How much can we trust neural simulation strategies?
Michelle Rudolph and Alain Destexhe
Neurocomputing 70: 1966-1969, 2007.
Despite a steady improvement of computational hardware, results of
numerical simulation are still tightly bound to the simulation tool
and strategy used, and may substantially vary across available
simulation tools or for different settings within the same simulator.
Clock-driven simulation strategies proved efficient for large and
highly active networks but are outperformed with respect to precision
by the recently introduced event-driven strategies. Focusing on most
commonly used clock-driven and event-driven approaches, in this paper
we evaluate to which extent the temporal precision of spiking events
impacts on neuronal dynamics of single as well as small networks of
IF neurons with plastic synapses. We find that the used strategy can
severely alter simulated neural dynamics and, therefore, turn out to
be crucial for the interpretation of the result of numerical
simulations. Drastic differences were observed in models with spike
timing dependent plasticity, arguing that the speed of neuronal
simulations should not be the sole criteria for evaluation of the
efficiency of simulation tools, but must complement an evaluation of
their exactness, possibly in disfavour of their speed.
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