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Author Topic: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.  (Read 6701 times)

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BenDragon1337

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Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« on: August 08, 2013, 07:30:57 PM »
Hello there, I am new.

There's a problem that I have been having with simutrans, which would be overloading industries because convoies were too close to each other.

The convoies need to be separated apart in order for the industry to get rid of all of its surplus stock before the next vehicle arrives and thus, ensuring that the industry isn't get overloaded and thus, shut down all connections until the stock went below the surplus stock, which would effect the entire chain.

I've been researching a lot about the feature 'Convoy Spacing', it's a feature that's supposed to avoid 'bunching' when a vehicle loads for too long and other vehicles catch up behind it.

References: http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=11955.0, http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=9241.0, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31JcY7b8WnQ

I found out how to space the convoies out with trains to prevent this happening, This would include a single station, with a piece of straight track upon existing the station, the concept here would be that a train has to take its time to travel along the single track, unload at the station and exit the single track, allowing the next train to enter the single line and do the same, the time it would take the train to leave the station, unload and exit again can be changed by altering the length of the single track before the station and using any single lengths of track between those 2, it can also be altered by the signal distance from the junction and the length of single track.

So far, that only applies to trains and nothing else and thus, it's a lot harder with other vehicles because they don't have anything else to stop them for a short period of time.

I was wondering if anyone has found a substitute for the 'convoy spacing' feature in the non-experimental version... I was also wondering, since it is a feature that's been lurking around in the experimental version since around February 2012 (nearly a year ago), that it hasn't been included in the stable version yet.

Thank you for reading this.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 08:02:55 PM »
The name Simutrans Experimental is a bit misleading. There are many features in Experimental that were added a long time ago and are now actually very stable, while some developers (including me) write code for standard, so often bug fixes and even some features get added to Standard before Experimental.

Experimental is best thought of as a more complicated version of Simutrans - it adds lots of features which if in Standard could overwhelm many players. In this case, convoi spacing through actual timetables was thought to complicate the interface too much to include in Standard. However you can set trains to leave after waiting a certain time, or when they are a set percentage full which perform similar roles.

BenDragon1337

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 08:24:35 PM »
Hmm, perhaps it would be best known as 'expanded' or "expansion" or somewhere along those lines?

So I guess I will have to  convert to 'experimental' to take use of the more advanced features within simutrans?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 08:32:18 PM »
Hello and welcome to the forums. The name "Experimental" is an historical name, dating from the time when I added a few feature changes as an experiment, and before it became a fork of Simutrans-Standard as it is now.

I had been thinking of changing the name for a while, but wanted to get to the point where I have a fully balanced pakset in Experimental before doing so. I was thinking "Simutrans-Extended", which might more accurately describe what it now is.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 08:35:28 PM »
It's not as simple as Experimental having "advanced" features. It has different features, this being one. Experimental focuses very much on trying to be realistic, and in doing so requires much more processing power and memory (i.e. map size you can run will be smaller). Try and see by all means though.

BenDragon1337

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 09:34:52 PM »
Thanks for your replies, you should change the name, I will be trying simutrans extended to see how it feels.

Offline Ters

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 10:06:50 PM »
The convoies need to be separated apart in order for the industry to get rid of all of its surplus stock before the next vehicle arrives and thus, ensuring that the industry isn't get overloaded and thus, shut down all connections until the stock went below the surplus stock, which would effect the entire chain.

Huh? Never heard this before.

nicky

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2013, 05:40:22 PM »
Hello! I've been playing simutrans for a month or so now and love it! Played OTTD and it just didn't leave an impression like simutrans did. Especially like how passengers and mail have actual destinations.

Anyway - Lately I have been wondering the same thing as BenDragon in the OP. I enjoy making extensive bus networks but after a while it gets difficult to keep everything well spaced. Convoy spacing sounded like just the thing when I heard about it. I've tried Experimental and it has some great additions and changes but I've found that I personally prefer Standard. I'd love to get back to Standard but the lack of convoy spacing keeps me from using road vehicles like I'd like to because I know that it will become a pain to maintain.

