AutoLearn-WX

Since 2009, WXSIM, through its wret.exe module, has offered the ability (in professional mode only) for the program to effectively "learn" from its mistakes (and successes!). This feature requires the user to select a range of dates, initiate the analysis, wait for results (sometimes taking up to half an hour), and then inspect and approve the resulting bias correction factors. My advice was generally to do this once every week or two. Actually, in principle it would best eb done every day, but the process has been a (minor) inconvenience for users, so people haven't employed it as much as they might have otherwise.

WXSIM and WXSIMATE have schedulers to direct their operation for automated forecasts. However, wret.exe normally stays closed, except when booted by WXSIM for creating graphics and the lastret.txt file, or when opened directly by the user for data display or, of course, to do the auto select feature. I did not build a scheduler in to wret.exe for a couple of reasons: (1) the process initiated by the Auto Select process has generally warranted oversight by the user, to watch for bad data getting into the mix, and (2 ) there are technical problems with this, since it is supposed to be booted by WXSIM and should otherwise be closed.

However, regarding (1), above, improvements made to wret.exe during June and July, 2013 made wret.exe much better at screening out bad data and also now provide a nice history (correc.txt) of changes made to the correction factors. As for #2, I found a solution by creating a separate program, called autolearn.exe, which functions as a scheduler and controller for making wret.exe do and approve Auto Select analyses even in the user's absence - like in the middle of the night, when it's generally OK for the computer to get "bogged down" with a bunch of data analysis!

Since this is, for technical reasons, a separate program, and since I have not charged any kind of upgrade fee for WXSIM or its companion programs (wret.exe and wxsimate.exe) over 10 years, I decided to make this (very optional) accessory a separate registration and purchase. I am including it in a fairly functional demo mode as part of the basic WXSIM package - "fairly" functional in the sense that it definitely works, but the analysis period is limited to only 10 days, which is really too short for optimal results, except in particularly "boring" climates. I don't think running in this demo mode will "blow" the forecasts, but users concerned about optimal accuracy should still do the Auto Select process manually using longer time periods, or register AutoLearn-WX, using the same Downloads page where downloads and purchases can be made..

AutoLearn-WX can be launched on its own (from My Computer or Windows Explorer, or via a user-created Desktop shortcut), but an easy way is to click the 'Start AutoLearn-WX' button in wret.exe. AutoLearn-WX can be run on command (mainly for testing purposes), but generally should be left open at all times so the scheduler can work. It's a small program, leaves a very small "footprint" in terms of memory or CPU usage, and can be conveniently minimzed to the bottom task bar.

As of December 31, 2014, AutoLearn-WX is supplied as version 2.0, which adds nice graphical displays of the history of its corrections and forecast accuracy.

Here is a view of the program's main form:

Here is a graphical display of 45 days of data from correc.txt. The slight increase in mean absolute error results from the entry into the harder-to-forecast winter season: