Lab Sophistry

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mrt144
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Lab Sophistry

Post by mrt144 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:14 pm

So I had a wild idea earlier this morning and I'll leave it to you guys to rip me to shreds over it since I'm probably dipping into some fallacious thinking.

So what if instead of constructing 1 lab to consume many beakers, why don't we construct many labs to consume one beaker a piece?

Basically my idea is to preload as many labs as possible with the beakers needed for the next breakthrough before actually selecting that next breakthrough to research. So if we have a breakthrough that takes 500 beakers we build 500 labs and let them fill up with the beakers then select research. Research time is inclusive of time to manufacture precursor items, time to transport, and time to 'research' which is the act of converting beakers into research. To me this would cut down on the 'research' time considerably while not necessarily changing timing with regards to manufacturing precursors.

What are the downsides to doing it this way rather than 10 labs munching through a que of 500 beakers? Space? Lab Manufacturing? Is there any time savings to be had by doing a ton of labs that have a small per beaker consumption for any research item?

mrt144
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by mrt144 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 pm

Now that I thought about it a wee bit more, the conditions where a lab can pass a beaker on to a lab who 'needs' it are when there is no research being conducted, or a lab is munching a beaker into research and is 'full'. So I guess you are forgoing all the possible lab munching that could also pass along beakers to needy labs at that time. I wish I could write this out as a function, or one of you would do my homework for me ;)

mrt144
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by mrt144 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:57 am

I realize that ive been working on my megabase a bit much when this is the kind of scale im thinking of. Oh yeah, 500 labs, i can fit that in this spot perfectly. Lol, make it 501 cause of these big dream jeans.

mrvn
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by mrvn » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Are you seriously trying to tell us you only built one lab to do research?

While 500 labs might be overkill building 10 - 50 labs is perfectly normal. At that scale you get into scalability issues with passing bulbs from lab to lab or belt speed. And producing science packs at the rate they are consumed by so many labs is real work. No point in building 500 labs if they will only run 10% of the time.

mrt144
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by mrt144 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:07 pm

Haha, no, I was just using 1 kinda as a placeholder lower limit that you could use to get a handle on some of the time dependent variables of research, not that anyone in their right mind would. (Ive actually been using 3 labs on a bootstrap setup while I spend considerable time speccing out my megabase and constructing it. You can basically research everything you need to build a megabase on the first 4 science packs bar requester chests, right?)

But I guess what I want to do is compare research times using a preload method with 500 labs and a normal 10 to 50 lab setup. Is there a generally accepted methodology to test such things? Do I really need to get a stop watch?

And like my thread title suggest, I think Im playing fallacious games with potential time savings here but I want to know where Im goofing up in my thought and I want someone to kinda illustrate the why of it. Like I said, Id love a function, even a loosey goosey qualitatively illustrative function to explain where my idea breaks down.

I admit that making a megabase has changed my perception of resources where theres just so many that it doesnt feel like a real constraint in game terms sometimes. Electricity included.

Greybeard_LXI
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by Greybeard_LXI » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:02 pm

What are you testing? How efficiently inserters load the labs?

Research speed is (number of red science packs times research speed)/ number of labs. Assuming you do not run out of any science pack and you have not researched research speed. The number of each color science pack is the same for all research in 0.17 (I think it changed in 0.15.)

Assuming no enhanced research speed:

Pick up all your labs and place 75 and connect them to sufficient power network. Add one each red, green and blue science pack to each. Research Efficiency Module 2. You will be done in 30 seconds. https://wiki.factorio.com/Advanced_elec ... (research)

Take your 75 labs and put three each red, green and blue pack in each and an extra one of each in 25 labs.(total 250). Start researching Advanced Material Processing 2. You will be done in 120 seconds. https://wiki.factorio.com/Advanced_mate ... (research) If you used 250 labs you would be done in 30 seconds.

Can you really afford to build enough science packs to fill all these labs in 30 seconds? I think you're going to have lots of down time for labs and pack manufacture unless you are working on infinite mining or some thing.

There is no way to automatically preload the science packs ... the labs only request packs for items they are researching.

mrvn
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by mrvn » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:40 am

You can also build 1000 labs and let each consume 1/2 science pack and get done twice as fast.

But the point remains: Any time any science lab is idle because you can't supply science packs fast enough is time lost. Build only as many science labs as you can fill with science packs.

bobucles
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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by bobucles » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:30 am

Welcome to factorio. If you want something done faster, build more. More. Always more.

Science labs are cheap, and science factories are huge. Chances are you can burn through potions far more quickly than you will ever be able to produce them. If you have a backup of science packs, just place down a few more labs to use them up. Nothing too complicated about it.

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Re: Lab Sophistry

Post by mrt144 » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:05 pm

See, I knew I was getting it goofy at some part - you can't actually preload labs. I thought that was the case due to perceiving the transactions wrong, repeatedly. Basically I took the ability of labs to have science packs in them to be working one way when in fact it was working another.

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