Using Your Own Connectivity

This tutorial covers a basic mechanism for using your own connectivity data in TVB's scripting interface. It describes a simple text file based format and how to load data from that format.

A Simple Text File Based Format

In this tutorial we will use a "simple" text file based data format that is supported by TVB. It consists of text files (optionally compressed) containing the the main data elements that make up a Connectivity, eg. weights, tract-lengths, etc. This format is very simple but not particularly safe, in the sense that the lack of explicit meta-information means detailed consistency checks of loaded data aren't really possible, so be careful...

The format is just a directory containing the following files (the contents, which are described in detail below):


We can use bzip2 to compress each of these files, with the exception of the info.txt file, and everything will work the same. This is useful for saving storage space when we want to work with either very many or very large connectivity datasets.

A more detailed description of each file follows. A number of sample connectivity data sets can be found in tvb_data.connectivity.

info.txt This file contains a summary about the connectivity matrix (eg, distance units, weights units), a vector to distinguish left from right areas, etc.

weights.txt This file contains the connectome, that is a (un)weighted matrix whose values may represent units such as fibre density. Zero entries in thsi matrix mean 'unconnected' areas.

tract_lengths.txt This file contains . NOTE: If no tract-length data is provided, TVB can calculate tract-lengths based on the Euclidean distance between centres.

cortical.txt This file contains a vector providing a means of distinguishing cortical from subcortical regions.

centres.txt This file contains the region labels (first columnn) and the list of Cartesian triplets (x,y,z) that specify the spatial location rof each region.

average_orientations.txt This file contains the average 'normal vectors' of the dipoles (regions). They are derived from the cortical surface normal
vectors and used to compute the forward solutions of EEG and MEG.

areas.txt This file contains a vector of length number of regions specifying the area in [mm2] that each region represents.

Where To Put Your Data

If you want to use relative paths to your data in scripts, then the data needs to be in the tvb_data directory. So putting your data there can simplify things and make your scripts more portable.

However, you can place your data any where you want, it just requires that you specify absolute path names in your scripts.


We'll first import some stuff we'll need via the "lab", this has the side effect of turning off TVB's storage for us, which is, for the moment, necessary when using the scripting interface to TVB.

In [1]:
%pylab nbagg
Populating the interactive namespace from numpy and matplotlib
In [2]:
from tvb.simulator.lab import *
LOG = get_logger('demo')
from import *
   INFO  log level set to INFO

Loading Your Data

To load your data we just need to specify its path when we create a Connectivity object. We'll use a very simple ("toy") connectivity dataset called paupau, which is included in TVB, as our first example. This connectivity dataset consists of just 4 regions.

All we need to do is simply create a Connectivity object specifying the path to our data in the call. This is just a string that can be either a relative path (w.r.t. tvb_data), or an absolute path to our data.

In [3]:
#Load the connectivity data in the directory tvb_data.connectivity.paupau
conn_pau = connectivity.Connectivity.from_file("")
WARNING  File 'hemispheres' not found in ZIP.

Where the use of os.path.join is for portability between operating systems, for example, it resolves to "connectivity/paupau" on Linux and "connectivity\paupau" on windows.

We can now configure the Connectivity object we've just created and take a quick look at the properties of our data using:

In [4]:
#Configure, to compute derived data, such as number_of_nodes and delays
{'Areas - Maximum': 2099.4259000000002,
 'Areas - Mean': 1334.3074100000001,
 'Areas - Minimum': 396.44065000000001,
 'Number of connections': 9L,
 'Number of regions': 4L,
 'Tract lengths - Max. non zero (connections)': 61.493011000000003,
 'Tract lengths - Maximum': 61.525148000000002,
 'Tract lengths - Mean': 33.791744875000006,
 'Tract lengths - Mean non zero': 45.05565983333333,
 'Tract lengths - Mean non zero (connections)': 20.749390333333334,
 'Tract lengths - Min. non zero': 14.675860999999999,
 'Tract lengths - Min. non zero (connections)': 0.0,
 'Tract lengths - Var. non zero': 253.30988876016519,
 'Tract lengths - Var. non zero (connections)': 548.41125591196919,
 'Tract lengths - Variance': 570.60975713582013,
 'Undirected': 0,
 'Weights - Maximum': 3.0,
 'Weights - Mean': 1.1875,
 'Weights - Mean non zero': 2.1111111111111112,
 'Weights - Min. non zero': 2.0,
 'Weights - Var. non zero': 0.09876543209876544,
 'Weights - Variance': 1.15234375}

And we can look at simple matrix view of weights and tract-lengths data using plot_connectivity

In [5]:
plot_connectivity(connectivity = conn_pau)

Multiple datasets in one

It is possible to reuse the majority of a dataset and have multiple pieces of data for one or more elements. That is, by default, when you create a Connectivity object by pointing at a specific data directory, the data components are expected to be in files with specific names, such as weights.txt.bz2. However, it is possible for a specific connectivity data directory to contain multiple weights files as long as they are consistent with the rest of the connectivity data. For example, in addition weights.txt.bz2 our directory may contain files named:


thought that last one is a bad name as it's not clear what it contains.

