ABF File Format

ABF and the program use a three-tier system comprised of datatypes, requests, and components. A file that does not contain three tiers cannot be translated into Altair Binary Format unless it is restructured into three tiers.

Files with less than three tiers can be used if false divisions are introduced.

Differing datatypes can have differing sets and numbers of requests but requests cannot contain differing sets of components. In some cases, you may want each node (the requests) to contain differing results (components) based on the information requested for that node in the input deck from which the simulation was generated. However, since you can select multiple requests in the interface (you can only select one datatype at a time), the components list must be the same for each request. Therefore the user can plot the same component (or components) from multiple requests. Therefore, the program treats the number and names of components as part of the datatype (ie., each datatype contains a list of requests and a list of components; requests contain data for each component, but they do not actually have their own component lists).

Restructure a File with One Tier

A file that contains only a single list of values (one tier) can be converted to ABF with one datatype which contains one request and one component.

Restructure a File with Less than Three Divisions

Combine two divisions as datatypes.

For example, a file with four divisions can be converted into three divisions by combining tiers to increase the number of datatypes by combining two divisions as datatypes such as Run 1 – Displacement or Run 2 – Acceleration.
("Displacement", "Velocity", and "Acceleration"),
("Run 1", "Run 2", and "Run 3"),
("Node 1", "Node 2", "Node 3," etc.),
("X", "Y", and "Z"),