What Is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening, usually with a round edge, used for receiving something, such as a coin or a letter. The word is also used figuratively to refer to a position or a place, as in “the slot is open for a new hire,” or to mean a particular time or place when something will occur.

This article explains the different types of slots and their configurations, and describes how you can use them to analyze and display data in your model. The article also provides a few examples of how to use slots to create a variety of graphs and reports.

Time Series Slots

A time series slot shows one value for each timestep. The default format is to display the entire row of data for each timestep, but you can change the display by selecting a Compression Mode in the Slot Configuration dialog or by using the Options menu of the slot itself (see Compression Modes for details). In some cases, a slot may show a value that is not a number. This occurs if the slot is configured to use an Integer Index instead of a date value. The value will be displayed with a question mark or NaN in the dialog box. A slot value that displays a question mark is not available to be set as the reference value, and a new value cannot be inserted into the slot unless it is first converted to a number by the compression mode settings or by entering a value manually.

Other Types of Slots

Some slots are expression slots, which contain a single mathematical operation that can be executed on data from the dataset. These slots are marked with special ornamentation in the column header, and when clicked, open in a Slot Editor to let you view and edit the expression. Similarly, some slots are periodical slots with periodic input, and when clicked they open in a Slot Dialog to let you configure the periodic interval and data interpolation settings.

The last type of slot is a statistical table slot, which contains a series of snapshots of data from the dataset that is being processed. This type of slot is often useful for displaying data that changes over time, such as the flow rate in an irrigation canal. Like all statistical table slots, you can modify the column configurations by selecting a slot and using the Configure Statistical Table Slot dialog. The statistics for the slot are also available to be plotted in a plot by selecting File, Plot with Snapshots or Alt+P.

All types of slots can be exported to a comma-separated values (CSV) file by clicking the Export to CSV button in the Slot Dialog. Some slots also include an option to export to an Excel spreadsheet by selecting the File, Spreadsheet option in the Slot Dialog. The Excel file will contain the data from the selected slot with its current configuration and settings.