, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 459–470 | Cite as

ModelView for ModelDB: Online Presentation of Model Structure

  • Robert A. McDougal
  • Thomas M. Morse
  • Michael L. Hines
  • Gordon M. Shepherd
Software Original Article


ModelDB (, a searchable repository of source code of more than 950 published computational neuroscience models, seeks to promote model reuse and reproducibility. Code sharing is a first step; however, model source code is often large and not easily understood. To aid users, we have developed ModelView, a web application for ModelDB that presents a graphical view of model structure augmented with contextual information for NEURON and NEURON-runnable (e.g. NeuroML, PyNN) models. Web presentation provides a rich, simulator-independent environment for interacting with graphs. The necessary data is generated by combining manual curation, text-mining the source code, querying ModelDB, and simulator introspection. Key features of the user interface along with the data analysis, storage, and visualization algorithms are explained. With this tool, researchers can examine and assess the structure of hundreds of models in ModelDB in a standardized presentation without installing any software, downloading the model, or reading model source code.


ModelDB Repository Visualization Code analysis 



We thank the laboratory of GM Shepherd for valuable suggestions for improving ModelView’s usability, P. Miller, L. Marenco, and N.T. Carnevale for comments on the manuscript, and Nicole Flokos for her contributions to the NeuronWeb library. This research was supported by NIH T15 LM007056, NIH R01 NS11613, and NIH R01 DC009977.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. McDougal
    • 1
  • Thomas M. Morse
    • 1
  • Michael L. Hines
    • 1
  • Gordon M. Shepherd
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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