Neuroscience Gateway – An Overview

The Neuroscience Gateway (NSG, a NSF funded project, catalyzes computational neuroscience research by lowering or eliminating the 
administrative and technical barriers that can make it difficult for 
neuroscience researchers to access supercomputer resources for large 
scale simulations and brain image data processing. It provides free and 
open access to supercomputers using time acquired via the peer reviewed allocation process managed by the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). 

It has about 400 registered users. Total core hours used, per-user rate of usage, and the number of users have all been growing at a rapid rate. Given current annual usage and the rate at which it has risen over the past 4 years, we expect NSG users to need about 10,000,000 core hours in 2017. 

NSG is enabling participation by the wider neuroscience community in 
research that would otherwise involve too great a computational burden, 
such as large scale and detailed models of cells and networks, parameter 
optimization, brain image processing, connectome pipelines etc., 
resulting in over 50 publications and posters to date. 

Many neuroscientists who are developing new network modeling tools, data 
driven parameter optimization pipelines (such as the BluePyOpt from the 
Human Brain Project) etc. are using the NSG to disseminate their results 
to the neuroscience community. 

NSG's scope has been expanded to offer programmatic access to 
supercomputing resources in addition to access via the web portal. 
Developing and operating the NSG has given us a unique opportunity to 
understand and analyze how a very diverse range of neuroscientists are 
using an environment like the NSG, and examine their growing need for 
supercomputer power, as well as associated issues and needs for 
collaboration, data sharing/management and various forms of computing.