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New Features - Netica Application

In addition to its standard features, Netica Application has many exciting new features.

Note: The Online Help is the most up-to-date source of documentation for these new features (best viewed with Internet Explorer or Firefox). Its New Features page provides links for further explanation on each feature (located in the Getting Started chaper).

To check your version of Netica, open Netica and choose Help About Netica. Depending on your version, you may want to check for recent pre-release versions, available from our downloads page.

From version 4.16 and version 5.12:

  • Generate websites from Bayes nets: After creating any Bayes net, you can select the target nodes, push a button and your browser will spring up, running your Bayes net as a question/answer system or as a dashboard with sliders. Best of all, your website is already deployed to the world hosted on our system (or you can host it, or make a desktop-only version). Check out the latest example site.
    Full usage of this system is sold as a separate product, and complete documentation for this feature is in a separate manual. Contact Norsys for details.
  • New add-on product available, Geo-Netica, which adds GIS (Geographic Information System) capability to Netica.
  • Major expansion of the Custom-Reports feature (which can generate highly customizable reports on many aspects of the Bayes net, nodes, states, CPTs, cases, findings, beliefs, sensitivity results, etc. in the form of HTML, XML, text, rich text, etc, based on template files that you make or choose from our library of templates). Some of these improvements are described on the smaller improvements page.
  • Structure Learning: Netica can now do TAN learning of link structure from data. Over the series of version 5 releases, we will be further adding to Netica's learning-from-data capability (structure, parameter, testing).
  • Actions: Can enter actions or interventions (i.e., Pearl's do-calculus) to nature nodes instead of just findings. Also handles calibration actions (aka randomized actions or population interventions).
  • Can directly move belief bars with the mouse to enter calibration findings and calibration actions.
  • Major improvements to dynamic Bayes net (DBN) capability for time series. Now does a "burn-in" to generate initial-state nodes. More Info
  • EM learning now handles multiple CPT tables constrained to be the same (indicated by the user field "CPT_ID" having the same value).
  • When hover the cursor over the title area of a node having a likelihood finding, it displays the finding.
  • After entering a finding (if nothing is selected and the net is compiled), pressing the up or down arrow key changes the finding to the next state above or below. Right and left arrows remove and restore the finding.
  • When selecting nodes or links from the Edit menu or right-click menu, holding down shift key adds to selection (i.e., union), and holding down ctrl key restricts search to within the selection (i.e., intersection).
  • Added built-in equation functions: logit, logistic (= expit), LogisticDist, avg (which takes the average of its args), mag (square root of sum of each argument squared). More info
  • Speedup of many operations.
  • Can now do all Bayes net operations (such as inference) when there are some disconnected links.
  • In Node-set dialog, shift-clicking the Set Color button will auto-color all node-sets from the first one to the selected one, inclusive.
  • EM learning now leaves findings in net while operating (and handles them properly; they can override the case file).
  • Can now have passwords that work for all users on a machine or across a network.
  • Fixed: Passwords would not stay registered on some Asian MS Windows machines.
  • Greatly improved the Combine Nets feature. More Info
  • Added to the ModifyOrder States options.
  • Onscreen help now also has an online help system, and it is available from Netica's menu.

From version 3.25 and version 4.16:

  • Custom Reports: Can generate highly customizable reports on many aspects of the Bayes net, nodes, states, CPTs, cases, findings, beliefs, sensitivity results, other inference results, etc. The reports can range from basic text output to nicely formatted tables. They can be in the form of HTML, XML, text, rich text, etc, based on template files that you make or choose from our library of templates.
  • "Build table from other net" is a very versatile feature that among other things can fill the CPT tables of nodes in one net based on another net with a different structure.
  • Option for inference by sampling when necessary (using rejection method).
  • Capability "Split Node" converts a multi-state node into a set of Boolean nodes, one node for each state of the original node.
  • Can sort the states of a node (or nodes) by name, belief, other node, standard order, reverse order. Standard order is user-definable. Other node is very interesting; it uses Bayesian inference to make the order compatible with the ordering of states of another node (the selected node).
  • Added NoisyOrMultiDist function, available from Equations, to generalize the noisy-or to multiple states, in a way usually more fitting than noisy-max does. More info
  • Adding/Deleting/Renaming states by right-clicking can now do many states at a time (even to multiple nodes), and can add state names, numbers and titles.

From version 3.16 to version 3.25:

  • You can change the order of parents while editing a node's CPT table (and thereby the structure of the table) just by dragging its columns.
  • There is now a great new way to navigate large net diagrams, called Global Zoom. Also new is "push scrolling", done by holding the ALT key down and dragging on the background.
  • Provides the ability to do the same operation to many nodes at once, such as: adding, removing, renaming or reordering states, changing discretization thresholds, entering findings, entering user-defined fields, etc.
  • When you change the name of node, it automatically adjusts that node's equation and the equations of its child nodes. Also works for name changes due to duplicating nodes and time expansions.
  • Added much wider support for right-clicking on nodes, net, link, etc.
  • Can view and edit tables of a node's 'experience' and frequency counts when learning from data or connected to a database.
  • Improved auto-discretizing algorithm.
  • Added Combine Nets feature (in preliminary stage).

