15/02/2007

Future Direction of Neuromantic

I thought I'd write a quick post about where Neuromantic is actually going at the moment. Most of the updates I've made to the application recently have been useful but fairly basic functionality.

The main reason for this is that, at the moment, I'm in the middle of writing a journal paper comparing reconstructions made in NeuroLucida and Neuron_Morpho with ones done in Neuromantic by ten of the students here at the School of Systems Engineering. So far, Neuromantic is coming out pretty favourably in terms of efficiency, which is a bit of a relief.

The next main functionality to be added is the semi-automatic tracing, which is essentially a 3D extension of the tracing algorithm used in NeuronJ (which is, in turn, a variant on the LiveWire algorithm). This is all already implemented in Neuromantic (although hidden in the current version as it is not quite complete) - but it shows good success at tracing. The main thing that needs to be done to complete this semi-automatic tracing is the estimation of the radius of each segment. It won't take that long to get a workable version that can then be improved upon in later versions, but I need a good week or so free to get it all done and tested properly.

Once it is complete, this will vastly increase the speed of reconstruction.

The other goal I have is related to the expansion of the capabilities of the 3D window: I want to convert Neuromantic into an MDI application i.e. have one big window with smaller windows inside. The reason for this is that all the controls on the right panel of the Main GUI should now really be accessible when using the 3D Window too, and having to switch back to the main window to do something is inelegant. This can be efficently solved by moving all these controls to some main shared panel.

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