Working with IRIS ExplorerTM

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Applications are built in IRIS Explorer using the point-and-click interface (described in more detail in the next chapter). Building blocks (Modules) are taken from a repository (a Librarian) and placed in the working area (the Map Editor). Connections are then made between them, enabling information to flow from one to the next. The resulting network of connected modules (called a Map) can then be saved, either for further manipulation or to be run as an application.

How Modules Work

Modules process input data and produce output data. This information is passed into and out of the module via its ports. Module behaviour is controlled by parameters. These may be input via a port or controlled interactively. Although modules normally execute on the local machine, they can execute on different machines across a network.

Module description

Figure 2.1: IRIS Explorer Module Connections

Your IRIS Explorer installation includes a wide range of modules. This set can be expanded by either:

  • writing your own modules in C, C++ or FORTRAN
  • using existing modules (e.g. those developed by a colleague, or downloaded from the internet), or
  • having somebody develop custom modules (e.g. a NAG consultant)

How Maps Work

A map is a visual representation of an application created in IRIS Explorer. It appears as a network of modules joined by connections (or wires).The connections in a map show the flow of the data from module to module. This programming approach is based on the so-called data flow model. Components of the map (either modules or connections) can be edited and modified on-the-fly and the map can be saved for later editing or use.


Figure 2.2: Diagram of an IRIS Explorer Map

Entire maps or sections of them can be grouped, collecting the components together so that they appear as a single module. This enables complicated maps to be simplified, making them easier to understand. Groups can be expanded temporarily or broken into their component parts.

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© The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd. Oxford, UK. 2000