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Thread: The AI mechanism never ceases to amaze me.

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    Angry The AI mechanism never ceases to amaze me.

    It's latest goof. When told to Drive Via a particular track mark that is on a particular siding, a particular train continues down the mainline for about 1/2 mile past the default green (diverging turnout set for mainline) lever then stops and backs up. You've probably missed your exit in your car every now and then on the highway. Garmin can always recalculate and get you back on course. The funny thing is, the AI train just ahead of it properly executed the command. It threw the lever and drove via the track mark on the siding as it should while setting the lever back to default green behind itself as it should. Both trains were told to drive via the exact same track mark. How come one driver can execute the command correctly but the guy immediately following screws up so badly right in the very same session? One might think all drivers should screw up consistently.

    I'm now running XDR. It might be that time for a TS12 reinstall again for the first time in about three weeks. Much edit work in Surveyor and so much running trains in Driver tends to break AI down over so much time. Almost always fresh, clean reinstalls tend to correct AI's brain cramps. XDR often doesn't fix anything AI-wise.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; December 12th, 2019 at 07:21 AM.
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    What you describe happens all the time to me, and others. It a bug in the program. Someone said that it has been corrected in TRS19. Is that true? And if so, it would mean that N3V knows the cause, then why not fix it in T:ane, or it is part of the next SP? Can anyone shed a light?

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    Yes this issue seems to have vanished. Note the word seems. From my testing I haven't run into that, but then again anything is possible to reoccur with AI drivers. You know how that goes.

    If N3V fixed it, it's most likely through fixing other things such as the code threading issues which plagued TS12 and below. These threads are data communications going on with various parts of the program that interact with signals, update AI positions, control what track marks do, switch positions, and other things. If these threads are bogged down, the AI can and do weird things. It's like having a stuck key on a keyboard with stuff in the buffer. If we wait long enough, we'll get a bunch of stuff in the command queue and then all the data is streamed at once. This issue causes stutters as well. Through code changes, as well as the 64-bit program code, we now have a much more efficient program so that issue doesn't appear as often if not at all.

    One way around this issue in general is to delay the AI trains a bit so they don't drive as close to each other. I've run into this issue a few times which drove me absolutely nuts. I had two trams (trolleys) running one after another. One driver took the mainline back to Gloucester station while the other headed to Western Avenue. The tram that was supposed to take the Gloucester mainline followed quite close behind the Western Avenue tram. Occasionally the one taking the Western Avenue branch caused the following tram taking Gloucester to not flip the junction and he would get lost. It so happened one day I caught the action in front of me and I was able to see why the idiot driver ended up heading to Western Avenue and on to West Gloucester to turn around, or spend the rest of his career backing up and turning around and causing an awful traffic tie up. The solution was quite simple. I delayed the start time of the Gloucester mainline tram by about 10 seconds on start up. That's all it took to offset that driver from going down the wrong branch.
    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    Yes this issue seems to have vanished. Note the word seems. From my testing I haven't run into that, but then again anything is possible to reoccur with AI drivers. You know how that goes.

    If N3V fixed it, it's most likely through fixing other things such as the code threading issues which plagued TS12 and below. These threads are data communications going on with various parts of the program that interact with signals, update AI positions, control what track marks do, switch positions, and other things. If these threads are bogged down, the AI can and do weird things. It's like having a stuck key on a keyboard with stuff in the buffer. If we wait long enough, we'll get a bunch of stuff in the command queue and then all the data is streamed at once. This issue causes stutters as well. Through code changes, as well as the 64-bit program code, we now have a much more efficient program so that issue doesn't appear as often if not at all.

    One way around this issue in general is to delay the AI trains a bit so they don't drive as close to each other. I've run into this issue a few times which drove me absolutely nuts. I had two trams (trolleys) running one after another. One driver took the mainline back to Gloucester station while the other headed to Western Avenue. The tram that was supposed to take the Gloucester mainline followed quite close behind the Western Avenue tram. Occasionally the one taking the Western Avenue branch caused the following tram taking Gloucester to not flip the junction and he would get lost. It so happened one day I caught the action in front of me and I was able to see why the idiot driver ended up heading to Western Avenue and on to West Gloucester to turn around, or spend the rest of his career backing up and turning around and causing an awful traffic tie up. The solution was quite simple. I delayed the start time of the Gloucester mainline tram by about 10 seconds on start up. That's all it took to offset that driver from going down the wrong branch.
    Yes, John: delay the AI trains a bit or just start them out in different parts of the layout.

