Commonalities and differences between MDSplus and HDF5 data systems

G. Manduchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


MDSplus is a data acquisition system widely used in nuclear fusion experiments. It defines a file format for pulse files and provides a set of tools for data acquisition and management. The whole MDSplus package is used in several fusion experiments to set up and supervise the data acquisition process. Other experiments use only the data management layer of MDSplus to provide a common format for data exchange between plasma fusion laboratories. HDF5 is a file format and a data access library used by a larger community, mainly outside fusion. HDF5 is used, for example, in earth science research, defence applications and weather services. HDF5 allows managing large and complex data sets and provides a common data format among heterogeneous applications. Both MDSplus and HDF5 support a rich set of data types and a hierarchical data organization, as well as multi-language data access libraries. There are however several significant differences between the two system architectures, making each system better suited in different application contexts. The paper provides a brief overview of the data architectures of MDSplus and HDF5 and analyzes in detail the peculiar aspects of the two systems. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583 - 590
Number of pages8
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering

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