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Neural Computation

May 2011, Vol. 23, No. 5, Pages 1187-1204
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00112)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Performance of Voltage Stepping for the Simulation of Adaptive, Nonlinear Integrate-and-Fire Neuronal Networks
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In traditional event-driven strategies, spike timings are analytically given or calculated with arbitrary precision (up to machine precision). Exact computation is possible only for simplified neuron models, mainly the leaky integrate-and-fire model. In a recent paper, Zheng, Tonnelier, and Martinez (2009) introduced an approximate event-driven strategy, named voltage stepping, that allows the generic simulation of nonlinear spiking neurons. Promising results were achieved in the simulation of single quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons. Here, we assess the performance of voltage stepping in network simulations by considering more complex neurons (quadratic integrate-and-fire neurons with adaptation) coupled with multiple synapses. To handle the discrete nature of synaptic interactions, we recast voltage stepping in a general framework, the discrete event system specification. The efficiency of the method is assessed through simulations and comparisons with a modified time-stepping scheme of the Runge-Kutta type. We demonstrated numerically that the original order of voltage stepping is preserved when simulating connected spiking neurons, independent of the network activity and connectivity.