I do get occasional reloads of AI traffic as I fly, but they do not seem to be consistent. I would assume these are at sector borders, since when you compile AI traffic BGL files the compiler creates a table of what sector the plane should exist in at what moment in time. AFAIK these sector boundaries are fixed and cannot be changed.
Thanks Tom. That was my suspicion too because I think I found one of those sector borders close to a scenery that I am working on. It was my understanding (perhaps falsely) that time zones cause AI traffic to regenerate. I read somewhere years ago that prime meridians are also a trigger. Obviously the regeneration of AI isn't noticeable unless you have lots of traffic, which would cause a strain on the system if it is re-loaded all at once. Can I assume that even if I set my traffic at say 10% at this border a strain can be put on the system if there are hundreds of traffic files for the compiler to go through to create a table to determine what traffic to draw?
Your computer is only actually ‘flying’ the AI aircraft that are in an ‘AI active zone’ around your current location, so it may only have to deal with a few dozen aircraft that are in that zone at any given time, although this can exceed 100 in dense traffic areas. The rest of the AI flights are not activated unless their flight paths cross into this zone, or you move and push the zone over their projected flight paths. When an AI aircraft leaves this zone it is essentially ‘extinguished’.
FS divides the world into a grid of sectors, approximately 40 mile rectangles. The traffic file contains a massive matrix that specifies exactly which flights are supposed to be in each sector at any given time. The AI active zone consists of the sector you are currently in and the sectors on all adjacent sides, for a block of nine sectors. The program only flies the AI traffic in those nine sectors (an approximately 120 mile rectangle). http://stuff4fs.com/Applications/AIFP/TTools User Manual.htm