A Component-Based Extension Framework for Large-Scale Parallel Simulations in NEURON
As neuronal simulations approach larger scales with increasing levels of detail, the neurosimulator software represents only a part of a chain of tools ranging from setup, simulation, interaction with virtual environments to analysis and visualizations. Previously published approaches to abstracting simulator engines have not received wide-spread acceptance, which in part may be to the fact that they tried to address the challenge of solving the model specification problem. Here, we present an approach that uses a neurosimulator, in this case NEURON, to describe and instantiate the network model in the simulator's native model language but then replaces the main integration loop with its own. Existing parallel network models are easily adopted to run in the presented framework. The presented approach is thus an extension to NEURON but uses a component-based architecture to allow for replaceable spike exchange components and pluggable components for monitoring, analysis, or control that can run in this framework alongside with the simulation.