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Environmental Modeling Community of Practice

Virtual Beach Release Notes

Important Note: project and model files created using previous versions of Virtual Beach are not compatible with later releases. These files must be opened in the version of Virtual Beach used to create them.

Version: 3.0.6

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

Enhancements include:

  • Fixed a crash when opening a project that had been saved with a GBM or PLS model that involved referencing the threshold plot before it was drawn.
  • Added annotations to the GBM/PLS threshold plot and changed the plot so as to display the correct dependent variable in cases where it was not imported as the second column of the datasheet.
  • Made alterations to EnDDaT protocols on the prediction tab to facilitate communication with that data server.
  • Fixed an issue where VB3 would crash after importing data on the Prediction plugin if you then tried to import new data with an ID column of a different name.
  • VB3 now prompts the user to update the column mapping when importing data on the Prediction plugin if there was a pre-existing mapping that differs from the new data being imported.
  • Updated the splash screen to reflect VB’s new affiliation with the Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
  • Removed calculations that were failing in the math libraries when probability of exceedances were being calculated for fewer than 10 observations on the prediction tab.
  • Changed the polynomial transform Pearson r calculation reported in the transform table to match the r value reported on polynomial transform regression plot.
  • Changed the error message associated with importation of .xlsx files, and added an explanation of this error to the user’s manual.

Known Deficiencies

Importation of newer Excel files (.xlsx) may fail on some user’s systems.  If errors are encountered trying to import these files, users can try installing Office 2007 System Driver Data Connectivity Components via the AccessDatabaseEngine program:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=23734  Exit

Alternatively, users could save these files in Excel as either “.xls” or comma/tab delimited text files prior to importation into VB.

Version: 3.0.4

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

Enhancements include:

  • Fixed bugs in the MLR Cross Validation routines that could lead to errors.
  • The splash screen, with version information, will now launch from the "File" dropdown menu item "About."
  • Removed the help system and automated access to the user's manual.
  • New statistical libraries and methodologies implemented to optimize MLR and GBM performance.
  • Non-functional base maps (Yahoo, Google, ESRI) removed from the map UI on the “Location” tab.
  • Non-functional "Go to Place" button removed from the map UI on the “Location” tab.
  • Non-functional "Show Station Locations" button removed from the map UI on the “Location” tab.
  • Fixed an issue where non-alphanumeric characters were removed from variable names in the "influence" list on the GBM tab, which prevented use of the "Drop Variable(s)" button.
  • Fixed an issue where variables were not properly ranked by declining influence in the GBM results window.
  • Fixed a problem where re-opening a project saved with a PLS or GBM model removed data from the MLR plugin.
  • Corrected a problem when importing EnDDaT rainfall data from EnDDaT by date.
  • Corrected spelling error on Prediction tab button.
  • Added Anderson-Darling p-value to "view plots" window of transformation table from datasheet.
  • Corrected an error in the calculation of the Anderson-Darling test statistic assessing the normality of independent variables.
  • Corrected an error induced by running transformations when the datasheet had a column identical to the current response variable.
  • Added random seed control to GBM and PLS tabs.
  • Corrected plot anchoring on the GBM and PLS Diagnostics tab.

Version: 3.0

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

Enhancements include:

  • Software architecture built upon the DotSpatial framework
  • Re-designed user interface
  • Additional option to calculate the difference of various columns on the datasheet
  • New analytical techniques added:  Partial Least Squares (PLS) and a Gradient Boosting Machine (GBM)
  • Direct interaction with the USGS’s EnDDaT data acquisition system
  • Saved project files contain any modeling results that were produced
  • Saved project files have extension “.vb3p” and saved model files have extension “.vb3m”

Version: 2.4.3

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

Enhancements include:

  • Cleaned up the map user interface
  • Removed the map type choices (as in VB3)
  • Disabled station functionality
  • Corrected probability of exceedance calculations for both fitted values and predictions
  • Incorporation of “Residual” analysis form into the main “Modeling” form
  • Imposes the VIF filter when a single regression model is evaluated
  • Multiple minor cosmetic changes to the user interface
  • Fixed plotting in prediction

Version: 2.3

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

  • Enhancements include:
    • Corrected probability of exceedance calculations for predictions by using RMSE of the prediction; earlier calculations were using RMSE for fitted values.
    • Corrected bug that produced incorrect model error types and incorrect points on prediction plot that arose when input IV IDs did not match input Observation IDs in grid row order.
    • Eliminated bug that changed the transform definition of the response variable when saving models' decision and regulatory threshold transform information.
    • Added option to calculate prediction error types based on a user supplied probability threshold.
    • Corrected bug in modeling and residuals that was using the top best-fit model's RMSE regardless of actual model selected.
    • Correct bug that used incorrect independent variable counts in calculating residual thresholds values.
    • Added multiple row select enable/disable capability in data processing.
    • Added unary value column disable and filter in data processing; such data is no longer passed to model building.
    • Corrected bug in data processing that showed incorrect column/row counts that occurred when re-importing data.

Version: 2.2

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

  • Since its initial public release VB has undergone a continuous series of enhancements including:
    • Project and model management for saving/opening datasets and models
    • Data processing:
      • wave, current and wind decomposition into along and on-shore components
      • user controls for generating manipulates of imported variables (sums, maxs, mins, means, products)
      • new variable transforms (user-defined exponential, quad-root)
      • new plotting routines for ascertaining data outliers and distributions
      • enhanced control mechanisms for transforming/selecting the response variable
    • Model building and evaluation:
      • bug fixes in model evaluation criterion (PRESS statistic)
      • a correction in the genetic algorithm that favored models with a larger number of parameters
      • a new cross validation component for assessing the predictive capacity of models
      • generation of ROC curves for best-fit models
    • A residual analysis component for refining regression models and removing outliers
    • A new prediction component interface:
      • prediction exceedance probability and model error plots and tables
      • model error plots and tables
      • automatic mapping of model variables to variable names in imported data

Version: 2.0

Corrections & Improvements to Prior Versions

  • First released through CEAM in September 2010.
  • For a list of enhancements relative to Virtual Beach v1.0 see the Model History table on the main page.