1.1. pyopus.simulator.base — Base class for simulator objects

Inheritance diagram of pyopus.simulator.base

Base class for simulator objects (PyOPUS subsystem name: SI)

A system is a physical object (e.g. a circuit) whose characteristics and responses are evaluated (simulated) by a simulator.

Simulators are divided into two groups: batch mode simulators and interactive simulators. An interactive simulator presents the user with a prompt where commands of a simulator-specific command language can be entered to control the simulator (load input file, perform simulation, save result file, ...).

Interactive simulators can be used as batch simulators if they are presented with a script written in the simulator control language in at their standard input.

To tell a batch mode simulator what to simulate one must provide a job list. A job list is a list of jobs where every job specifies one simulation.

A job is a dictionary with the following members:

  • name - the name of the job
  • definitions - a list of system description modules that constitute the system to be simulated
  • params - a dictionary with the system parameters used for this job. Keys are parameter names while values are parameter values
  • options - a dictionary with the simulator options used for this job. Keys are option names while values are option values
  • variables - a dictionary containing the Python variables that are available during the evaluation of saves and command.
  • saves - a list of strings giving Python expressions that evaluate to lists of save directives specifying what simulated quantities should be stored in simulator output
  • command - a string giving a Python expression that evaluates to the simulator command for the analysis performed by this job

The order in which jobs are given may not be optimal for fastest simulation because it can require an excessive number of system parameter/system description changes. The process of job optimization reorders and groups the jobs into job groups in such manner that the number of these changes is minimized. the sequence of job groups is called optimized job sequence Optimal job ordering and grouping as well as the way individual groups of jobs are handled in simulation depends on the simulator.

A batch simulator offers the capability to run the jobs in one job group at a time. For every job group the simulator is started, jobs simulated, and the simulator shut down. Every time a job group is run theuser can provide a dictionary of inputParameters that complement the parameters defined in the params dictionaries of the jobs. If both the inputParameters and the params dictionary of a job list the value of the same parameter, the value in the params dictionary takes precedence over the value defined in the inputParameters dictionary. After the simulation in finiched the results can be retrieved from the simulator object.

Interactive simulators offer the user the possibility to send commands to the simulator. After the execution of every command the output produced by the simulator is returned. Collecting simulator results is left over to the user. The simulator can be shut down and restarted whenever the user decides.

class pyopus.simulator.base.Simulator(binary, args=[], debug=0)

Base class for simulator classes.

Every simulator is equipped with a simulatorID unique for every simulator in every Python process on every host. The format of the simulatorID is


A different simulator object number is assigned to every simulator object of a given type in one Python interpreter.

All intermediate files resulting from the actions performed by a simulator object have their name prefixed by simulatorID.

Every simulator can hold result groups from several jobs. One of these groups is the active result group.

The binary argument gives the full path to the simulator executable. args is a list of additional command line parameters passed to the simulator executable at simulator startup.

If debug is greater than 0 debug messages are printed to standard output.


Activate the result group corresponding to the i-th job. Return the structure with the results of i-th job. If the result group is not found, None is returned and the active result group becomes None.


Removes all intermediate files created as a result of actions performed by this simulator object (files with filenames that have simulatorID for prefix).


Removes all result files that were produced during the simulation of the i-th job group. Simulator input files are left untouched.

collectResults(indices, runOK=None)

Collect the result groups produced by the jobs with indices given by the indices list. The indices list is the list returned by the runJobGroup() method as jobIndices. Can also be used to load results of multiple job group runs by combining the jobIndices corresponding to the respective job groups.

runOK is the status returned by the runJobGroup() method. If runOK is not given, the status of the last job that was run is used. If runOK is False None is set for the result groups corresponding to the jobs specified by indices.


Returns a dictionary of functions that retrieve results from the active result group. These functions are referred to as the generators. They are used for measurement evaluation in PerformanceEvaluator objects and are used as part of the environment for evaluating the measures.

The following functions (dictionary key names) are usually available:

  • v - retrieve a node potential or potential difference between two nodes
  • i - retrieve a current flowing through an instance (usually a voltage source or inductor)
  • p - retrieve an element instance property (assuming that it was saves during simulation with a correspondign save directive)
  • ns - retrieve a noise spectrum
  • scale - retrieve the default scale of the result group
  • ipath - construct a hierarchical path name of a node/element instance/model

Return True is the active result group is not None (i.e. a result group was successfully obtained with simulation, loaded, and activated).


Returns a structure describing the i-th job group.


Returns the number of job groups.


Returns the optimized job sequence. Usually the order of job groups and jobs within them is identical to the order of jobs in the job list set with the setJobList() method.


Removes all collected result groups from memory. Sets the active result group to None.


Runs the jobs in the i-th job group. Returns a tuple of the form (jobIndices, status) where jobIndices is a list of indices corresponding to the jobs that ran. status is True if everything is OK.


Sets the dictionary of input parameters to inParams. These parameters are used in all subsequent batch simulations.

setJobList(jobList, optimize=True)

Sets jobList to be the job list for batch simulation. If the options, params, saves, or variables member is missing in any of the jobs, an empty dictionary/list is added to that job.

The job list is marked as fresh meaning that a new set of simulator input files needs to be created. Files are created the first time a job group is run.

If optimize is True the optimized job sequence is computed by calling the optimizedJobSequence() method. If optimize is True an unoptimized job sequence is produced by calling the unoptimizedJobSequence() method.


Returns True if the interactive simulator is running.


Starts the interactive simulator if it is not already running.


Stops a running interactive simulator. This is done by politely asking the simulator to exit.


Returns the unoptimized job sequence. A job sequence is a list of lists containing indices in the job list passed to the setJobList() method. Every inner list corresponds to one job group.

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