Team Virtual Plants

Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
New Results
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Software


Participants : Frédéric Boudon, Christophe Godin, Yann Guédon, Christophe Pradal [ coordinator ] , Daniel Barbeau, Florence Chaubert-Pereira, Jérôme Chopard, Thomas Cokelaer, Christian Fournier, Eric Moscardi.

This research theme is supported by an INRIA ADT Grant and by a RTRA Grant.

Other participant: Nicolas Donès (INRA - UMR PIAF, Clermont Ferrand).

Figure 2. OpenAlea.Visualea: Visual programming interface. The package manager shows the available components. The components can be interconnected on a workspace to form a dataflow. The python interpreter allows low level interaction with the system.

OpenAlea [19] is an open source and collaborative software project primarily dedicated to the plant research community 3.3 .

OpenAlea is designed as a component framework to dynamically glue together models from different plant research labs, and to enhance reusability of existing models in the plant research community.

In 2009, the following steps have been performed:

  1. Develop and extend the component platform architecture

    • OpenAlea.Core is the kernel of OpenAlea. It provides a component architecture, a package manager and a dataflow to build models by interconnecting components in a directed graph.

    • OpenAlea.Visualea is a visual programming application allowing us to build intuitively new models by connecting available components together. For each component, a graphical user interface is automaticaly generated based on the type of its interfaces (see figure 2 ).

    • OpenAlea.Deploy : Deploy extends the python setuptools package to simplify the deployment and the installation of the different OpenAlea packages. It is able to research available OpenAlea packages on different web repositories (like GForge), and provides an uniform way to the user to install and update components on different platforms.

  2. Animation and diffusion

    • Developers and modelers of different teams start collaboration and work together in pairs on a common objective during coding and modeling sprint sessions. Since 2006, 13 coding sprint and modeling sprints have been organised. These sessions enhance collaboration between developpers and modellers and facilitate co-development.

    • The project has been presented in various conferences (FSPM, EuroPython06, EuroPython07, EuroSciPy09). Software demonstrations have been held in the FSPM conference and in the INRIA 40 ans, presenting a set of plant modeling scenarii provided by differents modelers of the OpenAlea community.

    • The OpenAlea project is hosted at the Inria's gforge. The web site is visited by more than 300 unique visitor each month; 339000 web pages have been visited and the different available components of OpenAlea have been downloaded more than 190000 during the last two years.


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