“Mathematical modeling” can mean many things. How does Magnolia support mathematical modeling?

Magnolia has been designed for modeling continuous and hybrid discrete/continuous systems and processes that can be represented by systems of ordinary differential equations and differential algebraic equations.  Solution of these equations is performed numerically (as opposed to symbolically), allowing for a wide variety of problem types and complexities.  While Magnolia is not designed to solve partial differential equations, simple PDE problems can be encoded in Magnolia using finite-difference approaches.


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How does Magnolia compare to COMSOL, MATLAB/Simulink, ACSL/acslX, Berkeley Madonna, R, Maple, Mathematica, etc?

COMSOL is a multi-physics package which is primarily designed for problems requiring solution of PDEs using finite element methods.  While Magnolia can be applied to simple PDE problems using finite-difference approaches, it’s not designed to be a full-features PDE solver.

MATLAB and R are general-purpose technical computing environments.  ODE problems can be solved in these tools with a little effort, but the language are not specifically designed for modeling systems of ODEs.

Simulink is specifically designed for modeling systems based on ODE in a mostly graphical approach.  For some kinds of problems, this is appropriate.  For others, and equation-based approach is much easier.

Maple and Mathematica are predominately designed for symbolic solution of mathematical problems.  Both contain additional capabilities for numerical solution of certain kinds of problems, but neither is designed from the ground up for modeling ODE-based problems.

ACSL/acslX and Berkeley Madonna are, in a sense, the closest analogs to Magnolia.  The primary difference between Magnolia and these tools involve the specifics of the supported modeling and scripting languages, and the overall modeling workflow user interface design.

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What do I do if I need help?

Unfortunately, we cannot presently offer dedicated support for Magnolia.  If you think you’ve found a bug, email our development team at team@magnoliasci.com.  For general problems with software use, first try searching our latest documentation.  You can also review our example models for general guidance on how to do particular things with the software.  Failing these, try posting your question on Stack Overflow to see if someone in the Magnolia user community can answer your question.

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How do I make a feature request?

If there’s a particular feature you’d like to see added to Magnolia, first review our development roadmap to see if the feature is already planned.  If it’s not, let us know what you’d like to see added by emailing our team at team@magnoliasci.com.

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What do I do if I think I’ve found a bug?

If you think you’ve found a bug in Magnolia, first review our release notes for the version you’re using to see if the problem is a known bug, in which case you don’t have to report it.  If it’s not a known bug, please bring it to our attention by emailing team@magnoliasci.com.

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What features are planned for future inclusion in Magnolia?

A development roadmap is provided at the bottom of the Features page.  If you have any questions regarding the roadmap, or want to suggest a feature for inclusion, email us at team@magnoliasci.com or use our Contact page.

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Is Magnolia really free?

Magnolia has been developed over the last few years by a small team of people working in sporadic bursts.  We are happy to offer the current version as free to download and use.  If the future needs of the user community include dedicated support, fast turnaround of bug fixes or feature improvements, training, etc, we’ll adjust our licensing model accordingly.   In any event, our aim is to provide a licensing model which is appropriate for the Magnolia user community, while still making Magnolia an active, ongoing and sustainable software tool.

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How do I contact you?

General questions related to Magnolia can be sent via email to info@magnoliasci.com, or via our Contact page.

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Magnolia won’t start on Linux. What am I doing wrong?

Problems starting Magnolia on Linux usually result from incorrect configuration (or complete lack of) the Java runtime and SDK (Java 8 Standard Edition).  Because Magnolia requires compilation of generated code, the Java SE SDK must be installed (not just the Java runtime).  Moreover, environment variables related to Java need to be set.  See articles here and here for additional information.  If Java is correctly installed and configured, you should be able to start Magnolia from a command prompt by navigating to the folder in which Magnolia was uncompressed, and entering the command: “java -jar Magnolia.jar”.

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When will version 1.0 be released?

The currently available version of Magnolia is 0.9.  This is a beta version, which is nearly feature complete.  Pending work mostly involves completion of documentation.  Once this is done, and any critical bugs discovered during beta testing are addressed, version 1.0 will be released.

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