[Comp-neuro] Brian 2.0 release

Dan Goodman d.goodman at imperial.ac.uk
Wed Sep 21 12:50:53 CEST 2016

We are very pleased to announce the release of version 2.0 of the Brian 
neural network simulator.

Brian is a free, open source simulator for spiking neural networks. It 
is written in the Python programming language and is available on almost 
all platforms. We believe that a simulator should not only save the time 
of processors, but also the time of scientists. Brian is therefore 
designed to be easy to learn and use, highly flexible and easily extensible.

You can learn more about Brian at our website 
(http://briansimulator.org). You can also try out Brian from your web 
browser, without having to install any software, using our interactive 

Major new features in 2.0

* Much more flexible model definitions. The behaviour of all model 
elements can now be defined by arbitrary equations specified in standard 
mathematical notation.

* Code generation as standard. Behind the scenes, Brian automatically 
generates and compiles C++ code to simulate your model, making it much 

* "Standalone mode". In this mode, Brian generates a complete C++ 
project tree that implements your model. This can be then be compiled 
and run entirely independently of Brian. This leads to both highly 
efficient code, as well as making it much easier to run simulations on 
non-standard computational hardware, for example on robotics platforms.

* Multicompartmental modelling.

* Python 2 and 3 support.

That's just a small fraction of the new features in 2.0. For the full 
list, see 

Upgrading from Brian 1.4

Brian 2 is a rewrite from scratch, and introduces some backwards 
incompatible changes. In most cases, these should be relatively simple. 
We've written a detailed guide on how to update your simulations: 
http://brian2.readthedocs.io/en/stable/introduction/changes.html. Note 
that you can have both Brian 1 and Brian 2 installed simultaneously, so 
you can switch gradually.


Brian 2 was written by Marcel Stimberg, Dan Goodman and Romain Brette.

Do please remember to cite Brian if you use it for your research.

We would also like to thank the large number of users (over 40) who 
contributed code, bug reports, etc.

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