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Supporting mechanistic modelling for survival

DEBtox Researc



General information on downloads



Register for warnings/updates. Every software will contain errors. Even though openGUTS is extensively tested, we are sure that it contains errors. Some of these will be small glitches that are more of a nuisance than a problem. However, there may be more serious errors that affect the accuracy of the output, in places were we did not test the software. We like to notify the users as soon as possible when such an error is identified (and offer possible workarounds). To this end, we ask you to register for an email list by sending an email to Tjalling Jager (see email at bottom of this page). This list will only be used for information on important errors and software updates.

License information. openGUTS is free and open source software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. This holds both for the standalone version as for the Matlab version. This will ensure that openGUTS will stay in the public domain. Information about GPL on Wikipedia.

Error in v.1.0. The IT calculations used a shortcut that did not work in all cases. This error will affect IT calibrations for time varying exposure, where the exposure scenario includes episodes of linear decrease over time (for constant exposure and block pulses, it will be fine). It will also affect IT LPx predictions when the exposure scenario is specified with a crude resolution (the hourly resolution of FOCUS profiles will lead to negligible errors). This error is repaired in the update of the standalone and Matlab version, to v.1.1. Download a PDF document explaining this error in detail. (first posted 19 May 2020, updated 25 Feb. 2021)

Matlab R2023a throws errors (v.1.1 and earlier). The newest version of Matlab does not allow the cell-array format for name-value pairs anymore, at least not in the way it was used in the openGUTS Matlab version for formatting text in figures. Matlab versions up to 2022b do not have this problem. (thanks to Amund for spotting and reporting this). The update to v1.1a solves this issue (6 April 2023). However, the new version will no longer support Matlab R2014b-R2016a. If you are still on such an ancient platform, I suggest to keep working with v.1.1 (the calculation engine has not changed with v1.1a). (posted 29 March 2023, updated 6 April 2023)

OpenGUTS standalone produces error for missing observation at last time point. The openGUTS standalone (v.1.0 and v.1.1) throws an error when using a data set for survival, with time-varying exposure, in which there are one or more missing values at the last time point. The error occurs while the program tries to plot the results after the calibration. The Matlab version does not have this problem. A workaround for the standalone would be to split the data set in two, such that there are observations at the last time point for each data set. (thanks to Jan for spotting and reporting this). NOTE: if you split up the data set, it is likely that one of the data sets no longer has a control treatment. This is fine, but make sure that the option ‘Define control group’ on the tab 'Input Data' is set to <No control group> for this data set! Otherwise, the openGUTS standalone will, by default, take the first treatment in that data set as a control. The type of data set that produces an error, and the solution splitting up the data set, are explained with a simple example in this PDF. (posted 5 April 2023, updated 15 October 2023)

Standalone openGUTS software



Download setup file for the standalone version (v.1.1 of March 2023, MSI file, 5.4 MB).
Before installing this version, make sure to uninstall previous versions of openGUTS. Note: the installer has been updated in 2023 in response to (false-positive) trojan warnings by some virus scanners (see note on index page).

Download the version log (TXT file, small).

Download user manual for the standalone openGUTS software (1 March 2021, PDF, 2.5 MB). Updated to version 1.1.

Download the example files: input data sets and exposure profiles (9 Dec. 2019, ZIP file, 570 KB).

Download the list with known issues and possibilities for future versions (version 5 April 2023, PDF file, 315 KB).
Updated to version 1.1.

Download the source code (v.1.1 of February 2021, ZIP file, 255 KB).
Source for version 1.0 available on request.

The installer file will install the standalone executable that runs on Windows PCs (Windows 7 and later). The program was developed in C++. Since openGUTS is open source, the source code is available for download as well.

Matlab version



Download Matlab version (v.1.1a of 6 April 2023, ZIP file, 717 KB). Includes example files.

Download the version/error log (TXT file, small).

Download short user manual for the Matlab version (9 Dec. 2019, PDF, 330 KB).

Take a walkthrough through the code to see what it does.


The Matlab version (obviously) requires that you have Matlab installed. It was designed in R2018a, but should work error-free with version R2016b up to the current version (last tested: R2023a). If you use Matlab 2014b-2016a, I suggest to download v.1.1, which has the same calculation engine as v1.1a (but will throw an error for new Matlab versions as of R2023a).
  The Matlab version has the same functionality as the standalone version, but lacks the user interface and the option to make formatted output reports. Both versions are able to use the same input files for the data sets and the exposure profiles. The Matlab version will be handy for trying out modified GUTS models (e.g., more complex TK/damage modules) or modified analyses (e.g., custom graphs). Since the Matlab version was originally developed as prototype for the C++ source code, both follow the same structure, and the Matlab version can be used for future development of the software.

Background documentation



The history and conceptual/mathematical explanation of the GUTS framework is presented in detail in the GUTS e-book. The documents below will not repeat that background, but will assume that the reader is familiar with the e-book.

Download the guide to the interpretation of openGUTS output (10 May 2020, PDF, 4.8 MB).
This document gives a short model summary, and runs through several case studies: a well-behaved example to explain what the model output means, but also several typical nasty cases.

Download the technical design/background document (12 Dec. 2019, PDF, 690 KB).
This document provides the technical background for the software.

Download the test results for openGUTS (14 Dec. 2019, PDF, 9.3 MB).
Comparing the output of the Matlab version (prototype v0.7) with the standalone (beta 1). These are not the most recent versions, so an update is needed. There will be small differences with Matlab and standalone v1.1, when using IT and time-varying exposure, due to the correction of the error in v1.0, as specified at the top of this page. Testing includes the GUTS ring test exercises plus additional data sets, and also includes results with BYOM, Morse/MOSAIC and Mathematica.

Other things



Download the openGUTS poster as presented at the 30th SETAC Europe conference held in virtual space, 3-7 May 2020.

The algorithm used in openGUTS for optimisation and uncertainty analysis has been published in the open literature as well:

Jager, T. (2021). Robust likelihood-based approach for automated optimization and uncertainty analysis of toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic models. Integr. Environ. Assess. Manag. 17(2):388-397 https://doi.org/10.1002/IEAM.4333. Download accepted version.

Download supporting information. The supporting information for this publication provides a detailed explanation of the algorithm and the underlying statistical framework.




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openGUTS standalone Windows executable

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openGUTS in Matlab

Manual from page
Manuals and documentation





The openGUTS project, www.openguts.info. This site is maintained by Tjalling Jager, email: tjalling (at) debtox.nl