Interoperability of Neuroscience Modeling Software: Current Status and Future Directions
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Neuroscience increasingly uses computational models to assist in the exploration and interpretation of complex phenomena. As a result, considerable effort is invested in the development of software tools and technologies for numerical simulations and for the creation and publication of models. The diversity of related tools leads to the duplication of effort and hinders model reuse. Development practices and technologies that support interoperability between software systems therefore play an important role in making the modeling process more efficient and in ensuring that published models can be reliably and easily reused. Various forms of interoperability are possible including the development of portable model description standards, the adoption of common simulation languages or the use of standardized middleware. Each of these approaches finds applications within the broad range of current modeling activity. However more effort is required in many areas to enable new scientific questions to be addressed. Here we present the conclusions of the “Neuro-IT Interoperability of Simulators” workshop, held at the 11th computational neuroscience meeting in Edinburgh (July 19–20 2006; http://www.cnsorg.org). We assess the current state of interoperability of neural simulation software and explore the future directions that will enable the field to advance.
KeywordsNeural simulation software Simulation language Standards XML Model publication
The workshop was supported by the European Commission IST-2001-35498 Neuro-IT-Net Thematic Network. Robert Cannon was supported by NIH NIDA grant DA16454 as part of the CRCNS program. Michael Hines is funded by grants NINDS NS11613 (NEURON) and NIH DC04732 (ModelDB). Padraig Gleeson is in receipt of a Special Research Training Fellowship from the United Kingdom Medical Research Council.
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