So: Is there a reason it hasn't been added to Standard? It's a great and simple tool that helps a lot and allows one to do more with the game while being completely optional. Is there hope that it may be added in the future?

Anyway - thanks to all who have invested time and effort into this great game - great job!

Offline prissi

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2013, 06:29:18 PM »
Yes because you do not need convoi spacing: If you set a loading level (like 100%) and a loading time (1/128 or so) at a station (preferable one on a straight road with no crossings behind, so waiting buses can be overtaken) then buses will be evenly spaced. If not (because they are 100% loaded), well then you need anyway more buses.

Delay buses just for eyecandy is not what making a transport network is about. At least this is my opinion, you can try to convince me, why convoy spacing does make sense.

Offline sdog

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2013, 07:47:05 PM »
Convoy spacing is much more needed in Simutrans Experimental than in standard Simutrans: In experimental the wait time plays an important role for passengers, having a bus to wait until full might take too long for passengers and reduce the passenger numbers (because of feedback to nearly zero). In standard this is not a factor, you only need a stop with enough capacity to store the passengers while they wait for the next vehicle or next bunch of vehicles and enough vehicles such that the line does not go into saturation.

All this can be elegantly solved in standard as prissi described. You might want to identify the station with the most passengers boarding for this, and for large number of vehicles build dedicated stretches of ways for waiting vehicles to stack up.

There are also some methods to force convoy spacing in standard (this might be usefull in some unusual situations) by using a waiting area and a trafic light as a timer. It is possible to click on trafic light to set the times they show red or green. You let the vehicles wait behind the red light, wich is only turned to green for a moment to let one vehicle pass. The time it is red sets the spacing interval.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 07:52:16 PM »
The only thing one may want in standard is a slightly more indexed wait time.

You have 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc., but depending on the situation you may want 3/4, 3/8, 5/8, 1/3, 1/5 etc.


also, divisions may not be immediately obvious to new players.

It would be easier to understand if it were like: "convoys to depart per month = ##".

Offline Ters

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2013, 08:37:04 PM »
Convoy spacing is much more needed in Simutrans Experimental than in standard Simutrans: In experimental the wait time plays an important role for passengers, having a bus to wait until full might take too long for passengers and reduce the passenger numbers (because of feedback to nearly zero). In standard this is not a factor, you only need a stop with enough capacity to store the passengers while they wait for the next vehicle or next bunch of vehicles and enough vehicles such that the line does not go into saturation.

I don't get it. The average wait time should be the same. And buses have to burn off time somehow.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2013, 08:43:15 PM »
I don't get it. The average wait time should be the same. And buses have to burn off time somehow.

It can be more fine tuned in experimental.

I can set 3, 5, 6, 7, etc. convoys per month and I can also let them share the same platform with other convoys that must also be spaced out at the same station without them eating into each other's time slots.

It's also possible to issue complex timetables that allow for express services on the same line, although this can be very tedious.

Offline sdog

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2013, 09:25:46 PM »
Example: 24 buses a day serve a stop. The passenger rate is constant.

If the buses are equally spaced there is one bus every hour. The average wait time is 1/2 hour.
If buses are bunched in groups of two, but the bunches evenly spaced, the average wait time is 1 hour.
If all buses are bunched together the average wait time is 12 hours.


What's the same is the rate of passengers transportet. If the line is not saturated it is equal the rate of pax arriving at the stop.

However if pax walk home if their actual wait time exceeds a limit you would have constant average wait times for the passengers transportet:
Example: Maximum wait time of 1 hour:
One bus every hour, evenly spaced: Average wait time 1/2 hour, 0 pax over one hour.
Two buses every second hour: Average wait time of transportet pax 1/2 hour. 1/2 of pax transportet, overall average wait time (1 h + 0.5 h)/2 = 3/4 hour
Buses arrive only once a day: Average wait time of transported pax 1/2 hour, 1/24 of pax transportet, average wait time (23 * 1 h + 1 * 0.5 h)/24 = 235/240 the average wait time is thus assymptotical to the maximum wait time.

