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Title: Visualisation Studio for the analysis of massive datasets
Author: Tucker, Roy Colin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 4237
Awarding Body: University of Plymouth
Current Institution: University of Plymouth
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis describes the research underpinning and the development of a cross platform application for the analysis of simultaneously recorded multi-dimensional spike trains. These spike trains are believed to carry the neural code that encodes information in a biological brain. A number of statistical methods already exist to analyse the temporal relationships between the spike trains. Historically, hundreds of spike trains have been simultaneously recorded, however as a result of technological advances recording capability has increased. The analysis of thousands of simultaneously recorded spike trains is now a requirement. Effective analysis of large data sets requires software tools that fully exploit the capabilities of modern research computers and effectively manage and present large quantities of data. To be effective such software tools must; be targeted at the field under study, be engineered to exploit the full compute power of research computers and prevent information overload of the researcher despite presenting a large and complex data set. The Visualisation Studio application produced in this thesis brings together the fields of neuroscience, software engineering and information visualisation to produce a software tool that meets these criteria. A visual programming language for neuroscience is produced that allows for extensive pre-processing of spike train data prior to visualisation. The computational challenges of analysing thousands of spike trains are addressed using parallel processing to fully exploit the modern researcher’s computer hardware. In the case of the computationally intensive pairwise cross-correlation analysis the option to use a high performance compute cluster (HPC) is seamlessly provided. Finally the principles of information visualisation are applied to key visualisations in neuroscience so that the researcher can effectively manage and visually explore the resulting data sets. The final visualisations can typically represent data sets 10 times larger than previously while remaining highly interactive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Visualisation ; Neuroscience ; Software Engineering ; Simultaneous spike train recording ; iPipeline ; iRaster ; iGrid ; iAnimate ; Parallel computation ; High performance computing ; Cluster computing ; Dataflow programming ; Pairwise cross correlation