o²S²PARC Enters its Fourth Year

The o2S2PARC project continues to remain a priority at the IT’IS Foundation. Activities in the fourth year will focus on broadening the value of the platform for a larger user base, further increasing the platform functionality and content, and providing access to expert workflows.

Building on the achievements of the first three years, the IT’IS Foundation continues fully committed with the development of the o2S2PARC platform – short for Open Online Simulations for Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions – and the SPARC Portal as part of the National Institutes of Health SPARC program.

IT’IS leads the Modeling and Simulation Core (SIM-CORE) of the SPARC Data and Resource Center (DRC) with the goal to establish a freely accessible online platform that will host and connect simulations in order for SPARC teams to create predictive, multiscale, multi-physics models of modulation sources acting on the peripheral nervous system as access points for modulation of organ functional response. Since the start of the project in September 2017, the o2S2PARC team has achieved a myriad of accomplishments – they (i) demonstrated the feasibility of an online-based, extensible, and integrated simulation platform for neurosciences, (ii) implemented and launched a first version of the platform, (iii) integrated it with the knowledge management, data hosting, and spatial (anatomical) and functional-relationship (physiology, biophysics) mapping components of the DRC, (iv) broadened its application from physics and physiology modeling to computational data analysis, and (v) started onboarding a wide range of SPARC community models (ranging from artificial intelligence-based compound action potential predictions to multiscale cardiac regulation modeling).

Highlights of the third year included the official launch of the SPARC Portal and the successful organization of the SPARC Ideas Lab which was aimed at bridging the gap between experimental data collection within the SPARC community and at accelerating the creation of computational models of organ physiology and autonomic control.

In its fourth year of existence, IT’IS will continue to support existing users and the onboarding of SPARC models and analyses into the platform. In addition, a focus will be set on (i) support for online-based data processing, method sharing, and analysis publication, (ii) functionality to facilitate quality assurance and transparency on model quality, (iii) the introduction of a ‘Guided Mode’ that can hide model complexity from users who want to use established expert workflows (e.g., for treatment planning), and (iv) a comprehensive framework for meta-modeling, including parameterized modeling, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty propagation, and optimization.

The development of the o2S2PARC platform has been an exciting challenge for the IT’IS Foundation, that resulted in many collaborations and in a successful tool used by a growing range of researchers. The o2S2PARC team is proud of the past achievements and looking forward to another fruitful year.