The connectome viewer toolkit: an open source framework to manage, analyze, and visualize connectomes

Front Neuroinform. 2011 Jun 6;5:3. doi: 10.3389/fninf.2011.00003. eCollection 2011.


Advanced neuroinformatics tools are required for methods of connectome mapping, analysis, and visualization. The inherent multi-modality of connectome datasets poses new challenges for data organization, integration, and sharing. We have designed and implemented the Connectome Viewer Toolkit - a set of free and extensible open source neuroimaging tools written in Python. The key components of the toolkit are as follows: (1) The Connectome File Format is an XML-based container format to standardize multi-modal data integration and structured metadata annotation. (2) The Connectome File Format Library enables management and sharing of connectome files. (3) The Connectome Viewer is an integrated research and development environment for visualization and analysis of multi-modal connectome data. The Connectome Viewer's plugin architecture supports extensions with network analysis packages and an interactive scripting shell, to enable easy development and community contributions. Integration with tools from the scientific Python community allows the leveraging of numerous existing libraries for powerful connectome data mining, exploration, and comparison. We demonstrate the applicability of the Connectome Viewer Toolkit using Diffusion MRI datasets processed by the Connectome Mapper. The Connectome Viewer Toolkit is available from

Keywords: connectome; connectomics; data management; multi-modal data; network analysis; neuroimaging; python; visualization.