Half Belt Splitter

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DrNoid
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 9:57 am

So you're saying (can't test right now) that in the case of a balanced copper/metal belt, the splitter would send all copper to one output and all metal to the other? But not reliable, because 1 missing or extra item and the two sides are switched around?

That sounds pretty useless! All the more reason to get rid of the current splitter in favour of simpler and much better behaved unit operations.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by Gammro » Mon May 19, 2014 10:35 am

What? NO. I thought I was clear. I don't even know why you're thinking that I meant that.

I don't know why you people have trouble understanding the basic function of a splitter, it's really, really, really, basic logic. Please just play the game for a while and observe how it works.
Ignore this

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 12:43 pm

If it's so simple, then why do you have such a trouble explaining how it works? Apparently the thing is not so simple at all!

You just made two contradictory statements on the functioning of the thing. Which one is it? Or do you also not really know how the thing works?
Gammro wrote:The splitter tracks where the last item was sent to. If it was left, the current item will go to the right. If it was right, the current item will be sent to the left. All items stay on the same side of the belt.
That's it.
If I have a zig-zag of items on the belt, copper left, metal right, those items arrive as copper-iron-copper-iron-copper-iron

If what you just stated where true, that that would result in all iron going to one side and all copper going the other.

This IS what happens if you only have 1 type on the belt, in such a zig-zag. All items on the left half of the belt go to one exit, all items on the right half go to the other. (can post a screenshot when I'm back home)

But if this does not happen when there are two types of items on the belt, then apparently the thing behaves differently based on what's on the belt.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by ssilk » Mon May 19, 2014 3:47 pm

Moderator speaking: If there is a problem in understanding how splitter works you can ask in the help board or look into the wiki ( https://forums.factorio.com/wiki/inde ... =Splitters ). It doesn't make sense to discuss the function of a splitter here. If the basic function of a splitter hasn't been understood, it also makes no sense to make suggestions about new. :)
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 4:16 pm

I understand the workings of the splitter just fine, and it's not nearly as simple as some people think. That's what causes all the discussion, and that's why I think it should be removed in favour of simpler unit operations that can be combined to have the same functionality (and more).

Anyway, splitter madness:
Splitter_Madness_1.png
A splitter with a balanced feed of 1 item type.
Splitter_Madness_1.png (287.15 KiB) Viewed 2730 times
Splitter_Madness_3.png
A splitter with a balanced feed of 2 item types.
Splitter_Madness_3.png (366.89 KiB) Viewed 2730 times
Clearly the behaviour of the splitter changes based on the item types it sees. It keeps track of where the last item of a type was moved. That is smart-inserter complexity level, yet unlike the smart inserter we can't configure it. Replace the thing with simpler unit operations and there would be a lot fewer discussions about splitting...

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by ssilk » Mon May 19, 2014 4:53 pm

Well. This gets interesting. ;)

Could you just make a second inserter for copper and explain us, what you see then? :)

And some tip: get a second look into the explanations in the wiki (see link above) and try to figure out, if some of the dozen or eventually more people looking at it might have been wrong.
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 5:09 pm

Double the copper? Sure:
Splitter_Madness_4.png
A splitter with a balanced feed of 2 item types in a ratio of 2 to 1.
Splitter_Madness_4.png (278.77 KiB) Viewed 2716 times
As you can see when comparing this one with the second one in the previous post, the added copper has no influence on the splitters behaviour with regards to the steel. It now outputs (starting from the splitter)
2 left (copper, steel), 1 right (copper), 1 left (copper), 2 right (steel, copper), repeat

The wiki does a bad job of explaining it, but what the splitter seems to do is:
For each item-type, keep track of the side on which the last item of that type was put, and output the next item of that type on the other side.

So it does not, as the wiki states, "alternated put every input item on one of the two output belts".
But that was already clear from Splitter_Madness_3.png, since there it outputs two left, two right, two left, two right, etc.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by ssilk » Mon May 19, 2014 5:17 pm

Why don't you mean that comes just from the splitting? What I see is: Splitter stands in up-position. Item comes in. Item is outputted in the upper belt. Splitter moves into down-position. item comes in. Item is outputted on the lower belt. Splitter moves up. And so on. Or in other words: Every second incoming item is put on the lower belt.

I mean you are just not watching exactly enough. And if you mean, that the wiki makes a bad job, then change it.
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 5:25 pm

ssilk wrote:Why don't you mean that comes just from the splitting? What I see is: Splitter stands in up-position. Item comes in. Item is outputted in the upper belt. Splitter moves into down-position. item comes in. Item is outputted on the lower belt. Splitter moves up. And so on. Or in other words: Every second incoming item is put on the lower belt.
Look at the output in Splitter_Madness_3.png. Look at it... Carefully...
Not every second item is put on the lower belt. Every second copper, and every second steel is output on the lower belt. That is, every third and every fourth item is put on the lower belt.
You are the one not watching clearly enough!

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by ssilk » Mon May 19, 2014 5:30 pm

You're just a troll... ;)

Image
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 5:33 pm

ssilk wrote:You're just a troll... ;)
Sorry, but now you are just trolling. I've clearly made my point, with plenty of proof, and added more on request. But if you're too high and mighty to admit you're wrong, your loss.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by robhol » Mon May 19, 2014 5:39 pm

ssilk wrote:You're just a troll... ;)
He's not a troll because he's not agreeing with you - calling him that is a very, very bad way of trying to resolve a debate.