From version 2.17 to version 3.16:

  • Can create and work with sets of nodes.
  • Can color-code nodes.
  • Can directly connect with a database or Excel spreadsheet for learning, reading cases, testing a net, etc.
  • Can generate SVG graphics of Bayes nets, for quality web or print publishing.
  • Has a new binary .neta format for faster and smaller Bayes net files (text-based .dne files will always continue to have complete support).
  • Can obfuscate nets, and can work with encrypted Bayes nets, to protect your intellectual property.
  • Has auto-discretization, based on case files.
  • When hover cursor over nodes, states or links Netica can display a comment of your choice in a floating window.
  • Case files can now have uncertain findings using a very simple but powerful file format (UVF), and those uncertain findings will be properly handled by Netica's belief updating, EM learning, process cases, etc.
  • Automatically compiles the Bayes net when it is read from disk, when appropriate.
  • The Meter display for discretized nodes, or those with state values defined, now has a needle which shows expected value, and a band around it which displays standard deviation.
  • Keeps track of when tables may need to be re-built from their equations.
  • Many improvements to the CPT table editor, including better pasting, better scrolling, applying an operation to multiple cells, probabilities or percentages, experience, etc.
  • Dynamic scrolling and mouse wheel supported everywhere.
  • Now has a Calibration choice on enter-findings menu, to enter the likelihood finding that will result in a certain belief state.
  • Fixed bugs, including:
    • When copy/pasting net graphics, on some systems, the lower right of the image was cut off.
    • In the node properties dialog, repeated error messages sometimes made it difficult to exit.
    • Belief linking to modern versions of Excel didn't update links.
    • Printing didn't work to some network printers or those with long names.
  • Now also reads Hugin 6.* .net files (as well as 4.* and 5.*).
  • Added TableEnter Experience command to enter experience tables for all selected nodes at once.
  • There is now a "-case" command line parameter to automatically read-in a case.
  • The expected value of a node is displayed even if one of the ranges extends to infinity.

From version 1.12 to version 2.17:

  • Has EM learning and gradient descent learning of CPT tables to better deal with missing data.
  • Has a Process Cases feature, to read cases from a file, process them with the Bayes net one-by-one, then output the results to a new file.
  • Now has a Recent Files list on the menu.
  • Added Go Back key command to scroll to the last place being edited on a net.
  • Can now compile and update nets whose CPTs or utility tables are absent or incomplete (takes missing entries as uniform probabilities or zero utilities).
  • There is a node palette window to keep commonly used nodes.
  • Generating a table from an equation can use the integral of the equation, instead of sampling, for many common distributions.
  • Auto-updating now works whenever it can (e.g., after changing a CPT).
  • Can simultaneously add links to many nodes, or from many nodes, if they are selected when adding a link.
  • Improved time expansion, can now edit delays in node dialog, and there is a ModifyDelay Links menu command.
  • Can now read DXpress files and BNIF (.dsc) files.
  • Added Noisy-Max and Noisy-Sum capabilities (Noisy-Or and Noisy-And already exist).
  • Can now observe and set node user fields using the node properties box.
  • Window title has indicator (*) to show when it has unsaved changes.
  • Displays *deterministic* nature nodes in Label Box style using a thick border.
  • Command line can accept a Netica password (-password xxx), which is used for that session, but not entered into the registry.
  • Inference algorithm takes better advantage of findings entered to speed inference.
  • Equation-to-table expands the range automatically if values are out-of-bounds.
  • Added Log Messages command.
  • Can set the display of node states to only the N most probable, ordered by most probable first, which changes as beliefs change.
  • When enter findings, and belief updating not yet done, only those nodes effected will have their beliefs indicated invalid.
  • When paste nodes into a network it expands the drawing size if necessary (instead of crunching them up).
  • Added a Select Nodes menu which can select nodes with equations, findings, dependent on, parents, ancestors, children and descendents of selected nodes.
  • Added a Select Links menu which can select links: all, disconnected, ineffectual (zero strength), forming cycle, or entering, exiting or interconnecting selected nodes.
  • Deterministic updating precedes belief updating, for accuracy and speed.
  • Can read or create case files with comma, space or tab delimiters, and with ?, *, space or nothing as missing data chars.
  • Case files don't normally have a header with //~->[CASE-1]->~ and a time/author stamp any more (although still accepts that).
  • Added LayoutSpread Out/Compact capability.
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