Simulation is a technique that probably has been used to solve problems since human race appeared on the plant. In the simplest case it is pretending. If you had a pretend friend as a child you were simulating a friend. How often have you heard: “Put yourself in their position?” Again it is suggested you simulate “their” position. In fact one might argue that a sociopath is someone who fails to perform that simulation, i.e. they can feel no empathy for someone else. For some situations simulation is absolutely necessary to learn. Flight simulators are used to train pilots, in some cases the only time a pilot might experience something is in the simulator. Some event are so rare or dangerous that pilots are generally only exposed to them in the simulator. Even if the event is rare passengers would like to believe that if the rare event occurs, the pilot knows how to handle the situation.

The best way to learn to use the simulation feature and for help please look at the Quick Start Manual (QuickStartGuide.pdf). The Help File is also is extensive and you can view it online.

Once you load FinPak a new menu and tool bar appears. For the most part the simulation process is menu driven but you must first build the Excel model you want to simulate. Several examples are included in the installation package (which are installed in the installation folder (default is C:\Program Files\FinPak). A good place to start is with the Dice Roll example (Dice.xls). You can follow that up The Simple Project example (Simple Project.xls and Simple Project Simulation). Also provided is a spreadsheet that shows how to set up typical distribution you may want to simulate (Example Distributions.xls and Custom Distributions.xls). There is one additional spreadsheet that explains the use of the Indirect Excel function:Indirectfunctionuse.xls. This function is used frequently in the simulation spreadsheet.

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Copyright 2009 Pieter A. Vandenberg All rights reserved.