In pSeven you create workflows to solve tasks, selecting components called blocks from a built-in library and adding links between them to set up the data flow. Blocks are highly configurable, and workflows provide an intuitive way of creating advanced data flow structures — such as cycles, conditional and parallel regions, and more — so even complex integration, modeling, and optimization tasks can be solved without writing a mass of code.
pSeven allows you to integrate third-party CAD and CAE tools in workflows that automate design processes, making them more efficient and saving engineering time. pSeven also provides its own algorithmic toolkit, so you can use it to:
- solve many kinds of optimization problems: single- and multi-objective, constrained and unconstrained, stochastic and mixed-integer problems,
- generate designs of experiments with classical and advanced methods, including adaptive design,
- train approximation models — in particular, using training data samples of variable fidelity, or by automatically sampling a product model,
- perform sensitivity analysis, apply dimension reduction to high-dimensional problems, analyze previously collected data, and more.
pSeven aims to support established design practices, not to replace them. It can be utilized solely as an integration and automation platform for the engineering toolset you currently use, without making transition to its built-in algorithms.
By default the pSeven installer creates a shortcut to pSeven on your desktop.
This shortcut is also added to the system menu upon installation.
- In Windows: Start and type
psevento search for the shortcut.
. You can also click
- In Linux the location of shortcuts depends on your desktop environment. For example, in Ubuntu GNOME see
psevenin the Dashboard; in KDE, see .
, or search for
If your system is protected by a firewall, you may be required to allow connection to the pSeven license server on the first launch. See FAQ: Do antiviruses, firewalls, network or proxy settings affect pSeven? for information on why this is required and other details.
For more details on pSeven shortcuts and other changes to system made by the installer, you can also see the Installation page.
When you launch pSeven for the first time, it installs examples in the workspace directory (see Examples). The workspace is a directory named
pSeven located inside your documents directory. You can find the exact path to it after launching pSeven — see the Filesystem pane in Workspace.
- pSeven Runner
- Special version of the pSeven environment that is intended to run existing workflows and does not require a full pSeven license.
pSeven uses separate screens for different tasks such as managing projects and files, editing workflows, running them and post-processing workflow results:
- Workspace, where you can manage projects and their contents — add workflows, data files and such. This screen opens by default when you start pSeven.
- Edit, where you can create and configure workflows. This screen is available only after you open a project.
- Run, where you can review workflows, make quick changes to their settings, run them and see main results. Like Edit, Run is available only after you open a project.
- Analyze, where you can study detailed information obtained from workflow runs and post-process these results. This screen is also available only after opening a project.
Certain actions automatically switch the screen view. For example, selecting Edit, and selecting switches to Analyze.switches to
Each screen has its own layout detailed further. Common interface elements available on all screens are gathered in the left sidebar:
- The main menu 1 provides access to general commands.
- The screen selector 2 switches between screens.
- The Issues button 3 toggles the eponymous Issues pane which shows validation warnings and errors. Its functionality depends on the selected screen — for example, in Edit pSeven validates block and link configuration, while in Analyze it can inform you about missing data, errors in plots, and so on.
- The Console button 4 toggles the built-in pSeven console which shows detailed logs and can also be used as an interactive command-line interface.
Note also that many toolbars in pSeven provide a context menu . This menu always contains a full set of commands, including those that are used less frequently than the commands directly available from the toolbar.
The Workspace screen opens by default when you start pSeven.
This screen contains:
- The Filesystem pane 1 — a simple file browser.
- The Project pane 2 — shows contents of the current project.
- The Welcome tab 3 — the main starting screen.
- The Project description tab 4 — active if the project is opened, shows its description.
- Create project, workflow, report shortcuts 5.
- Open project shortcut 6 and the list of recent projects 7.
- Shortcuts to pSeven documentation and guides 8.
- pSeven examples shortcut 9.
- Tutorial Project
- Provides an example of creating a project and managing files in Workspace.
The Edit screen becomes available when you open a project. When you open a workflow from Workspace, pSeven switches to Edit automatically. Note also that if you open a project you have earlier worked on, pSeven remembers which workflows were open in the previous session, and automatically reopens them in Edit when you load the project.
The Edit screen contains:
- The Block library pane 1 — pSeven component library.
