CDE: A tool for automatically creating reproducible experimental software packages - Philip Guo
Although there are many social, cultural, and political barriers to reproducible research, the main technical barrier to reproducibility is that it is hard to distribute scientific code in a form that other researchers can easily execute on their own machines. Before your colleagues can run your computational experiments, they must first obtain, install, and configure compatible versions of the appropriate software and their myriad of dependent libraries, which is a frustrating and error-prone process.
To eliminate this technical barrier to reproducibility, I have created a tool called CDE that automatically packages up all of the software dependencies required to reproduce your computational experiments on another machine. CDE is easy to use: All you need to do is execute the commands for your experiment under its supervision, and CDE automatically packages up all of the Code, Data, and Environment that your commands accessed. When you send that self-contained package to your colleagues, they can re-run those exact commands on their machines without first installing or configuring anything. Moreover, they can even adjust the parameters in your code and re-run to explore related hypotheses, or run your code on their own datasets to see how well it generalizes.
CDE currently only works on Linux, but the ideas it embodies can be implemented for any operating system. You can download CDE for free at http://www.stanford.edu/~pgbovine/cde.html.