The loading the connectivity specifying a particular weights would become:

pau_path = os.path.join("connectivity", "paupau")
conn_pau = connectivity.Connectivity(default = pau_path, weights_file = "weights_bob.txt.bz2")

A Larger Example Dataset

Load some more complicated data... to emphasise visualisation techniques

In [6]:
#Load the connectivity data in the directory tvb_data.connectivity.connectivity_190
conn_190 = connectivity.Connectivity.from_file("")
#conn_190.default.reload(conn_190, os.path.join("connectivity", "o52r00_irp2008_hemisphere_both_subcortical_true_regions_190"))
#Configure, to compute derived data, such as number_of_nodes and delays
WARNING  File 'hemispheres' not found in ZIP.
{'Areas - Maximum': 10338.191999999999,
 'Areas - Mean': 1388.3227136979167,
 'Areas - Minimum': 0.0,
 'Number of connections': 3532L,
 'Number of regions': 192L,
 'Tract lengths - Max. non zero (connections)': 140.90183999999999,
 'Tract lengths - Maximum': 142.14580000000001,
 'Tract lengths - Mean': 36.147362114708116,
 'Tract lengths - Mean non zero': 59.040157598431549,
 'Tract lengths - Mean non zero (connections)': 56.479466730634208,
 'Tract lengths - Min. non zero': 5.9441609,
 'Tract lengths - Min. non zero (connections)': 0.0,
 'Tract lengths - Var. non zero': 316.99485152745626,
 'Tract lengths - Var. non zero (connections)': 448.59005218709859,
 'Tract lengths - Variance': 1021.5944036003615,
 'Undirected': 0,
 'Weights - Maximum': 3.0,
 'Weights - Mean': 0.18502728033085125,
 'Weights - Mean non zero': 1.9311567559786242,
 'Weights - Min. non zero': 0.0046263240999999998,
 'Weights - Var. non zero': 0.31225961251030004,
 'Weights - Variance': 0.35299969104959433}

Again, we can just take a look at a matrix plot of weights and tract lengths

In [7]:
plot_connectivity(connectivity = conn_190)

Scaling, Transforming and Resampling

The Connectivity object includes a number of methods for scaling, transforming or resampling a connectivity.


Two simple types of scaling are supported and the scaling mode is the following:

  • tract: Scale by a value such that the maximum absolute value of a single connection is 1.

  • region: Scale by a value such that the maximum absolute value of the cumulative input to any region is 1.

In [8]:
#Initialise a Connectivity object
orig_wm = connectivity.Connectivity(load_default=True)

scaled_wm = connectivity.Connectivity(load_default=True)

#scale weights by the maximum aboslute value
scaled_wm.weights = orig_wm.scaled_weights(mode='tract')
plot_connectivity(scaled_wm, num="tract_mode", plot_tracts=False)
WARNING  File 'hemispheres' not found in ZIP.
WARNING  File 'hemispheres' not found in ZIP.

NOTE: Currently, multiple tract and/or region scalings without intermediate none scaling mode destroy the ability to recover the original un-scaled weights matrix.

In [9]:
scaled_wm.weights = orig_wm.scaled_weights(mode='none')
scaled_wm.weights = orig_wm.scaled_weights(mode='region')
plot_connectivity(scaled_wm, num="region_mode", plot_tracts=False)
In [10]:
#undo scaling
scaled_wm.weights = orig_wm.scaled_weights(mode='none')
plot_connectivity(scaled_wm, num="default_mode", plot_tracts=False)


These methods will affect either the topology or the distribution of the weights matrix.

  • binarize matrix: Sets all the non-zero values to 1. In other words it tyields the adjacency matrix.
  • remove self-connections : Sets to zero all the elements of the main diagonal matrix.

NOTE: these methods do not provide a means to undo the changes

In [11]:
scaled_wm.weights = orig_wm.transform_binarize_matrix()
plot_matrix(scaled_wm.weights, connectivity=scaled_wm, binary_matrix=True)