DPL 9 Help

Arranging an Influence Diagram

Arranging an Influence Diagram

Large influence diagrams can get cluttered, especially while you are still developing the model. You can move nodes and arrows yourself to try to organize the picture, or you can let DPL do the work. When you choose View | Layout | Arrange, DPL will try to clean up your diagram, making it fit nicely in the window and moving nodes to minimize the number of influence arcs that cross. (If you don't like DPL's arrangement you can use Undo on the Quick Access bar.)

There are three layouts DPL can create: Unconstrained, Top-to-Bottom, and Left-to-Right.

- Left to Right arranges the nodes so the data flow is roughly from the left, where the first decisions and primary input variables are, to the right, where the final output nodes are. This is the way Influence Diagrams are usually drawn.

- Top to Bottom arranges the nodes so the data flow is roughly from the top, where the first decisions and primary input variables are, to the bottom, where the final output nodes are.

- Unconstrained can put nodes anywhere that reduces crossed influence arcs -- the diagrams frequently look circular, with the final output nodes (e.g. Profit) in the center.

Very large diagrams with many influence arrows may require a little iteration to get the best results. After DPL arranges the diagram, you may see a node or two that should be moved -- if you move them, then choose View | Layout | Arrange again, DPL will clean things up a bit more, and so on.

View | Layout | Arrange is also useful when you need to add nodes to the middle of a crowded diagram. Zoom out, so the current diagram is in the center of the screen, then choose View | Layout | Arrange. DPL will spread the nodes out to fill the entire screen, which makes room in the middle to add nodes.

If your Influence Diagram contains curved influence arrows, you may wish to straighten those (Influence Diagram | Arc | Straighten) prior to arranging.

Versions: DPL Professional, DPL Enterprise, DPL Portfolio

See Also

Moving Nodes

Influence Arcs