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Check out http://nipy.sourceforge.net/nipype/ It's basically a pipeline for plugging different packages' outputs and inputs into each other, wrappers are already there for SPM, FSL, and other well known programs and it's easy to write your own stuff if you know some Python. It speaks to exactly this approach, as it is algorithm/implementation agnostic, it just defines the process and tries to formalize getting data from one place to the next.

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