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The Spiking Reservoir (Liquid State Machine - LSM) Simulator
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Bee - The Spiking Reservoir (LSM) Simulator

The Bee simulator is an open source Spiking Neural Network (SNN) simulator, freely available, specialised in Liquid State Machine (LSM) systems with its core functions fully implemented in C.

Block diagram of an LSM

It was developed together with my PhD thesis (you can see where it was used in my publications) exclusively to solve the specific problems presented by neurorobotics experiments.

Bee uses the C library pthreads (POSIX threads) in order to speed up the simulation of LSMs by processing input and output spikes in a parallel way. A Python wrapper is supplied to simplify the user interaction with the software.
The neuron model, a special type of (Leaky_integrate-and-fire) with extra exponential synapses - see [1] for details, is hardcoded (fixed), following what is presented bellow, and the solution for the differential equations is calculated by the Euler's method according to the simulation's time step specified by the user.

Leaky Integrate and Fire with Exponential Synapses

The simulator has the ability to automatically generate the reservoir (liquid) in a probabilistic way (see [1] for details) according to the equation:

Probability of connections

An example of generated connections (red dots/lines are excitatory and blue ones inhibitory) is presented below: liquid example

All the parameters for the neuron model or the internal connections can be defined by the user. Also, motivated by the results presented in Short-term plasticity in a liquid state machine biomimetic robot arm controller, Short Term Plasticity (STP) and time delays were not implemented in order to simplify and optimise the simulator. In its current version, it supports, at least, Linux and OS X (it was never tested by the author on any version of Windows).

If you want to find out more details about the main simulator I'd recommend to have a look here:

All the necessary files can be found here:

Here is a list of published papers that use Bee (they have plenty of code examples to follow):

If you are using Bee in your work, please, send me the link and I will add it here :)



  1. Maass, Wolfgang, Thomas Natschläger, and Henry Markram. “Real-Time Computing without Stable States: A New Framework for Neural Computation Based on Perturbations.” Neural Computation 14, no. 11 (November 2002): 2531–60.

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