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About PolicyBrain

PolicyBrain provides a platform for open-source policy simulation models. It serves as an interface to powerful models for those who do not want to work directly with the models themselves. PolicyBrain’s primary jobs are to send the user-input to the models, provide feedback if the user-input causes warnings or errors, schedule jobs on available machines, retrieve the results from the models, and deliver the results to the user. Essentially, PolicyBrain provides the infrastructure and resources for the models that it hosts.

The apps that are currently hosted are TaxBrain and Cost-of-Capital Calculator. TaxBrain enables the user to perform static and dynamic analyses on their specified personal income tax reform. Cost-of-Capital Calculator enables the user to perform a static analysis on their specified business tax reform.

PolicyBrain is a Django app which is deployed on Heroku and uses Flask, Celery, and Redis to schedule jobs.

Release Process

To review the steps for the release process, see

Local Deployment Setup

First, if you plan on contributing to PolicyBrain, then fork PolicyBrain and work off of that fork. If you do not plan to contribute, then you can clone the main repo.

Open a terminal window and run the following commands:

# swap out YOURUSERNAME with OpenSourcePolicyCenter if you did not fork this project and
# your user name if you did
git clone
cd PolicyBrain
git remote add upstream
pushd deploy
source activate aei_dropq && source
python collectstatic
python migrate
python runserver

Now, the Django app should be up and running. You can access the local instance of at http://localhost:8000. Next, set up Redis, Flask, and Celery. This step allows you to submit and run jobs. In another terminal, run the following commands

# Go to the PolicyBrain directory
cd PolicyBrain/
source activate aei_dropq && source
cd deploy/taxbrain_server

# ignore the following block if you do not have access to the taxpuf package
conda config --add channels ''
conda install taxpuf
gunzip -c puf.csv.gz > puf.csv

supervisord -c supervisord_local.conf