NeuralEnsemble: Towards a meta-environment for network modeling and data analysis

Abstract

NeuralEnsemble (http://neuralensemble.org) is a multilateral effort to coordinate and organise neuroscience software development efforts based around the Python programming language into a larger, meta-simulator software system. To this end, NeuralEnsemble hosts services for source code management and bug tracking (Subversion/Trac) for a number of open-source neuroscience tools, organizes an annual workshop devoted to collaborative software development in neuroscience, and manages a google-group discussion forum. Here, we present two NeuralEnsemble hosted projects: PyNN (http://neuralensemble.org/PyNN) is a package for simulator-independent specification of neuronal network models. You can write the code for a model once, using the PyNN API, and then run it without modification on any simulator that PyNN supports. Currently NEURON, NEST, PCSIM and a VLSI hardware implementation are fully supported. NeuroTools (http://neuralensemble.org/NeuroTools) is a set of tools to manage, store and analyse computational neuroscience simulations. It has been designed around PyNN, but can also be used for data from other simulation environments or even electrophysiological measurements. We will illustrate how the use of PyNN and NeuroTools ease the developmental process of models in computational neuroscience, enhancing collaboration between different groups and increasing the confidence in correctness of results. NeuralEnsemble efforts are supported by the European FACETS project (EU-IST-2005-15879)

Publication
Eighth Göttingen Meeting of the German Neuroscience Society