It has been more than two weeks since I told you about the 2.0.2 update for Nitro. In this time, we have steadily released further updates, the latest of which is version 2.0.6, released last Saturday.
For the most part, updates should not be something you have to worry about. We keep fixing bugs, improving performance, and introducing new features continually, and you will get them automatically via Nitro’s built-in auto-update feature. We believe that, instead of tracking and installing updates, your time is better spent on actually interesting stuff, hence our auto-update approach. Still, for some of you it may be interesting to learn about what we’ve been up to.
So we will keep you informed about the development of Nitro here on our blog, in irregular intervals. In this post I will highlight two noteworthy changes in Nitro 2.0.6. The technically inclined can find a more comprehensive list of changes below, and your copy of Nitro will auto-update to version 2.0.6 the next time you start it up (as described in my last post).
Avoid unsuitable attributes
Many event logs in CSV or Excel format have columns with information that is unsuitable for process mining. One example is a column which contains free-text comments. You cannot create a process model from that kind of data, since every event carries a unique value. Another example are columns that have only one or two values over the whole data set. You may actually want to see that information in the converted log, but then again, maybe you’d rather not.
Since version 2.0.3, we have added a feature to Nitro which warns you about unsuitable attribute columns, such as the examples described earlier. In the above screenshot, you can see that Nitro now displays a warning badge in the column configuration panel when it thinks that column may be unsuitable. In this example, the column contains “more than 99%” unique values, which means that almost any event has a value in that column which is not repeated in any other row.
Nitro does not forbid you from using these columns for conversion. However, you may run into problems during conversion if unsuitable attributes are selected. Furthermore, these attributes almost always turn out to be unsuitable for analysis later on, or create problems in your analysis software. So, when you choose to use a column for an attribute and see that warning, we recommend that you remove it before converting the log, if possible.
Redesigned case analysis charts
With version 2.0 of Nitro we released a completely redesigned analysis view, complete with charts for analyzing the structure of your log. For version 2.0.5 we have redesigned two of these charts again, to be more useful.
In the overview section of the analysis view, the “Case duration” and “Events per case” charts now behave differently than the other histograms in the analysis view. Rather than featuring each value in a separate column, our redesigned charts actually take advantage of the fact that they display actual ranges of values, rather than a set of discrete values. Now, the horizontal axis corresponds to the range of values (i.e., duration or number of events), while the vertical axis shows the frequency of each value.
We think that this view better corresponds to typical statistical distribution charts, and that it gives you more actionable information about the structure of cases in your log.
For the sake of completeness, here you can find the list of changes per released version of Nitro:
(10 March 2011)
Introduced warning badges for unsuitable and problematic attribute columns.
Fixed potential bugs in Octane layer.
(11 March 2011)
Improved the performance for logs with a large number of cases.
Improved general performance.
(17 March 2011)
Redesigned analysis charts for case duration and number of events per case.
Improved performance for very large logs.
Fixed bugs in analysis view.
(19 March 2011)
- Fixed bugs that caused rare crashes for certain types of logs.
Thanks again for all your bug reports, feature requests, and general thoughts and ideas about Nitro! Please keep them coming, either through Nitro’s built-in feedback feature or by sending a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!