Features & Interface

Features & Interface

  • Features: a brief overview of the main features of Y-GUI V2.0
  • Interface: introduction to the user-interface of Y-GUI V2.0 and its different components


Various features have been implemented in Y-GUI V2.0. These would greatly simplify the process of setting up input files in the standard format permitted in the Y2D Code. The main features are listed below:

Easy data input for control database, interaction database, material properties, and boundary conditions.

Mesh import from Phase2 as well as Y2D mesh format.

Y2D file import allows to import the whole data of a Y2D input file including all its databases, mesh, property set and assignments, etc.

Mesh manipulation tools for moving a mesh node, translating all or selected nodes of a mesh, drawing a mesh, and merging two meshes. Note that the mesh nodes should be inserted in a counter-clockwise fashion.

Graphical assignment of material properties, and boundary / initial conditions to the selected elements and selected nodes of a mesh, respectively. Each property set or boundary condition set has a color associated with it which makes it easy to observed the assignments.

Save screenshot; saving the contents shown in the Graphics page as an image in Bitmap, GIF, or JPEG format.

► Various zoom and pan tools available through the toolbar buttons and middle-mouse click and drag. These include zooming in, zooming out, zooming to extents, and refreshing a view through the toolbar on the right hand side of the canvas, panning to east, west, north and south through the provided buttons, zooming in / out by scrolling the middle button of the mouse, and dynamic panning by pressing and dragging the middle mouse button.

► Graphically define output history points through the context menu of the Graphics tabpage (activated by right-clicking). The relevant data of the inserted points are shown in the table of the Output History tabpage.

Anisotropy; material properties can be randomly assigned to elements using a given distribution. The percentage of each material property set (e.g. each mineral) is defined in the Anisotropy tabpage. This tool helps count for the natural anisotropy of rock masses.

Keyboard and mouse shortcuts make the program more user-friendly while speeding up processes.


As shown below, Y-GUI interface is divided into different components. Most of the data input and graphical processes are done in their corresponding tabpage. More options are made avaialable through main menus, toolbars, a context menu, checkboxes, textboxes, and buttons.


The interface is divided into:

1. Menus consisting of File Menu and Help Menu that give mesh / file import and export options and access to help files, respectively.

2. A Tabbed-page control for model input and graphical canvas. For more details see below.

3. A Message Window to interact with the user about current actions or if an error has occurred.

4. Bottom section of the GUI to specify the filename of the mesh or Y file to be imported and the Y file to be exported. This is somehow an alternative of the File Menu.

5. Statusbar to prompt general guidelines for the current action as well as showing the coordinates of the mouse on the graphical canvas.

The structure of different tabpages together with their screenshots and functionalities are given below (to better understand this structure, read more about the Y2D data structure):

Control DB: Input the control database for each simulation including, the number of time steps, their size, output frequency, gravitational acceleration, as well as the maximum number of elements and nodes (important if the built-in mesh refinement of Y2D is used).

Interaction: Input the interaction database, most important of all the maximum number of contacting couples and the size of buffer. Below is a screenshot of the Interaction page.


Properties: Includes all the properties that can be assigned to the elements of the mesh, such as Young's Modulus of Elasticity, Poisson's ratio, friction coefficient, and density, as well as model parameters including viscous damping, penalty term, amount of mesh refinement and the type of property. For better graphical visualization, a separate color can be assigned to each property set. In order to modify an existing property set, first it should be selected from the 'Property Set' Combo box and once that the desired properties are modified, the property set can be updated by clicking "Update Selected Property Set".

pr               pr-selectColor

Boundary Conditions: The choice of boundary conditions (BC) including force, acceleration, or velocity in x- or y-direction, as well as element surface pressure / traction can be entered here. Also, these parameters can be used to restrict elements for instance confining the movement of elements by setting velocities to zero. Updating of each boundary condition set is done in the same way as for property sets. Another option available for boundary condition sets is a checkbox that turns on / off the desired BC set.


Graphics: The Graphics page is the main window for all graphical interaction with the user. The imported mesh / file is drawn on it. Various functionality is given through a toolbar, buttons and a context menu. The checkboxes also enable the user to switch on and off the mesh, inserted output points, property set colors, the selected nodes, and BC set colors. More information about how to use these functionalities is available in the "How To..." page.


Output History: Place to specify general parameters for output database including accuracy of output and factors to scale time and state. Also, as soon as output history points are inserted in the graphics page, they will be displayed in a table in the Output History page.


Anisotropy: Specify the distribution of different property sets here. Once that the summation adds up to 100%, property sets can be assigned to selected or all elements in a random fashion.