ModelDB: an environment for running and storing computational models and their results applied to neuroscience

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 1996 Nov-Dec;3(6):389-98. doi: 10.1136/jamia.1996.97084512.


Research groups within the Human Brain Project are developing technologies to help organize and make accessible the vast quantities of information being accumulated in the neurosciences. The goal of this work is to provide systems that enable this complex information from many diverse sources to be synthesized into a coherent theory of nervous system function. Our initial approach to this problem has been to create several small databases. While addressing the issues of each individual database, we are also considering how each might be incorporated into an integrated cluster of databases. In this paper, we describe a pilot project in which we construct a database of computational models of neuronal function. This database allows models to be created and run and their results reviewed through a World Wide Web interface. Because models encapsulate knowledge in a formal manner about how neuronal systems function, we also discuss how this database forms a natural center for our initial attempts at creating a cluster of related databases. General issues of database development in the context of the Web are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Computer Communication Networks*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurosciences*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Research
  • Systems Integration
  • User-Computer Interface