Using the Compute Resource Advisor


The Compute Resource Advisor is a tool that IT staff or Touchstone administrators configure to use loss analysis history to calculate the amount of time and hard drive space needed to run various loss analyses depending on the number of cores deployed. After running several kinds of analyses, the Advisor can help estimate the number of cores needed to achieve optimal performance benchmarks comprised of time and hard drive space. The more analyses you run, the more accurate the estimations become.

         Performance Learning Tool

         Running the Compute Resource Advisor

Performance Learning Tool

To make the best use of the Advisor, the IT staff or Touchstone administrators should, as needed, run the special AIR-supplied tool—Performance Learning—that was automatically installed during the Touchstone installation. This tool computes the weights of all the factors that contribute to the time it takes to run a loss analysis, including factors such as locations, layer counts, selected perils, reinsurance, and analysis times.

The tool generates an XML file containing the computed weight. Touchstone automatically loads the file when a user accesses the Advisor, making it available each time a user wants to estimate the analysis time for a particular analysis. The tool gathers data by reading Touchstone databases (e.g., exposure databases and AIRProject) and retrieving the analysis characteristics such as locations and layer counts. Touchstone uses this statistical data to estimate analysis times for a particular analysis. The XML file is stored in \\YourNetworkDrive\AIR\IIS\Bin.

When to Run the Performance Learning Tool

There is no absolute rule that determines when to run the Performance Learning tool. In general, if the estimates provided by the Advisor greatly differ from the actual time it takes to run an analysis, the IT staff or administrator should run the tool to gather the latest loss analysis runs and refine the weights used for the computations. They should also run the tool after running a few analyses to build up useful historical data. Running the tool regularly establishes computed weights that incorporate different sets of analysis options and exposure views.

Since AIR has included an XML file with default analysis weights, based on the average of loss analysis runs in AIR’s local environment, users can begin to use the Advisor right away. Please be aware that the AIR default data may not represent your unique environment. Therefore, as discussed previously, IT staff or administrators should run the tool after gathering a good sampling of loss runs.

How to Run the Performance Learning Tool

To run the Performance Learning tool from the command line, your IT staff or Touchstone administrators should perform the following tasks:

1.      At the Application Server (IIS), browse to INSTALLDIR\PerformanceLearning.

2.      Go to a command line and then run the following program: AIR.PerformanceLearning.Host.exe. Depending on the number of jobs that the tool must calculate, this process may take some time.

Running the Compute Resource Advisor

The Advisor models the amount of time required to complete a loss analysis for specific exposure views and analysis options. It uses loss analysis patterns established over time to estimate how long loss analyses will take based on various analysis options and exposure characteristics. You run the Advisor by clicking Advise… in the Analysis Management pane when configuring a Detailed Loss Analysis. This will help you determine the number of cores to specify.

The Advisor loads the XML file generated by the Performance Learning tool, to make use of the computed weights, and then uses the number of locations in your exposure data while performing pre-processing against your analysis options.

       Depending on the size of the exposure and the traffic on the SQL server machine, this process may take several minutes to complete.

       If the “Empty exposure expected against selected event set” message appears after you click Advise…, it means that you are running an exposure set that does not intersect with the event set. For example, you may be attempting to use a "10K U.S. Event Set" on European exposure data. In this example, you resolve the issue by selecting the "10K World Event Set."

Interpreting the Advisor Charts

The Advisor generates two types of charts: a three-column table that shows, numerically, estimated run times and recommended hard disk space across a number of cores, and a performance chart that plots the same information as a line graph. The blue line represents estimated loss analysis time, and the red line represents recommended hard drive space. Click here to see a sample Computer Resource Advisor chart.

Use these charts to view how run times and hard disk space requirements vary depending on the number of cores used. You can then select one of the rows to choose the maximum number of cores you want to use for this analysis.

Remember that the metrics displayed by the Advisor are just estimates. Before running an analysis, there is no way to determine how the locations intersect the event set—this is because the locations can be spread out. For example, assume that you have 1,000 locations in Florida and 1,000 locations in Kentucky, and that you run the exposures against the Tropical Cyclone peril—the analysis time will be different for each set of locations because there will be no "hits" for Kentucky. Even though both the number of locations and the analysis options are identical, the time required to run the analysis will be different for each set of location because of the selected peril. Analysis of the Kentucky locations will finish more quickly because there are no hits.


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Touchstone V3.0 Updated December 01, 2016