FACETS CodeJam Workshop #1

2nd-5th April 2007, Heidelberg, Germany

CodeJam 2007

Trends in programming language development and adoption point to Python as the high-level systems integration language of choice. Python leverages a vast developer-base external to the Neuroscience community, and promises leaps in simulation complexity and maintainability to any neural simulator which adopts it. As more and more simulators support Python, model development times can be drastically reduced by promoting code sharing and reuse across simulator communities. As a result, modelers can devote their software development time to innovating new simulation tools such as network topology databases, stimulus programming, analysis and visualization tools, and simulation accounting, to name a few. A multilateral effort to coordinate and organize these development efforts into a larger meta-simulator software system is a natural and alternate approach to incrementally address what is known as the complexity bottleneck, presently a major roadblock for neural modeling. While a solution here is arguably a necessary condition for resolving the present stalemate for understanding the complexities of brain-like computing, a successful initiative could also end up being a major innovation of the field for the larger computing community.

The goal of the CodeJam meeting was to bring together the core group of developers and modelers presently working towards such a common set of meta-simulator tools implemented in Python. As there was much to discuss, the meeting was partly parallelized into "Focus Groups". Code sprints were scheduled to address outstanding developer issues. A small number of technical talks were scheduled to promote discussion on recent innovations. We discussed how software already implemented can be improved and adopted, while trying to avoid arguing about specifications of unimplemented software, leaving this honor to the volunteer who risks to prototype it first. The focus of the meeting was on innovation, communication, convergence, multilateralism, and realization (from the german: Umsetzung).

The original meeting webpage: https://facets.kip.uni-heidelberg.de/tmp_course/course_wiki/index.php/CodeJam_Heidelberg_April2007


The meeting was held at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, located at Im Neuenheimer Feld 227 in Heidelberg, Germany. The meeting was organised by Andrew Davison and Eilif Muller.


Group photo from the FACETS CodeJam Workshop #1

Meeting Program

Mon. 2nd April

09:15 Oral Sessions I: Wisdom Foundations
09:15Karlheinz Meier Opening remarks
09:30Michael Hines NEURON + Python
10:15 Stimulating Beverages
11:00 Oral Sessions I (continued)
11:00Marc-Oliver Gewaltig NEST + Python
11:45Padraig Gleeson NeuroML, neuroConstruct and Python
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Jam Sessions I
14:00 Focus Group A: Python interfaces and wrapping (NEST, NEURON, PCSIM, Hardware, SPLIT, MONSTER, MVASPIKE)
14:00 Focus Group B: PyNN/Python model port sprint
15:30 Stimulating Beverages
16:15-18:15 Jam Sessions I
16:15 Focus Group A: Software Carpentry crash course
16:15 Focus Group B: Freestyle discussion and coding
17:45 Single track recap of Focus Groups by Chairs

Tue. 3rd April

09:15 Oral Sessions II: Insight frameworks
09:15James Bednar Large-scale modeling of topographic maps in Python
10:00Andrew Davison PyNN
10:45 Stimulating Beverages
11:15 Oral Sessions II (continued)
11:15Nicolas Debeissat Using a declarative formalism for meta-data
12:00Olivier Rochel Hierarchical representation in DEVS: from neuron, to cortical maps and beyond
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Jam Sessions II
14:00 Focus Group A: PyNN backends development
14:00 Focus Group B: Freestyle discussion and coding
15:30 Stimulating Beverages
16:15 Jam Sessions II
16:15 Focus Group A: Distributed PyNN
16:15 Focus Group B: Freestyle discussion and coding
17:45 Single track recap of Focus Groups by Chairs
19:30- Banquet dinner

Wed. 4th April

09:15 Oral Sessions III: Towards a Meta-Simulator
09:15Thierry Viéville Meta-Simulator Wisdom
09:30Eilif Muller http://neuralensemble.org - A place to build a multilateral meta-simulator toolchain
10:00Raphael Ritz Developments from Python/Zope regarding packaging/setup/installations
10:45 Stimulating Beverages
11:15 Oral Sessions III (continued)
11:15Jens Kremkow and Laurent Perrinet Projectfunk
11:40Daniel Brüderle FACETS hardware + Python
12:05Dejan Pecevski PCSIM + Python
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Jam Sessions III
14:00 Focus Group A: Collaborative development tools + software normalization
14:00 Focus Group B: Freestyle discussion and coding
15:30 Stimulating Beverages
16:15-18:00 Jam Sessions III
16:15 Group discussion: where do we go from here?

Creative Commons License
Unless mentioned otherwise, all the downloadable talks are licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works License.


The meeting organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of the European Union through the FACETS Project (grant no. IST-2005-15879)