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BRAHMS: Novel middleware for integrated systems computation

Mitchinson, B., Chan, T.S., Chambers, J., Pearson, M., Humphries, M., Fox, C., Gurney, K. and Prescott, T.J. (2010) BRAHMS: Novel middleware for integrated systems computation. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 24 (1). pp. 49-61. ISSN 1474-0346

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Biological computational modellers are becoming increasingly interested in building large, eclectic models, including components on many different computational substrates, both biological and non-biological. At the same time, the rise of the philosophy of embodied modelling is generating a need to deploy biological models as controllers for robots in real-world environments. Finally, robotics engineers are beginning to find value in seconding biomimetic control strategies for use on practical robots. Together with the ubiquitous desire to make good on past software development effort, these trends are throwing up new challenges of intellectual and technological integration (for example across scales, across disciplines, and even across time) - challenges that are unmet by existing software frameworks. Here, we outline these challenges in detail, and go on to describe a newly developed software framework, BRAHMS. that meets them. BRAHMS is a tool for integrating computational process modules into a viable, computable system: its generality and flexibility facilitate integration across barriers, such as those described above, in a coherent and effective way. We go on to describe several cases where BRAHMS has been successfully deployed in practical situations. We also show excellent performance in comparison with a monolithic development approach. Additional benefits of developing in the framework include source code self-documentation, automatic coarse-grained parallelisation, cross-language integration, data logging, performance monitoring, and will include dynamic load-balancing and 'pause and continue' execution. BRAHMS is built on the nascent, and similarly general purpose, model markup language, SystemML. This will, in future, also facilitate repeatability and accountability (same answers ten years from now), transparent automatic software distribution, and interfacing with other SystemML tools. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2010 Elsevier. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Advanced Engineering Informatics. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Basal-Ganglia; Model; Navigation; Saccades
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2010 10:23
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:00
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aei.2009.08.002
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.aei.2009.08.002
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10696

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