Submission System

To submit a model or benchmark to the Brain-Score leaderboard, Brain-Score provides an automated submission system. This allows us to publicly score new models on existing benchmarks and score existing models against new benchmarks.

submission system diagram

Users can submit models or benchmarks as a zip file via the Brain-Score website or as a pull request via GitHub. Appropriately configured zip file submissions are converted by Jenkins (create_github_pr) into a pull request. If tests pass, the PR is automatically merged into the codebase by a GitHub Action (automerge_plugin-only_prs). If tests fail on a website submission, the submitter will be notified via email. Note: While we currently do not support private code submissions, this feature is under development.

If a newly merged PR contains new models or benchmarks, a separate Github Action (score_new_plugins) triggers the scoring runs which are handled by Jenkins and run on the OpenMind compute cluster.

Submission System Components

  • Brain-Score Website:

    The website (GitHub) handles our front end. It is implemented using Django and also accesses the database instance.

    The website is hosted via Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. There are two instances on AWS EB:

    • brain-score-web-dev: This is our dev website environment. It is the same as prod but uses the dev database.

    • brain-score-web-prod: Our production branch

      that uses the prod database. This is what end users see, as the above URL is forwarded to

  • Jenkins:

    Jenkins is a continuous integration tool, which we use to automatically run project unittests and the scoring process for models of the brain. Jenkins is running on Braintree - DiCarlo lab’s internal server. Jenkins defines different jobs and executes different tasks. The task for a new submission is triggered via the website and the unittest tasks are triggerd by GitHub web hooks. Once the jobs are triggered, Jenkins runs a procedure to execute the tests or scoring and communicate the results back to the user (via email) or back to GitHub.

  • OpenMind

    As scoring submissions is a computationally and memory expensive process, we cannot execute model scoring on small machines. We submit jobs to Openmind, a computer cluster operated by MIT BCS. The big advantage of Openmind is its queuing system, which allows to define detailed resource requirements. Jobs are executed once their requested resources are available. The Jenkins related contents are stored on /om2/group/dicarlo/jenkins. This directory contains a script for model submission (, for unittests (, and for plugin-specific tests ( The scripts are executed in Openmind jobs and are responsible for fully installing a conda environment, executing the process, and shutting everything down again. For scoring runs, results are stored in the database and sent to the user via email. For unit and plugin tests, results are reported back to Github.

  • Postgres database:

    Our database, hosted on Amazon AWS, contains all displayed score and submission data, along with much more user and model data/metadata. Our AWS account contains three database instances:

    • Prod (brainscore-prod-ohio-cred): This database is used in production mode, containing real user’s data. This database should not be altered for development until features have been tested and vetted on Dev.

    • Dev (brainscore-1-ohio-cred): A development database, which can be used to develop new database dependent features. Nothing will break when the database schema here is changed; it is periodically updated to match Prod.

    • Test (brainscore-ohio-test): The database used for executing tests. Jenkins also executes unittests of all Brain-Score projects and should use this database for testing.

    The names in parantheses are used in brain-score to load database credentials for the different databases. Just change the name and another database is used. Databases are automatically snapshotted every 7 days, and devs can restore snapshots at any time.

What to do

…when changing the database schema

The current schema is depicted here.

When the database schema has to be changed, use the Brain-Score.web project, along with django commands, to adjust the tables (in benchmark/ The schema also has to be updated in core. Once changes are made locally, follow these instructions to apply those migrations to the correct databases. All needed changes to the database (dev or prod) should be done with Django via migrations. During development, work with the dev database (secret brainscore-1-ohio-cred); when your tests pass on the test database (brainscore-ohio-test) they are ready for the PR. Once the PR is approved and test cases run, the PR can be merged. Finally, apply those migrations to the prod database via the link above.

…changing the submission process

In addition to the main job for scoring submission (score_plugins), Jenkins contains a second job (dev_score_plugins), which can be used to test new submission code. It is also a good idea instead of checking out the Brain-Score master branch, as it is done in the default job, to checkout your development branch instead. This way you can run a whole submission without harming the “production” job. This is accomplished already by a duplicate of for dev, aptly named That script is what is run on Jenkins’s dev environment. Once the development job runs successfully, the code can be merged to master and will be run “in production”.

Scoring Process Description

For scoring submitted files, we install the Brain-Score framework on Openmind and run the scoring process.