- The tab bar 2. You can open and edit multiple workflows, switching between their tabs. You can also add, open and save workflows using the buttons in the tab bar.
- The edit toolbar 3.
- The view toolbar 4.
- The information panel 5.
- Workflow breadcrumbs 6. The context button in breadcrumbs opens Workflow tree 7 (structural overview).
- The main edit area 8 showing workflow structure — blocks and links.
Blocks are added to the workflow from the Block library pane. To place a block, drag and drop it into the edit area or double-click its name in Block library.
To configure a block, select it in the workflow and click on the edit toolbar, or just double-click the block to open its configuration dialog. To connect blocks, drag a link from source to target or select Links from the context menu on the edit toolbar.
When you have a block or link selected, the information panel shows useful details such as a summary of the block’s configuration.
The view toolbar can be used to zoom the workflow, toggle annotations and automatically layout blocks and links.
The breadcrumbs and Workflow tree help to navigate complex workflows with hierarchical structure (see further).
Lastly, the togglable Issues pane in Edit shows workflow validation messages. pSeven automatically validates the workflow while you edit and can warn you about block misconfiguration, missing links, and other potential problems.
- Simple Workflow tutorial
- Provides a basic example of workflow editing and block configuration.
The main area in Edit shows base workflow structure.
Main elements of a workflow are blocks 1 and links 2. Blocks have named inputs and outputs called ports; links create port connections. Hovering a block or link shows a tooltip 3 with its details. Double-clicking blocks and links opens their properties.
Optionally, a workflow can also contain text annotations 4. Clicking on the edit toolbar adds a new empty annotation; double-clicking an annotation begins editing text.To finish editing, click anywhere outside the text box.
There is one special block type in pSeven, Composite, which may be understood as a “sub-workflow” container.
You can view its contents by clicking the icon “View nested blocks” 1 which appears when you hover a block. To return to the above level, use workflow breadcrumbs 2 or the workflow tree.
Composite blocks provide several advanced functions — in particular, they allow to define parallel and cached workflow regions and to create your own custom components (for more details, see section Workflow).
Another important part of a workflow is the workflow configuration, which is opened by clicking on the edit toolbar. First of all, you can use it to set up port monitoring — the main method to collect data from a workflow for analysis. Workflow configuration also allows to customize the workflow’s interface in Run and to add some advanced settings, such as global parameters.
Likewise Edit, the Run screen becomes available when you open a project. In Run you can specify workflow inputs and parameter values, adjust monitoring settings, start (and stop) workflows, read run logs, and see some results.
The Run screen contains:
- The tab bar 1 showing all open workflows.
- The run toolbar 2.
- The view toolbar 3 (the same as in Edit).
- Workflow structure overview 4.
- The Inputs pane 5.
- The Outputs pane 6.
- The Parameters pane 7.
- The Monitoring pane 8.
- The Run log tab 9.
- The Statistics tab 10.
In the Run screen, you cannot edit the workflow directly, but you can double-click any of the blocks to open the block’s configuration dialog (when you do this, pSeven automatically switches to Edit). You can also open the workflow configuration from the run toolbar to make changes in settings. Note that these functions become disabled while a workflow is running.
The Inputs pane shows top-level workflow inputs, if they were added in the workflow configuration. You can specify input values here (double-click or use to edit). The Outputs pane, similarly, shows top-level workflow outputs, if any. Output values are shown here after you run the workflow; this is useful for simple results, while a full-featured data analysis is available in Analyze. The Parameters pane shows block ports and options, which you selected as parameters in workflow configuration.
While setting up a run, you can copy and paste values in the Inputs, Outputs, and Parameters panes. For example, you can copy workflow outputs to another workflow’s inputs, or copy parameters from an Excel document, a text file, or a Sample viewer in Analyze.
- To copy values to the clipboard:
- Select (click) the pane to copy from.
- Select the values to copy (hold
Shiftfor multiselection). To copy all values, either select all with
A, or remove the selection with
Ccopies names and values from the pane to the clipboard. It uses a plain text tabular format, so you can paste the data directly to Excel or a text file.
- To paste data from the clipboard:
- Select the pane where to paste.
