High-Performance Computing

SDSC's Neuroscience Gateway Portal Adds REST Programmatic Access for Researchers

The Neuroscience Gateway portal, led by researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has received funding to add new programmatic access to high-performance computing (HPC) resources for the computational neuroscience community.

The Neuroscience Gateway (NSG) was originally funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2012 as a science gateway for the computational neuroscience community. "Science gateways provide easy access through Web based portals to advanced cyberinfrastructure tools and resources that can significantly improve the productivity of researchers," according to a news release from UC San Diego.

This new round of funding from the NSF and the United Kingdom's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) supports a collaboration between researchers at UC San Diego, Yale University and University College London to add Representational State Transfer (REST) services to the Neuroscience Gateway project, which is now called NSG-R to include REST.

According to information from UC San Diego, adding REST programmatic access to HPC "will allow users of neuroscience community projects such as Open Source Brain (OSB), NeuroInformatics Framework (NIF), OpenWorm, ModelDB and others to readily access advanced computational resources from their respective Web sites."

"Currently, NSG users must still upload models, launch simulations and download results — a process that involves many time-consuming, and potentially error-prone steps," said Amit Majumdar SDSC's division director for the Center's Data Enabled Scientific Computing division and principal investigator of the NSG-R project, in a prepared statement. "We plan to eliminate these steps by enabling on-demand, automated communication between the gateway and researchers' familiar working environments."

The NSG-R project will be a free and open resource for the computational neuroscience community. According to information from UC San Diego, it will increase research productivity, expand use of large-scale computational modeling, and enable large-scale neuronal modeling using HPC resources.

The project proposal was called, "Seamless Integration of Neuroscience Models and Tools with HPC — Easy Path to Supercomputing for Neuroscience," and received three separate funding awards, two from the NSF (1458840 and 1458495) and one from the BBSRC (BB/N005236/1).

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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