Python >=3.7 is required. Support on Python 3.11 is limited, see this issue.

Installation using pip

Use pip to install the latest version of MDF (plus dependencies) from PyPI:

pip install modeci_mdf

Installation from source

To install the MDF package from source and run it locally:

1) Create a virtual environment (e.g. called mdf-env)

pip install virtualenv
virtualenv mdf-env

2) Activate the virtual environment

source mdf-env/bin/activate

3) Clone this repository

git clone

4) Change to the directory

cd MDF

5) Install the package

pip install .

Alternatively, to install MDF plus all of the modules required for the export/import interfaces (e.g. PsyNeuLink, NeuroML):

pip install .[all]

Additional dependencies

To generate generate Graph images in MDF you require Graphviz which uses dot.

pip install graphviz

To render the generated DOT source code, you also need to install Graphviz (download page, installation procedure for Windows.

Make sure that the directory containing the dot executable is on your system’s PATH (sometimes done by the installer; setting PATH on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Generating ModECI MDF documentation offline

The ModECI MDF Documentation can be found online here. If you are working on MDF documentation or you make changes to the documentation, it is good practice to see if it is working as expected before pushing to the GitHub repository. Here is a walkthrough on how to generate the ModECI MDF documentation offline


Python version-3.10 is ideally used for generating MDF documentation offline but if not working, use python version-3.9. The steps are the same except in creating a virtual environment.

The documentation is generated using Sphinx. Make is also required. For Windows installation of Make, see here. For Mac installation of Make, see here

1) Create a virtual environment with python

# install virtual environment

pip install virtualenv

# create & activate virtual environment for python 3.9

python3.9 -m virtualenv venv39

# or create & activate virtual environment for python 3.10

python3.10 -m virtualenv venv310

2) Clone MDF repository from GitHub into your local machine

git clone

3) Change into the MDF directory

cd MDF

4) Install all MDF package into the virtual environment

pip install .[all]

5) Change directory into sphinx folder

# for windows
cd docs\sphinx

# for Mac/Linux
cd docs/sphinx

6) Create offline documentation in sphinx folder

# To allow a fresh start when making the documentation
make clean

# To make the documentation
make html

7) Change directory into html folder and run the documentation offline

# for Windows go into build\html folder and double click on the index.html file, or:

cd build\html

# for Mac, go into build/html folder and double click on the index.html file or:
cd build/html
open index.html

The documentation will open up in your browser automatically or right click on the file and open in any browser of your choice.