Conference paper

Data-driven Neuroscience: Enabling Breakthroughs Via Innovative Data Management

Scientists in all disciplines increasingly rely on simulations to develop a better understanding of the subject they are studying. For example the neuroscientists we collaborate with in the Blue Brain project have started to simulate the brain on a supercomputer. The level of detail of their models is unprecedented as they model details on the subcellular level (e.g., the neurotransmitter). This level of detail, however, also leads to a true data deluge and the neuroscientists have only few tools to efficiently analyze the data. This demonstration showcases three innovative spatial management solutions that have substantial impact on computational neuroscience and other disciplines in that they allow to build, analyze and simulate bigger and more detailed models. More particularly, we visualize the novel query execution strategy of FLAT, an index for the scalable and efficient execution of range queries on increasingly detailed spatial models. FLAT is used to build and analyze models of the brain. We furthermore demonstrate how SCOUT uses previous query results to prefetch spatial data with high accuracy and therefore speeds up the analysis of spatial models. We finally also demonstrate TOUCH, a novel in-memory spatial join, that speeds up the model building process.

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