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International Futures Help System

Create Historic Analog with Forecast

This feature of IFs allows users to create a formula of variables in the historic data set to match representation of a variable in IFs forecasts. For example, if you were interested in creating a display that showed both historic and forecasted information for the amount of foreign aid given to a select geographic region, this feature of IFs will allow you to successfully accomplish your task.

Selecting this option will bring up a new window. From this window you can accomplish the following:

Select Variable: The first box, titled the “Select Variable” box allows you to begin to construct your display formula by selecting a historic variable used in IFs. For the example that was referred to in the beginning narrative of this help topic, we would need to select the AID variable.

For other tasks, click on any variable/parameter in order to bring it up into the box located at the top of the variable/parameter selection list. Additionally, you can put your cursor in the box and type the first few letters of the variable/parameter you are looking for in order to search more quickly.

Create Formula: After selecting a historic variable, a new option becomes available at the top of this window. It is now possible to create the formula. Selecting this option will bring up a new window that allows you to create your own formula for comparing variables/parameters. From this window you can accomplish the following:

Type your Formula: In the box, type in a formula you would like IFs to calculate. For the above example, we would like to take the historic foreign aid variable and tie it to the forecasted variable for foreign aid. Other formulas may be more complex. The formula to use is simple: use any standard character to represent your variable, in this case, use the letter a. After typing in this formula, hit Enter or click on Select Vars. This will bring up a new window. From this window, you can accomplish the following:

Formula Name: Type in the formula name you would like.

Dimension Name: Type in the formula name you would like.

Units Name: Type in the Units Name you would like.

After you have typed in the names you prefer, click OK. This will bring you back to the Type your Formula window, also titled the Computations menu.

The variable(s) you selected for your formula is (are) displayed in the lower half of the Computations window. Click on Select Vars. This will take you to another window where you can select a variable. In the case of the example above, we want to select the same variable forecasted into the future. The forecasted variable is labeled AidRec. Select this variable and you will be prompted to specify a geographic representation. For this example, choose India. After you have selected the variables you want, click Exit: You will then return to the Computations menu. The variable/parameter you have chosen is displayed in the lower half of this window. Click Exit. You will return to the Create Historic Analog option with Formula.

Save Formula in Analog Option: This feature becomes available after you have created a formula. Click on this option to save your formula. This will bring up a warning that, if you want to firmly save changes, you will have to manually copy IFsVar.MDB from the local driver to the Data directory after exiting IFs. After you have saved your formula, the AID – Aid (foreign), net – Billion $ variable is labeled with ***** has FORMULA *****.

Continue: Click here in order to go back to the previous menu. After you have created a formula and saved it, it is now possible to display. You will return to the Full Variable/Parameter Self Managed Display screen where you can select your variable, choose the same geographic location and then click Display. Choose to display the Indian aid received example as a line graph. You will see a graph that displays India’s aid received historically and it forecasted into the future.