    I had three freight trains in a particular staging yard all scheduled to take off at the same time when Driver is launched. A UP manifest followed by an Indiana unit auto-rack followed by a BN piggyback. Upon exiting the yard, all three trains were then scheduled to drive onto a siding shortly up the mainline ahead. The UP lead out of the yard and took the proper route as scheduled. The Indiana followed the UP but took the wrong branch ahead. I then moved the Indiana to another part of the layout and that left just the UP followed by the BN. The UP lead again and did what it was supposed to do. The BN followed the UP out of the yard but made the same goof the Indiana RR train did earlier: took the wrong branch ahead. So now I am doing a trial run with both Indiana and the BN on different parts of the layout at session startup. The UP is now by itself in this yard on Driver startup and so far it has not goofed.

    In another part of the layout there is another staging yard with a similar turnout just ahead of it. All three trains coming out of that yard close together seem to not goof at their own turnout just ahead. They all follow one another onto that siding as they should. So go figure. The staging yards is the storage area for AI driven trains and the very long siding ahead is the holding track where they are time-released 20 minutes apart one behind the other. This setup acts like portals emitting trains with time intervals.

    This idea of autonomous cars really scares me knowing that computers can screw up so badly. I hope autonomous vehicle software is far superior to Trainz software. There would be many traffic deaths if it weren't. The Trainz game seems to be a sort of an experiment in autonomous transportation.




    Ooops! One of my AI trains is now missing its consist: just a pair of SP SD40-T2 engines with the long Tank Train A missing! A re-occurrence of what typically happens when the game software develops rot over time. Time for a fresh reinstall and hopefully the siding junction goof might also be fixed.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; December 12th, 2019 at 03:01 PM.
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    AI is not infallible, AI makes mistakes, AI will function correctly one time, and another time it will totally mess up, and following trains will act differently at different sessions.

    KISS-Keeping It Simple, is the key, and using many many multiple complexly manual input programed rules, will further foul things up.

    I use "Drive" and along with fake junctions that have driveable signalmen on fake branch line BNSF50 invisible siding tracks, blocking the mainline, making a signal red for a mainline train, and locking the turnout, until you back up the driveable signalman a tad, turning the signal green again, allowing the mainline train to pass, and you can use BNSF50 invisible signal, and "signal thingy"

    Track dirrectional markers, placed poiting at oncoming trains will stop unruly AI trains from making up their own self devised, or shortest route, paths

    Trainz is NOT an automated autonomous simulator, AI makes many, many mistakes
    Last edited by MP242; December 12th, 2019 at 06:04 PM.
    My RGCX train is 53.24 miles long, and takes 1 hour to pass through town !

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    Quote Originally Posted by MP242 View Post
    AI is not infallible, AI makes mistakes, AI will function correctly one time, and another time it will totally mess up, and following trains will act differently at different sessions.

    KISS-Keeping It Simple, is the key, and using many many multiple complexly manual input programed rules, will further foul things up.

    I use "Drive" and along with fake junctions that have driveable signalmen on fake branch line BNSF50 invisible siding tracks, blocking the mainline, making a signal red for a mainline train, and locking the turnout, until you back up the driveable signalman a tad, turning the signal green again, allowing the mainline train to pass, and you can use BNSF50 invisible signal, and "signal thingy"

    Track dirrectional markers, placed poiting at oncoming trains will stop unruly AI trains from making up their own self devised, or shortest route, paths

    Trainz is NOT an automated autonomous simulator, AI makes many, many mistakes
    I'm so glad Amtrak doesn't use Trainz software to run its physical trains. Its human personnel screw up bad enough as it is and people still get killed.


    Trainz AI is like an finicky Volvo, Datsun 280 ZX Turbo, Fiat, Jaguar or SAAB engine that needs a periodic tune-up under the hood.
    So far, a fresh reinstall has always done the trick when all else fails.
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; December 12th, 2019 at 07:09 PM.
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    No Trainz people, nor animules, have ever been actually hurt, maimed, or seriously kilt' in Trainz
    Last edited by MP242; December 12th, 2019 at 06:27 PM.
    My RGCX train is 53.24 miles long, and takes 1 hour to pass through town !