Offline Ters

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 06:31:41 AM »
Example: 24 buses a day serve a stop. The passenger rate is constant.

If the buses are equally spaced there is one bus every hour. The average wait time is 1/2 hour.
If buses are bunched in groups of two, but the bunches evenly spaced, the average wait time is 1 hour.
If all buses are bunched together the average wait time is 12 hours.

I wasn't thinking about when buses are bunched up. That is bad, I know that. But whether the buses are spaced using experimental's convoy spacing or the wait for full load with timeout shouldn't make much difference. Experimental's solution only seems somewhat easier to tune, judging from what ÆO writes.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2013, 01:00:35 PM »
Here is a small scheduling demo I made with experimental 11.9 and pak britain ex 0.9.0
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/17111233/scheduling_demo_britainEX090.sve

Express line
Limited/Local Full line + Short Turn Local line
Freight line

Probably not possible to do this in standard.
I am also quite sure that it is possible to squeeze in another line in, as there are plenty of openings possible in the diagram.

Just one caveat.
Time taken: way too much.

Offline greenling

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2013, 05:54:40 PM »
Hello all
The Convoy Spacing system in Simutrans Exp and Simutrans Std have some problem-points.
She are not fine enough chosseable and if a Train delayed than can be get quick a traficjam.
I have on my laptop a simutrans with super fine timetable system.
i can those program overnext week here im forum post it.

Offline Ters

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2013, 06:00:57 PM »
I find timetables very at odds with the nature of spacetime in Simutrans. A train can easily spend more than a month completing its schedule.

Offline jameskuyper

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2013, 03:03:24 AM »
Yes because you do not need convoi spacing: If you set a loading level (like 100%) and a loading time (1/128 or so) at a station (preferable one on a straight road with no crossings behind, so waiting buses can be overtaken) then buses will be evenly spaced. If not (because they are 100% loaded), well then you need anyway more buses.

I tried this, and found it very difficult to get it working right. Imagine that buses ran at the exactly even intervals - then the stop at which they have the highest average number of passengers, after loading up, is the stop that should be used as a clock, by setting loading level 100%. However, how do you figure out which stop that is? simutrans has lots of reports by line, by vehicle, by station, and by factory. But to answer this question, you need information about the passengers leaving a particular stop on a particular line, and no report that I know of gives that information.

There's also the problem of close ties for top place: If there's two different stops with similar loads, and I incorrectly identify which of the two has the the highest load, and use that as a clock to control trips, the actual stop with the highest load will slowly accumulate unhappy passengers. This problem, at least, can be solved: set a load level less than 100%, so that is clock stop is not in fact the stop with the highest load, the buses will run a little more frequently than needed to serve it.

Offline sdog

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2013, 03:07:52 AM »
In such cases 50% to 80% load is preferable, combined with a short max. wait length setting. Reduces utilisation of the line a bit, but keeps good reliability.

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Re: Convoy Spacing substitute in non-experimental version.
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2013, 07:02:18 AM »
I find timetables very at odds with the nature of spacetime in Simutrans. A train can easily spend more than a month completing its schedule.

I guess it depends which time scale you take to be fundamental. We typically divide our months into hours (!) so it's clear that there is more than one scale. I prefer to think of the hour/minute scale as the one which represents convoy travel, which means that there#s a sense in which it's not really true to say that a train can spend a month completing its journey. The month/year scale, on the other hand, is more of an economic scale, and an extrapolation from the daily workings of the convoys represented by the hour/minute scale.

But this is a matter of taste, to an extent. The point is that there are viable alternative ways of thinking about it.