When optimizing driver routes or deciding where to locate facilities, transportation and logistics companies often need to calculate distances and travel times between thousands of locations. With the new Ultrafast Distance Matrix (UFDM) Service, you can now generate distances and drive times in near real-time between millions of combinations of locations.

Following an April 2024 release, the service is now built into the Algorithm > Distance settings in Appian Daily Planner and Appian Resource Calendar.

Highlights of the service include: 

  • Input Limit: 50,000 x 50,000 locations 
  • Input Type: GPS coordinates only
  • Job Handling: One queue where jobs are handled in first in first out (FIFO) order
  • UFDM Engine Processing Time: 
    • ~5 minutes for 50,000 x 50,000 (based on our recent tests on a local machine)
    • ~30 seconds for 10,000 x 10,000
    • ~13 seconds for 1 x 5,000
    • ~2 seconds for 1 x 1,000
    • ~700 milliseconds for 1 x 500

How does the service compare with previous distance calculators?

The service is an upgraded version of the traditional PC*MILER distance matrix offered in DirectRoute. It provides the same distance as a PC*MILER route in 90% of the cases tested. The 10% that do not match are due to either:

  • The differences highlighted in the questions below. 
  • Greater road availability from improvements in the algorithm. More roads are available to the UFDM when it selects the route used to calculate distances than were available in the traditional PC*MILER solution. 

How do I control the UDFM feature?

There is a new section in the Preferences > Algorithm settings that controls all Distances options. If you want to use the new UFDM for all routing operations (Build, Load, and Manual Route Changes), you must: 

  1. Set Calculate Distances By to either Road Network (Recommended) or Approximate
  2. Select a vehicle profile (Currently Auto or Heavy/53’) and the Region (North America or Europe). 

What are the service's limitations?

The UDFM service:

  • Does not support time-based restrictions as it has no concept of departure time.
  • Does not support complex, multi-link turn restrictions. 
  • Does not include ferry links. Anything accessible only by ferry will include air distance over the water.