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonMyrlennBailey View Post
    It's latest goof. When told to Drive Via a particular track mark that is on a particular siding, a particular train continues down the mainline for about 1/2 mile past the default green (diverging turnout set for mainline) lever then stops and backs up. You've probably missed your exit in your car every now and then on the highway. Garmin can always recalculate and get you back on course. The funny thing is, the AI train just ahead of it properly executed the command. It threw the lever and drove via the track mark on the siding as it should while setting the lever back to default green behind itself as it should. Both trains were told to drive via the exact same track mark. How come one driver can execute the command correctly but the guy immediately following screws up so badly right in the very same session? One might think all drivers should screw up consistently.

    I'm now running XDR. It might be that time for a TS12 reinstall again for the first time in about three weeks. Much edit work in Surveyor and so much running trains in Driver tends to break AI down over so much time. Almost always fresh, clean reinstalls tend to correct AI's brain cramps. XDR often doesn't fix anything AI-wise.
    Yes Trainz AI will do that and who knows why. I run passenger services in both directions on a long rambling single track line and I have things pretty well set up with correct signalling and the passing loops have direction markers to make sure trains can wait and pass one another. Most of the time my timetable schedule will run for hours without a hitch and then out of the blue an AI driver does something random and unexpected. So for a few minutes I yell at everybody and take control and sort out the problem and once it's fixed off the trains go again until the next time an AI driver has a 'moment'.

    By the way my present TS2012 install has been running solidly for nearly 18 months without any problems so I'm wondering why you are having to reinstall it all the time.
    Last edited by KotangaGirl; December 12th, 2019 at 06:38 PM. Reason: spelling
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



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    Quote Originally Posted by KotangaGirl View Post
    Yes Trainz AI will do that and who knows why. I run passenger services in both directions on a long rambling single track line and I have things pretty well set up with correct signalling and the passing loops have direction markers to make sure trains can wait and pass one another. Most of the time my timetable schedule will run for hours without a hitch and then out of the blue an AI driver does something random and unexpected. So for a few minutes I yell at everybody and take control and sort out the problem and once it's fixed off the trains go again until the next time an AI driver has a 'moment'.

    By the way my present TS2012 install has been running solidly for nearly 18 months without any problems so I'm wondering why you are having to reinstall it all the time.

    I don't know. I sadly lack a Doctorate in Trainzology. Could be malware screwing it up. Maybe Windows 7 is the culprit.
    Maybe N3V hates me and is jinxing mine with a Trojan horse. It just seems like a fresh reinstall has been getting my Trainz back
    "on track", at least for a while. Editing layouts in Surveyor a lot as I do seems to bring on the software rot fast. If you are just running Driver
    most of the time and leaving your route and session builds alone you may have better luck.

    I just can't have a simple train on a track that goes around in circles like an old Lionel or Marx. I got to have animals, dozens of sounds from crowing roosters to bullfrogs, trucks driving on YARN roads, flying helicopters, walking people, Bigfoot, horse-drawn stagecoaches, driving boats and the whole fancy kit and kaboodle. I'm trying to turn a Trainz layout into a virtual Disneyland theme park, so to speak. AI runs up to 30 vehicles on repeating schedules at once over my route. On top of that I may drive one train of my own by hand.

    -1 army Huey chopper
    -1 stagecoach
    -1 town carriage
    -1 farm wagon
    -8 semi trucks
    -3 logging trucks
    -2 maintenance-of-way trucks
    -2 speedboats
    -1 narrow canal boat
    -6 freight trains
    -4 passenger trains
    Last edited by JonMyrlennBailey; December 12th, 2019 at 07:42 PM.
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    Constantly un-installing Trainz, and re-installing Trainz anew, just to get AI, to work is very pointless, like constantly un-installing, and re-installing a Windows OS on a PC, there is no such thing as "software rot".
    Last edited by MP242; December 12th, 2019 at 07:39 PM.
    My RGCX train is 53.24 miles long, and takes 1 hour to pass through town !

