ARACHNE: A neural-neuroglial network builder with remotely controlled parallel computing

PLoS Comput Biol. 2017 Mar 31;13(3):e1005467. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005467. eCollection 2017 Mar.


Creating and running realistic models of neural networks has hitherto been a task for computing professionals rather than experimental neuroscientists. This is mainly because such networks usually engage substantial computational resources, the handling of which requires specific programing skills. Here we put forward a newly developed simulation environment ARACHNE: it enables an investigator to build and explore cellular networks of arbitrary biophysical and architectural complexity using the logic of NEURON and a simple interface on a local computer or a mobile device. The interface can control, through the internet, an optimized computational kernel installed on a remote computer cluster. ARACHNE can combine neuronal (wired) and astroglial (extracellular volume-transmission driven) network types and adopt realistic cell models from the NEURON library. The program and documentation (current version) are available at GitHub repository under the MIT License (MIT).

MeSH terms

  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Software*
  • User-Computer Interface