Selecting Variables/Parameters Options

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Type Name Box

Through this box you can access all of the variables and parameters in IFs for display. There are some organizing principles; some variables that are grouped around common display items are labeled similarly. For example, population measures are labeled POP. Finally, variables are distinguished from parameters by their abbreviated label being typed in capital letters while parameters are represented in lower case letters. If you are unable to find the variable or parameter that you are looking for, you may want to open the Variable Search option.

When you have found what you are looking for, click on it. You will then be asked to narrow your display choices. You may be asked to choose a country/region, group or Glist. Additionally, other variables or parameters can be displayed more narrowly or broadly depending on your interests. For example, if you choose Agriculture Demand (AGDEM), you will have to select a country/region, group or Glist and then whether you would like agricultural demand for Crops, Meat or All to be displayed. After making your selection, your variable/parameter will be displayed in the Status Box for Display.

You can use the Type Name Box in two ways:

Slider Bar use: Note that there is a "slider bar" on the right-hand side of the "Type Name" list box. The slider bar has an upward pointing arrow at its top and a downward pointing arrow at its bottom. Click with your mouse on the bottom arrow and see the list in the box move down by one variable name. Or click between the arrows to see it move down faster. Experiment. Keep clicking between the arrows until you see the variable name "POP" in the list box. Click on that name. Because population is a variable dimensioned across model countries/regions , a list of those countries/regions appears. Click on Mexico and see your selection of the variable POP for Mexico appears in the Status Box.

Input Line use: Now use your mouse to position the cursor inside the Input Line at the top of the list box (it is probably already there). Once the cursor is in the box you can simply type the letters "POP" and you will see the list move to that variable name as you type. Touch the "Enter" key on your keyboard and you will again be asked to select a country/region. This time select a different country/region. You should now see population for both selections in the "Status Box."

Files Available for Display Box

This box is located on the bottom left-hand side of the Full Variable/Parameter Selection. This box allows users to select different Run-Result-Files for display. Click on one of the files displayed in this box before you have selected the variable/parameter you would like displayed. In order to change the Run-Result-Files that are displayed in this box, select Scenario Output Files from the Self Managed Full Variable/Parameter Selection menu and then click on Attach More Scenario Output Files. Additionally, from Scenario Output Files, you can see a brief explanation of the numbering of different Run-Result-Files and also view a brief overview of scenario analysis.

Show a Subset of Names

This box is located on the bottom right-hand side of the Self Managed Full Variable/Parameter Selection screen. Clicking on one of these larger categories will display variables/parameters that fall into the category you have selected. Use this feature to narrow your variable/parameter selection down for easier searching.

Variable Search

Sometimes it is difficult to find your variable in the Type Name Box because it may be obscure, or you it may be labeled in a way that is unfamiliar to you. If you are having a hard time finding what you are looking for, the best option is to open the Variable Search feature. This will search through brief definitions of all of the variables and parameters used in IFs.

Selecting this option will bring up a new window. From this window you can accomplish the following:

Type Variable Name: In the top box, type in a variable name and click Search. This will bring up any variable/parameter that has your search term in its name/definition.

Load: After you have located a variable/parameter you would like to see displayed, click Load.

Continue: Click here if you would like to return to the previous menu.

Please click on the links below to access these topics:

Define; Block Diagram; Equations; Linkages

Scenario Output Files

This menu option of Self Managed Display Full Set of Variables/Parameters allows users to learn about and manage different scenarios and Run-Result-Files. Through this feature, you can take scenarios that you build in the Quick Scenario Tree and display different variables and parameters.

Explain File Numbering: Selecting this option brings up a new window that provides a brief explanation of Run-Result-Files.

Attach More Scenario Output Files: Most Run-Result-Files will be automatically found by IFs in the Runfiles sub directory of the IFs program directory. Occasionally, Run-Result-Files will have been saved in other locations. Selecting this option allows users to identify paths to additional directories of Run-Result-Files for display. This will open a new window that allows users to browse through their computer until they find the .run file they would like to display. Click the file you would like to display and then Open.

Explain Scenario Analysis: Selecting this option opens a new window that briefly explains scenario analysis.

Open IFs Base/Hist and Historic Variable Options

This is a crucial feature of the Full Variable/Parameter Selection screen. This allows users to work with empirical and forecasted variables most useful for historic validation.

Click on the Open IFsBaseHist to access this historic empirical data and the historic forecasts. It will take a moment to load all of the variables and parameters. When you have the variables loaded into the Display Box, you can begin looking at this historic data by clicking on Display. Some users find this feature helpful in creating large data sets that they can then export. When you are choosing a variable/parameter, choose World (in groups) or ALL (in country/region) as your geographic unit for display. This will load each country where data is available for the given parameter/variable into the Display Box. After clicking on Display and then Table, you can export this data to Excel.

Other users will find the ability to validate the model a useful aspect of the IFs Base/Hist. Users can compare forecasted variables against empirical variables from 1960-2000. This feature allows users to validate the model over different areas and different variables. Choose Select for Validation and begin comparing. The model can also be validated by choosing from History Variable Options. Choose Select from Forecasted Historic Variables and select a variable from the Type Name Box. Then, choose Select from Empirical Historic Variables and choose the same variable.

After the IFsBaseHistoric is opened, a new feature becomes available on the Self Managed Full Set of Variables/Parameters menu: Historic Variable Options. This includes the following:

*Note: When IFsBaseHist is opened, it will remain opened until users choose to re-open IFsBase.

Select from Forecasted Variables: This allows users to display variables that are forecasted from 1960-2000. The ability to forecast historic variables is helpful in the validation of the IFs model. It is possible to graphically display runs of the model against historic, empirical data. When this is selected, two run-files appear in the Files Available for Display box: 0 – Working File and 1 –

Select from Empirical Historical Variables: This allows users to display all empirical data that underpins the functioning of IFs. This data is taken from 1960-2000 where available and can be used to compare against forecasted historic data starting in 1960. When this option is selected, the run-file available in the Files Available for Display box changes to -1 History Data from IFS_HistSeries.MDB.

Select for Validation: This feature of IFs allows users to validate the efficacy of the model against empirical data starting in 1960. Selecting this option will open a dialogue box that asks you to choose a variable for validation. You will then be prompted to choose a forecasted variable for validation. After choosing two variables (make sure they you choose the same variable for historic and forecasted data), click on Display.

Open for Validation: Choosing this option allows users to open a validation file (.val) to use to assess the accuracy of the IFs model. After you have opened a file for validation, select Display, History and then Validation.