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    Quote Originally Posted by MP242 View Post
    Constantly un-installing Trainz, and re-installing Trainz anew, just to get AI, to work is very pointless, like constantly un-installing, and re-installing a Windows OS on a PC, there is no such thing as "software rot".
    corrupt data then

    AI is so important to me it is worth a fresh install to fix it
    TANE SP2 Build 90945, downloaded Dec. 2017, TS12 Build 61388, downloaded Feb. 2018, American citizen, Lawton, OK

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    My Uk Norfolk has gone through many rebuilds over this past year as I continue to develop it to handle the demands of the traffic on the line. True enough it's a 'what-if' model of a secondary line and the traffic schedule is a lot lighter than what you've described for your layout, but rebuilding a layout shouldn't actually make any difference to how reliably it runs provided the rebuilding is done properly.
    I have traffic running on the roads, trading schooners sailing along the coast, and plenty of background sound generators to help along the general ambience, but perhaps not to the level you describe. I'm actually wondering if you're pushing the TS2012 game engine out to the limits of what it can handle and that might be causing some of the problems your're experiencing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KotangaGirl View Post
    Yes Trainz AI will do that and who knows why. I run passenger services in both directions on a long rambling single track line and I have things pretty well set up with correct signalling and the passing loops have direction markers to make sure trains can wait and pass one another. Most of the time my timetable schedule will run for hours without a hitch and then out of the blue an AI driver does something random and unexpected. So for a few minutes I yell at everybody and take control and sort out the problem and once it's fixed off the trains go again until the next time an AI driver has a 'moment'.

    By the way my present TS2012 install has been running solidly for nearly 18 months without any problems so I'm wondering why you are having to reinstall it all the time.
    Many who make sessions seem to expect the AI to do everything. They give it insufficient clues in the form of:
    * track marks;
    * signals of the right kind to make proper blocks and to control junctions, single lines et al;
    * no-entry markers;
    * properly designed junctions/points.

    Putting in these things can make AI sessions that are highly complex - those with lots of trains using the same lines & junctions - run well with no user intervention required. When the AI goes wrong, it's often because it's been given ambiguous, contradictory or impossible instructions because the navigation points are not well designed.

    As you have, I've found that proper use of track marks, direction pointers and signals/blocks can generally avoid the AI going doo-lally. But it's also possible to use belt and braces - to include instructions in the driver list that not only give the list of track marks via an achievable route but also include instructions to set/unset points and/or signals as a train approaches them in a default condition other than needed for the route of that train. This stops the delays as a train comes up to points at a default direction opposite that it needs with a signal at red. The AI will eventually churn and change the points/signal. But that AI churn can instead be explicitly programmed into the list of driver instructions with the driver commands that set/unset points and perhaps also put signals to red for other entry points into the junction so any other train can't enter the junction until the first train has crossed that junction.

    If a track mark is set at a suitable distance before the wrongly-set junction and it's red light, this can be used as a trigger to apply a series of point-setting instructions so that the points change, the signal goes green and the train goes the correct way through the junction without slowing. Another track mark beyond the junction can be used to release the junction back to it's default direction. If necessary, opposing signals can also be set (and later released) to stop trains coming the other way into the junction from going over the crossover of left & right tracks.

    Lataxe

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    Thank you Lataxe. You've certainly given me some good things to think about. With both my M&GNJR layout and my GER layout with their long single track sections it's been a real learning curve to get them to operate reliably, but now they do for 99% of the time and I'm happy with that.
    What I would like to see in Trainz is an instruction equivalent to having the staff/tablet for a section so that the AI driver who has it has full control of the section until the staff/tablet is surrendered at the end of the section. I have no idea how such a thing could implemented, but it certainly would make operating single lines much more immersive.

    Last edited by KotangaGirl; December 13th, 2019 at 03:30 PM. Reason: added a picture
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    Quote Originally Posted by KotangaGirl View Post
    What I would like to see in Trainz is an instruction equivalent to having the staff/tablet for a section so that the AI driver who has it has full control of the section until the staff/tablet is surrendered at the end of the section. I have no idea how such a thing could implemented, but it certainly would make operating single lines much more immersive.
    Interlocking Towers and Train Control Blocks would achieve much the same thing. There is a staff/token system, that includes working mechanical staff machines and staff ticket boxes, that is designed for use in Trainz but it is cosmetic only - it has no control over junctions and signals.
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