Instead of being hostile to 90% of new suggestions, people need to try to work a little harder on having an open mind - or at least stop picking fights on the suggestions forum. A humble suggestion to you would be to treat that underlying problem instead of the "symptoms" where the debate starts to slip, becoming arguments instead.
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by ssilk » Mon May 19, 2014 5:51 pm

By definition he is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29

That article explains also, that trolling is subjective. For me it is trolling, if someone starts to argument with me about the function of the splitter. I mean... I don't have words for that... :)

And the article mentions also people, which find his "post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion". Well, you might be able to explain him, that he is just wrong. :) I'm out and I hope that this discussion ends here.
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by Garm » Mon May 19, 2014 5:59 pm

ssilk that's unbecoming of you as a moderator.

While the premise of their debate is somewhat trollish - it has evolved into a legitimate question.

This question is not fitting for suggestion thread as such I would recommend moving splitter function discussion in discussion thread instead.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by Hyena Grin » Mon May 19, 2014 6:06 pm

robhol wrote:
ssilk wrote:You're just a troll... ;)
He's not a troll because he's not agreeing with you - calling him that is a very, very bad way of trying to resolve a debate.

Instead of being hostile to 90% of new suggestions, people need to try to work a little harder on having an open mind - or at least stop picking fights on the suggestions forum. A humble suggestion to you would be to treat that underlying problem instead of the "symptoms" where the debate starts to slip, becoming arguments instead.
It is shocking how toxic the environment in this game's suggestion forum is. And more shocking that one of the moderators actually contributes to that.

'Trolling.'

Jesus. Maybe we should be discussing the definition of 'moderator.'

Anyway, DrNoid, I can see where you're getting confused.

The splitter splits each lane individually. So it's not recognizing different types of materials, it is just splitting by lane. If you set up a situation where a lane has a series of segments of 3 copper and 1 iron, you will not end up with the same amount of iron and copper going through. It just looks like it's 'recognizing' the materials because you have the materials separated onto two different lanes, and the splitter's logic applies to each lane individually.

Mechanically this would probably not be that hard to pull off. As long as the splitter mechanism is capable of recognizing which lane an object is coming in on, it should be able to 'remember' what the last output belt was for that lane.

Also, as an aside, people really, really need to stop making assumptions about how long someone has played the game for. Seriously, that attitude is presumptuous and arrogant.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Mon May 19, 2014 6:24 pm

Hyena Grin wrote: Anyway, DrNoid, I can see where you're getting confused.

The splitter splits each lane individually. So it's not recognizing different types of materials, it is just splitting by lane. If you set up a situation where a lane has a series of segments of 3 copper and 1 iron, you will not end up with the same amount of iron and copper going through. It just looks like it's 'recognizing' the materials because you have the materials separated onto two different lanes, and the splitter's logic applies to each lane individually.

Mechanically this would probably not be that hard to pull off. As long as the splitter mechanism is capable of recognizing which lane an object is coming in on, it should be able to 'remember' what the last output belt was for that lane.

Also, as an aside, people really, really need to stop making assumptions about how long someone has played the game for. Seriously, that attitude is presumptuous and arrogant.
Thank you for actually replying on topic.

But that does not explain my first screenshot:
Image
There it clearly does not split the lanes, since one lane goes completely to one side, and the other lane completely to the other side. If you add 1 extra metal on the belt (regardless of the side you put it on), the lanes turn around.

I've also tried your 3-copper 1-iron on the same belt side:
Splitter_Madness_5.png
3 copper, 1 iron, same belt side.
Splitter_Madness_5.png (173.18 KiB) Viewed 1749 times
The pattern that gives, starting from the left:
copper, left
copper, right
copper, left
iron, left
copper, right
copper, left
copper, right
iron, right
repeat

So, coppers are independantly alternating left-right, and iron is independantly alternating left-right, but together they are not alternating nicely, since there are cases where it does a (copper)left - (iron)left or right-right sequence.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by Hyena Grin » Mon May 19, 2014 6:29 pm

... well, you've convinced me.

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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by ssilk » Tue May 20, 2014 1:17 am

Ahhh! Now I understood what you mean. :) Your last pic showed me, what you mean.

I'll take back the troll and say sorry.

For those, who haven't seen it (it tooks me about 10-20 minutes to understand, because at first it looks ok, but when you begin to count...):

Four different input items. Every item is split first down, then up.
splittermadness1.jpg
splittermadness1.jpg (42.75 KiB) Viewed 1736 times
It doesn't matter, which lane, the output belt is switched per item:
splittermadness3.jpg
splittermadness3.jpg (44.18 KiB) Viewed 1736 times
The algorithm does something different, when the same item comes in:
splittermadness2.jpg
splittermadness2.jpg (41.78 KiB) Viewed 1736 times
I do not really understand this pic... :roll: ... too late and it was a long day... would be interesting, if someone could explain the algorithm behind it. But perhaps not in this thread, better in the general board. :)

...

Again, I'm sorry for naming you troll, DrNoid. For me, that behavior of the splitter was untill today completely unknown. Perhaps too much stress, so that I didn't saw, what you mean and then my reaction becomes more or less explainable.
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Re: Half Belt Splitter

Post by DrNoid » Tue May 20, 2014 7:19 am

ssilk wrote: Again, I'm sorry for naming you troll, DrNoid. For me, that behavior of the splitter was untill today completely unknown. Perhaps too much stress, so that I didn't saw, what you mean and then my reaction becomes more or less explainable.
Accepted. We all have too much stress sometimes, and language barriers can sometimes make it difficult to clearly get a point across.
I'll make a new thread about the splitter algorithm this evening, but if someone wants to make one sooner that's also fine of course.

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