- When you hit
V, pSeven matches the names in the clipboard (such as the names of copied parameters, or column names if you copy from a Sample viewer) with the names on the pane, and inserts values accordingly. If there is no clear match, or the clipboard does not contain names, you will get a dialog with problem details and an option to insert values in order of appearance.
- Note that before pasting values, you can select certain inputs or parameters on the pane. Paste then works with this selection.
When you start a workflow, the bottom pane automatically switches to the Run log tab. The log contains various diagnostic messages. If the workflow contains blocks that print to screen, their screen output is also redirected to the run log — in particular, it allows printing workflow results to the log if you prefer. Note that the run log is not a copy of the pSeven console log: each workflow tab contains its own run log which shows only workflow messages, and the console shows all application messages.
The Statistics tab contains run progress information, including the block statistics — the number of block start-ups and its total working time. After the run finishes, this tab also shows the finish status; in case of error, you can click the status to see details.
While a workflow is running, pSeven captures all data coming to and from the monitored ports and stores it to the project database. This data does not show up in Run but can be post-processed in Analyze. Note that the project database is updated in real time, so you can start a workflow and immediately switch to Analyze to begin working with intermediate results. In particular, you can create live tables and plots which you can easily update while a workflow runs.
Lastly, the togglable Issues pane in Run shows warnings related to run settings — such as incorrect parameters, missing input values, and other potential problems.
- Workflow as a Tool
- Provides an example of a simple workflow with a customized Run interface.
The Analyze screen is used to post-process workflow results obtained from monitoring which are stored to the project database. This screen also becomes available only after you open a project.
The Analyze screen contains:
- The Project database pane 1 which shows all monitored data.
- The tab bar 2 showing all open reports. Also contains buttons to open, save, and add new reports.
- The report toolbar 3 with various analysis and plotting tools.
- Report windows 4 (tables, plots, and such).
- The main editing area 5.
In Analyze you create reports, selecting data from the project database and then processing it with the tools available from the report toolbar. Each tool creates another window in the report — a table, a plot of specific type, and so on.
To begin editing a report, you can select some database records in the Project database pane and drag them to the editing area. pSeven creates a copy of this data in the report (keeping it linked to the project database, see below) and automatically formats it to a table. You can then use the new table as a data source: selecting some columns from the table and clicking a button on the report toolbar adds a new report window showing the data from the selected columns — for example, you can use this feature to quickly add various plots.
The togglable Issues pane in Analyze shows warnings related to report configuration — for example, missing data sources, mistakes in plot settings, and other potential problems.
Note that all workflows in a project share the same project database, though they write results to different records. Every report, in turn, can access entire project database. This allows you to create reports that combine results from different workflows while keeping the source data organized.
A report is a bit more than a collection of tables and plots. Each report has its own data storage, the report database. It contains a number of 1D arrays called data series which are automatically formed from multidimensional project database records when you add data to the report.
You can view the report database using the Data series pane 1 toggled from the report toolbar 2.
Data series are created when you drag a project database record to the report. pSeven forms them automatically — for example, if the source record contains several matrices, they are stacked vertically and each column from the stack becomes a new data series.
Report windows actually source from these data series, they do not get data from the project database directly. It simplifies plot configuration and adds the following important properties to a report:
- If you open a project with an existing report and run related workflows again (for example, with some changes in configuration), you can easily update the report with new data.
- If the project database is corrupt or was deleted, it does not break reports in the project because they still have a copy of data. Only the refresh functions will stop working.
The report database works as an intermediate data layer. Data series remember their sources in the project database, so normally a report can be updated automatically at any time (it re-reads data from the project database, updates data series, then refreshes report windows). However, data series also always contain the most recent copy of data, so the report remains intact if the original data is deleted from the project database.
This introduction does not aim to explain every function in detail and provides only the most essential information. To get familiar with pSeven, it is recommended to complete the introductory tutorials referenced above, namely:
These tutorials use simple examples to explain common pSeven functions. Note that other tutorials do not explain such functions in detail but focus on solving specific tasks — for example, training an approximation model, optimization, or integrating an external program into a workflow. Completing the introductory tutorials will also make it easier for you to study the examples installed with pSeven, adapt them to your needs, and create new projects.
- All pSeven tutorials.