Monday, April 18, 2016

Possible installation problems and the MATLAB Compiler Runtime



The vast majority of WarpPLS users do not have any installation problems, but some users do. One possible cause is an incompatibility between the MATLAB Compiler Runtime and their computer's operating system setup. This is explored in more detail below.

Another possible cause of installation problems is one or more software applications that interfere with the proper running of WarpPLS. There have been reports from users suggesting that the following software applications may do that: Panda Antivirus, Norton Antivirus, and XLSTAT.

Yet another possible cause of installation problems are security software tools (to stop malware) that prevent users from making modifications in the folders in their computers that store data about programs. Closely aligned with this cause are security restrictions placed on computers by their organizations' IT offices.

The MATLAB Compiler Runtime

The MATLAB Compiler Runtime is for MATLAB programs what the Java Runtime is for Java programs, and what the Microsoft .NET Framework is for .NET-based programs. That is, it is a set of executable modules that are called by executable files compiled using MATLAB.

WarpPLS is an executable file compiled using MATLAB, and thus requires the MATLAB Compiler Runtime (version 7.14) to run properly. Like many other runtime libraries, the MATLAB Compiler Runtime has originally been developed in C and C++.

MATLAB does not have to be installed for WarpPLS to run

The MATLAB Compiler Runtime is provided in the self-extracting executable file used for the installation of WarpPLS. It is free of charge. MATLAB does not have to be installed for WarpPLS to run, only the specific MATLAB Compiler Runtime that accompanies WarpPLS.

In theory, the MATLAB Compiler Runtime should allow for a “compile once, run everywhere” approach to programming. That is, code that uses the MATLAB Compiler Runtime would be developed on one operating system, compiled, and then deployed, together with the MATLAB Compiler Runtime, to computers running any operating system.

This approach works well in theory, but not always in practice. This comment applies not only to MATLAB but also to Java and .NET applications – you are probably well aware of this if you are a Java or .NET programmer.

Seek professional IT support if you are using an organizational computer

It is possible that a specific user’s computer configuration will prevent the proper installation of the MATLAB Compiler Runtime, by blocking certain operating system configuration changes (e.g., Windows registry changes), as a security measure. This is often the case when organizational computers are used.

Also, a user may not have administrator rights on a computer, or have limited administrator/power user rights, which may prevent certain operating system configuration changes necessary for the proper installation of the MATLAB Compiler Runtime. Having professional IT support in this type of scenario is a must.

Here are a few steps to take if you are having problems installing and running WarpPLS on a Windows computer:

1) Reinstall WarpPLS using the larger file containing the MATLAB Compiler Runtime (approximately 170 MB), choosing the option “Repair”.

There have been reported cases in which users cannot start WarpPLS or move beyond WarpPLS’s first screen. This may happen even if the user has a valid license, with the software behaving as though it is not licensed at all. This may also happen before the user acquires a valid license, while trying to use WarpPLS within the trial license period.

A possible solution here that has worked well in the past is to reinstall WarpPLS using the larger file containing the MATLAB Compiler Runtime. When the MATLAB Compiler Runtime installation software pops up, choose the option “Repair”, and proceed with the full reinstallation.

2) Do the above, but change the folder where the WarpPLS program is installed, choosing a folder that is not in a protected area.

As a possible variation to the above, you may change the folder where the WarpPLS program is installed, choosing a folder that is not in a protected area. For example, you may choose the folder “C:\WarpPLS” or the folder “C:\WarpPLS [version; e.g., 5.0]”. Being outside a protected area prevents certain software, such as antivirus software and malware, from interfering with WarpPLS’s execution.

3) Completely uninstall the MATLAB Compiler Runtime and WarpPLS, disable any antivirus software currently running, reinstall the MATLAB Compiler Runtime and WarpPLS, and then re-enable the antivirus software.

To uninstall the MATLAB Compiler Runtime, follow the following procedure (or a similar procedure, depending on the version of Windows you are using): go the “Control Panel”, click on “Add or Remove Programs” or “Programs and Features”, and uninstall the MATLAB Compiler Runtime.

