path animates some Process Modeling Library object (Queue, Conveyor, etc.), it is important where you place the starting point of the path as:

To know the direction of the path, select it in the graphical diagram by a mouse click. The path's starting point will be indicated with a little point inside its marker:

 To change the direction of the path

  1. Right-click the path in the graphical diagram and choose Change Direction from the context menu. You will see that the arrows changed their directions.