This framework provides agile development of analysis workflows to researchers (including those with limited or no programing experience). A key feature of TimeStudio is the integrated distribution tool that allows researchers to quickly upload, share and archive algorithms and data in an online database, making analysis tools and workflows easily accessible to the research community. Such sharing will help scientists to spread successful paradigms and speed up the progression of valid scientific findings.
|TimeStudio Key Features||Justification|
|Distribution tool||Allows for replications, spreading of new methods and research designs. Database for archiving scientific workflows.|
|Open source||Allows for transparency of algorithms.|
|Flexibility||Modular plugin structure. Supports multiple subjects, groups, methods and developers.|
|Modifiable settings within plugins||Allows for evaluations of parameter robustness (validity and reliability)|
|Accessible single environment||Fully implemented in Matlab and works on Mac, Windows, Linux, Unix. Matlab is widely used in academic and research institutions.|
|Developer friendly||The GUI gives access to source codes. Examples and code stubs facilitates custom analyses.|
|No cost, no effort||A one-liner installs TimeStudio and opens up a fully functional scientific workflow. See http://timestudioproject.com/case-study-1|
The TimeStudio Project consists of three key components: the core workflow software (TimeStudio), online resources, and the workflow distribution database (TimeStudio Database).
The core software
The TimeStudio software is a user-friendly batch processing framework completely implemented in Matlab (Mathworks) as open source. It is developed by people analyzing time series data (hence, TimeStudio) from neurophysiology and behavioral experiments, but is well suited for other research areas as well.
The graphical user interface (GUI) of TimeStudio does not require any programming skills to perform or replicate an analysis. This is advantageous in many occasions where routine analytic tasks are done by lab assistants etc. However, the source codes are available within a few clicks in the GUI. People knowledgeable of Matlab can therefore easily modify the plugins or create custom plugins by using code stubs and examples that simplify development and illustrate good programming practices. More importantly, easy access to the source codes allows researchers to review the algorithms developed by others.
TimeStudio uses a modular plugin structure to create workflows. A limited number of general plugins for time series analysis are included in the core framework and more plugins can be downloaded from a user database. The workflow and new plugins can be quickly distributed to collaborating labs by uploading the plugins and parameter settings to the TimeStudio Database. After publication the workflow can be permanently archived and accessed by a unique workflow identifier shared with the research community upon publication. All functionality is available through the main GUI. Timestudio stands out from other scientific workflow systems by the directness within and the proximity between development, analysis, distribution and replication; it is all integrated within the core GUI.
You are currently within the online resources! These web pages include introductory pages, installation help and support sections through the user forums. The online resources also include the TimeStudio Database where the actual workflows are hosted.
The online resources are intended to give new users a quick and accurate impression on how TimeStudio can improve their research. More experienced users can also benefit from the online resources by the community functions to find support in the forum and by downloading others’ workflows to replicate and extend on previous studies.
Workflow distribution database (TimeStudio Database)
The TimeStudio Database can be accessed both through the online resources and the TimeStudio GUI. The database contains workflows from other researchers as well as own workflows under development. The database also holds plugin bundles that will expand the capabilities of TimeStudio.
By using the Timestudio GUI it is possible to save work in progress in the TimeStudio Database and share it with any number of collaborators. These collaborators can access and refine the algorithms and the workflow until the study is ready for publication.
After publication the workflow, plugins and settings can be made available for anyone, and the possibilities to change the content is locked. This way it is always possible to download the actual study that was published with a working set of plugins and settings.
To find out more about the plugins in the database and the methods that can be used within TimeStudio, please see the Plugins section.