NIS Toolbox

The NIS (Nexus Information System) Toolbox is a software ecosystem developed within the MAGIC project. It has been purposefully designed to support the MuSIASEM accounting framework (see, MAGIC deliverable D4.4). MuSIASEM accounts biophysical flows in complex bioeconomic systems as a way to assess the sustainability of the current state or future scenarios of socio-ecologic systems. Use of the NIS Toolbox not only facilitates the MuSIASEM accounting but also ensures the reproducibility of the analytic workflows and, hence, the end results.

The NIS Toolbox consists of four main components – the nis-backend, the nis-frontend, nis-client and nis-eda – all of which are illustrated below. Since its design was conceived for a modular architecture (centered on Restful APIs) it can be enriched with additional tools – see a proof-of-concept at the bottom of the page (Case Study Explorer) – and can be easily integrated in other toolchains.  

The source code of the NIS Toolbox is open and has been published on GitHub: User instructions and documentation are available on GitHub (click here) as well as in the annexes of MAGIC deliverable D3.3 'Report on Datasets and Tools Supporting Quantitative Story-Telling'. Further details can be requested through the contact person of the MAGIC Github community




The NIS-backend is the module in charge of processing MAGIC models (a format created during the project) via a suitable interface: it is programmatically actionable via a RESTful API (GitHub) (live example -list of all available external datasets), the nis-client (see below), or through the experimental Graphical User Interface (GUI). A detailed user guide –'Format for specification of NIS case studies'– is available on our website (click here for the latest version: Version 1.4). This guide is also relevant for the NIS client and NIS frontend that are interfaces to the NIS backend.




The NIS-frontend (live: is a web application encompassing the different steps of the analysis, from the specification of the model to the management of results. A detailed user guide – 'NIS front-end how-to manual' – is available as Annex 4 of MAGIC deliverable D3.3.




The NIS-client can be used from scripts written in Python language (see: usage example on GitHub) or R language (see: usage example on GitHub).




The nis-eda (live: is an Exploratory Data Analysis tool written in R and Shiny that processes analysis outputs or connects to an instance of nis-backend to directly obtain the outputs to be explored. 




The Case Study Explorer is an additional tool for exploring the output of the NIS backend. It enables the visual navigation of the grammar of a case study. It is still in an experimental phase and currently only a prototype is available for the biofuel case: It is based on the open source project