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Simulation Laboratory Neuroscience -
Bernstein Facility Simulation and Database Technology

The Simulation Lab Neuroscience is funded by the Helmholtz Association in the framework of the Helmholtz Portfolio Theme 'Supercomputing and Modelling for Human Brain (SMHB)' and the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA).

As the "Bernstein Facility Simulation and Database Technology (BFSD)", the new facility contributes its expertise in simulation and database technology to the National Bernstein Network Computational Neuroscience.

Goals and services:

In order to meet the specific requirements of the neuroscience community, the SimLab Neuroscience will have a wide scope, including the following activities:

  • Assisting neuroscientists to make their code run on the supercomputers and supporting them in the preparation of proposals for the request of computer time.
  • Optimizing user code with the powerful analysis tools developed by the Forschungszentrum Jülich and its partners.
  • The SimLab also maintains installations of widely used simulation and data processing tools. Researchers interested in using the Jülich supercomputing resources for their neuroscience simulations will be advised on how to effectively execute their model scripts using a simulation engine already optimized for the target computer system.
  • Building models and databases of large-scale brain circuits in collaboration with local experts and their partners. The SimLab Neuroscience will incorporate new pieces of data contributed by experimental neuroscientists into existing models in order to evaluate their effect. Similarly, theoretical neuroscientists are invited to collaborate with the facility in replacing a model component with an alternative one, or in adding new model components. In this way, the Jülich supercomputers and their infrastructure will serve as data integration facilities.
  • The increasing complexity of models and data constitutes a challenge for visualization. The SimLab Neuroscience provides and develops virtual reality techniques together with the corresponding hardware for the inspection and manipulation of models and data. The increasing complexity of models and data constitutes a challenge for visualization. The SimLab Neuroscience provides and develops virtual reality techniques together with the corresponding hardware for the inspection and manipulation of models and data.
  • Beyond individual support of neuroscientists, the SimLab Neuroscience will also develop tutorials and courses.
  • Contributing to the further development of simulation technology and database technology for neuroscience. The publication of technological advances is an explicit goal of the facility. Up-scaling of applications and increasing their efficiency are obvious targets. As in all research areas applying complex models, reproducibility of model simulations is an equally important issue, which will be addressed by conceptual work and the development and testing tools together with the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) and other partners.

The activities of the SimLab Neuroscience will be coordinated with the Bernstein Network and the INCF, in particular the German INCF node.

Logo of the SMHB, JARA, and BFSD


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