NESTML is a user-friendly, flexible and powerful domain-specific language that enables neuroscientists to write custom neuron models and to generate efficient simulation code, quickly and easily.

  • Specify neuron models in a precise and user-friendly syntax, inspired by Python
  • Greatly simplifies the modelling process, for users with and without prior training in computer science
  • Automatic source-code generation yields high-performance simulation
  • One model file can target different hardware or software platforms, by changing a single command-line parameter
  • Models library: plug-and-play any one of over a dozen downloadable models
  • Lightweight, modular and extensible


Write custom models using NESTML

Model equations can be given either as a simple string of mathematical notation or as an algorithm written in the built-in procedural language. The equations are analysed by the associated ODE-toolbox toolchain, to compute an exact solution, if possible, or otherwise to invoke an appropriate numerical solver.

NESTML can generate code for virtually any hardware or software simulation platform, by using a set of platform-specific templates and the off-the-shelf templating engine Jinja. A library of model transformations is available to simplify code generation.


Get involved in the NEST community

NEST Conference 2019 at NMBU in Ås, Norway

Since its first release in 1994, NEST has gathered a large and experienced user and developer community.

The community ensures systematic code review and continuous integration testing to maintain high code quality standards. Beyond daily collaboration via GitHub, users and developers can interact via the NEST User Mailing List, NEST Hackathons and fortnightly Open NEST Developer Video Conferences, as well as the annual NEST Conference. At the conference, everyone is welcome to join talks and discussions, share success stories, exchange advice and learn about current developments in and beyond NEST spiking network simulation and its applications.

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