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Michigan Data Interface

The Michigan Data Interface (MDI) is a standardized framework for developing, installing and running HPC data analysis pipelines and interactive R Shiny visualization applications.

These pages describe the MDI project overall. Links within lead you to documentation for specific components, e.g., how to get started writing your own tool suites.


Stage 1 pipelines via command line, YAML-based tool and job definition

Pipeline Runner web app running Stage 1 pipelines, remote HPC access

Stage 2 interactive apps via an access-controlled public web server

Live Demo

To try out this repository’s live demo app server:

Quick Start

Install the MDI Desktop, a program that helps you connect to a server as needed and run MDI tools from your Windows or Mac computer:

Alternatively, follow these instructions to clone and run command-line scripts that will install the MDI on an HPC server:

Tool developers should start by copying our repository suite template and following its documentation:

Guiding Principles

  • effective use of modern development tools
  • optimal use of scalable computation resources
  • rapid collaboration and code sharing
  • interactive data analysis
  • standardized implementation frameworks
  • maximum developer flexibility

Our goal is to help you develop and share robust data analysis tools more easily, or to use tools developed by others, without forcing too many requirements into the process.

Basic Training for Developers

Please see our Basic Training tutorials in the link below if you need help getting started with Git, R, Shiny, the command line, job schedulers, etc.

Portability and Licensing

The MDI can be used by any laboratory or organization for any data analysis need under the MIT license (a few instructions are specific to the University of Michigan environment but the codebase is generic).

For more information about the MDI, please visit:

MDI Documentation MDI Basic Training MDI GitHub page