Using range names for model clarity

See also: Model design introduction, Building models that are easy to check and modify, Colour coding models for clarity

Excel models can grow to a size that make them difficult to follow, and Monte Carlo models can be somewhat more confusing because the numbers keep changing. Range naming is a great way to make reading formulae more natural, and so easier to check.

To give a name to a cell or range of contiguous cells, select the cells, click in the name box, and type the name you want to use. So, for example, Cell A1 might contain the value 22. Giving it the label 'Peter' means that typing '=Peter' anywhere else in the sheet will return the value 22.

For a lot of probability distributions there are standard conventions for naming the parameters of your model. For example, =VoseHypergeo(n, D, M) and =VoseGamma(alpha, beta). So if you have just one or two of these distributions in your model, using these names (e.g. alpha1, alpha2, etc. for each Gamma distribution) actually makes it easier to write the formulae too.

Note that a Cell or Range may have several names, and a Cell in a Range may have a separate name from the range's name.

Read on: Numerical integration




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