To uninstall the main software program (i.e., WarpPLS), simply delete the main software installation folder. This folder is usually “C:\Program Files\WarpPLS [version; e.g., 5.0]” or “C:\Program Files (x86)\WarpPLS [version]”, unless you chose a different folder for the main software program during the installation process. Then delete the shortcut created by the software from the desktop.

4) Check the "Program Files" and the "Program Files (x86)" directories (assuming that the MATLAB Compiler Runtime is installed on the C drive), to see if one of the following folders is there.

C:\Program Files\MATLAB\MATLAB Compiler Runtime\v714\runtime\win32

C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\MATLAB Compiler Runtime\v714\runtime\win32

If not, make sure that you are logged into your computer with full administrator rights, and reinstall the MATLAB Compiler Runtime. You can do that running the self-installing .exe file (approximately 170 MB) for WarpPLS, which includes the MATLAB Compiler Runtime. Or, contact your local IT support, and ask them to help you do so.

5) Go to the Command Prompt and type “PATH”, to see if one of the following paths shows on the list provided.

C:\Program Files\MATLAB\MATLAB Compiler Runtime\v714\runtime\win32

C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\MATLAB Compiler Runtime\v714\runtime\win32

If not, on the Command Prompt, type one of the following commands, depending on the folder in which the MATLAB Compiler Runtime is installed:

set PATH=C:\Program Files\MATLAB\MATLAB Compiler Runtime\v714\runtime\win32;%PATH%

set PATH=C:\Program Files (x86)\MATLAB\MATLAB Compiler Runtime\v714\runtime\win32;%PATH%

Then type “PATH” again, and make sure that the new path has been added. This will change the Windows registry; a minor and pretty harmless change. If you are concerned about making registry changes yourself, or cannot do that due to limited rights or any other reason, please contact your local IT support, and ask them to help you do so.

6) Try to install WarpPLS on a different computer, and see if it runs well there.

This last step is annoying but important because there are certain computer-specific configuration setups, or even malware allowed in by those setups, that may prevent the MATLAB Compiler Runtime from properly installing or executing. This is rare, but does happen sometimes. Comparing computers can help solve problems like these.

If you can install and run WarpPLS on one computer, but not on another, there may be a computer configuration or malware problem that is preventing you from doing so. If you have access to good-quality local IT support, you should contact it, and ask them to help you identify and solve the problem.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

PLS Applications Symposium; 13 - 15 April 2016; Laredo, Texas


PLS Applications Symposium; 13 - 15 April 2016; Laredo, Texas
(Abstract submissions accepted until 4 March 2016)

*** Only abstracts are needed for the submissions ***

The partial least squares (PLS) method has increasingly been used in a variety of fields of research and practice, particularly in the context of PLS-based structural equation modeling (SEM). The focus of this Symposium is on the application of PLS-based methods, from a multidisciplinary perspective. For types of submissions, deadlines, and other details, please visit the Symposium’s web site:

http://plsas.net

*** Workshop on PLS-SEM ***

On 13 April 2015 a full-day workshop on PLS-SEM will be conducted by Dr. Ned Kock, using the software WarpPLS. This workshop will be hands-on and interactive. To participate in the workshop, please indicate your interest when making your registration for the Symposium.

The following topics, among others, will be covered - Running a Full PLS-SEM Analysis - Conducting a Moderating Effects Analysis - Viewing Moderating Effects via 3D and 2D Graphs - Creating and Using Second Order Latent Variables - Viewing Indirect and Total Effects - Viewing Skewness and Kurtosis of Manifest and Latent Variables - Conducting a Multi-group Analysis with Range Restriction - Viewing Nonlinear Relationships - Conducting a Factor-Based PLS-SEM Analysis - Viewing and Changing Missing Data Imputation Settings - Isolating Mediating Effects - Identifying and Dealing with Outliers - Solving Indicator Problems - Solving Collinearity Problems.

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Ned Kock
Symposium Chair
http://plsas.net