Client Pause button

pschwed's Avatar

pschwed

16 Jun, 2011 10:15 AM

Hi Chris!

Recently I realized that pushing the "stop" button while an experiment runs does, apart from stopping the currently running state machine, stop all IO-Devices and reset all selectable objects.

This is not desirably when I run experiments with lots of different randomized trials and I want to have every combination of trial settings equally distributed.

Is there any way to use the pause-button of the client and to not reset IO-Devices and Selectables? I played a bit with the "interruptible" parameters of Containers and State machines, but that doesn't seem to have any effect at all.

Thank you!
Philipp

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Christopher Sta... on 16 Jun, 2011 04:01 PM

    Christopher Stawarz's Avatar

    Hi Philipp,

    Currently, the pause button does absolutely nothing. The MWorks core includes some infrastructure for supporting a "paused" state (as opposed to "running" or "stopped"), but it looks to me like this is a feature that was started but never completed.

    Are you looking for a way to suspend execution of the state system (i.e. to temporarily stop executing state transitions), while leaving the rest of the experiment running? It seems like that should be possible, although there may be complications that I can't foresee right now.

    Chris

  2. 2 Posted by pschwed on 16 Jun, 2011 05:18 PM

    pschwed's Avatar

    Hi Chris,

    yes, exactly. The basic idea was to pause an experiment that has a lot of possible stimulus combinations. Because I want every combination tested at least once (or twice or whatever), it is of importance that selectables don't get reseted in the middle of an experiment. With monkeys, however, the motivation to work constantly for hours is not always there so I need to pause the execution of the script now and then.

    A possible workaround is to define a variable that pauses my state machine when set via the variable editor. What I do is to define a "pause state" that is entered upon a change in this variable and is exited when the variable changes back. This works quite well, although it's not very handy and requires a bit of scripting.

    If the feature of pausing is currently not implemented, then I think it makes no sense to do this just for me (I can imagine that you have more important things to do). What would be great though is to have access to the pause button's activity. Is there an easy way to write a click to this button into a MWorks variable that I can use in my experiments? Having this would circumvent the hassle of looking for the right variable in the editor and then setting it by hand.

    Greetings from rainy Germany,
    Philipp

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Christopher Sta... on 16 Jun, 2011 06:26 PM

    Christopher Stawarz's Avatar

    If the feature of pausing is currently not implemented, then I think it makes no sense to do this just for me (I can imagine that you have more important things to do). What would be great though is to have access to the pause button's activity. Is there an easy way to write a click to this button into a MWorks variable that I can use in my experiments?

    I think it would be worthwhile to assess how far from completion the pause functionality is. I'll check with Dave and get his take on how much work remains.

    If that path doesn't seem promising, then your suggestion seems like a good alternative. It should be pretty simple to make the pause button just toggle a variable value.

    Chris

  4. 4 Posted by pschwed on 25 Jan, 2012 10:20 AM

    pschwed's Avatar

    If that path doesn't seem promising, then your suggestion seems like a good alternative. It should be pretty simple to make the pause button just toggle a variable value.

    Hi Chris, I just wanted to check where we stand. Does this request require more work than you thought? Can I help with something?

    Greetings,
    Philipp

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Christopher Sta... on 30 Jan, 2012 03:13 PM

    Christopher Stawarz's Avatar

    Hi Philipp,

    Does this request require more work than you thought? Can I help with something?

    No, this is just one of many low-priority items that went on the back burner and haven't come off yet. I've created a ticket for this issue and will try to address it for the 0.5 release.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by Christopher Sta... on 03 Oct, 2012 07:04 PM

    Christopher Stawarz's Avatar

    Hi Philipp,

    Experiment pausing via MWClient's pause button is now implemented and will be in tonight's nightly build.

    Pausing the experiment suspends execution of the state system indefinitely; to resume execution, press the pause button again. Dynamic stimuli automatically pause/resume with the state system. All other components (including I/O devices) are unaffected by pausing.

    If you press the pause button while the experiment is in an uninterruptible state (e.g. in a block or trial with interruptible="NO"), then the state system won't pause until it exits that state.

    If you have any questions, please let me know!

    Cheers,
    Chris

  7. Christopher Stawarz closed this discussion on 03 Oct, 2012 07:04 PM.

  8. Christopher Stawarz closed this discussion on 03 Oct, 2012 07:57 PM.

Comments are currently closed for this discussion. You can start a new one.

Keyboard shortcuts

Generic

? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac