BIDS Apps: Improving ease of use, accessibility, and reproducibility of neuroimaging data analysis methods
Gorgolewski KJ., Alfaro-Almagro F., Auer T., Bellec P., Capotă M., Chakravarty MM., Churchill NW., Cohen AL., Craddock RC., Devenyi GA., Eklund A., Esteban O., Flandin G., Ghosh SS., Guntupalli JS., Jenkinson M., Keshavan A., Kiar G., Liem F., Raamana PR., Raffelt D., Steele CJ., Quirion P-O., Smith RE., Strother SC., Varoquaux G., Yarkoni T., Wang Y., Poldrack RA.
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>The rate of progress in human neurosciences is limited by the inability to easily apply a wide range of analysis methods to the plethora of different datasets acquired in labs around the world. In this work, we introduce a framework for creating, testing, versioning and archiving portable applications for analyzing neuroimaging data organized and described in compliance with the Brain Imaging Data Structure (BIDS). The portability of these applications (BIDS Apps) is achieved by using container technologies that encapsulate all binary and other dependencies in one convenient package. BIDS Apps run on all three major operating systems with no need for complex setup and configuration and thanks to the comprehensiveness richness of the BIDS standard they require little manual user input. Previous containerized data processing solutions were limited to single user environments and not compatible with most multi-tenant High Performance Computing systems. BIDS Apps overcome this limitation by taking advantage of the Singularity container technology. As a proof of concept, this work is accompanied by 22 ready to use BIDS Apps, packaging a diverse set of commonly used neuroimaging algorithms.</jats:p><jats:sec><jats:title>Author Summary</jats:title><jats:p>Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive way to measure human brain structure and activity that has been used for over 25 years. There are thousands MRI studies performed every year generating a substantial amount of data. At the same time, many new data analysis methods are being developed every year. The potential of using new analysis methods on the variety of existing and newly acquired data is hindered by difficulties in software deployment and lack of support for standardized input data. Here we propose to use container technology to make deployment of a wide range of data analysis techniques easy. In addition, we adapt the existing data analysis tools to interface with data organized in a standardized way. We hope that this approach will enable researchers to access a wider range of methods when analyzing their data which will lead to accelerated progress in human neuroscience.</jats:p></jats:sec>