PCSIM: A Parallel neural Circuit SIMulator

This software is deprecated and phased out and no longer maintained

Please goto IGI neuronal software on GITHub for newer implementations of LSM

PCSIM is a tool for simulating heterogeneous networks composed of different model neurons and synapses. This simulator is written in C++ with a primary interface to the programming language Python. It is intended to simulate networks containing up to millions of neurons and on the order of billions of synapses. This is achieved by distributing the network over different nodes of a computing cluster by using MPI.

PCSIM is the successor of CSIM which was built on top of Matlab.

The development of PCSIM is supported by the FACETS EU-Project.

PCSIM is distributed under the GNU General Public License.

Note: This software comes as it is and without any warranty!

Features of the current version (0.5.4)

Distributed (via MPI) and multi-threaded simulation of large networks
Easy to use Python interface
Supports different levels of modeling
Object oriented design
Fast C++ core


Pecevski D, Natschläger T and Schuch K (2009) PCSIM: a parallel simulation environment for neural circuits fully integrated with Python.
Front. Neuroinform. 3:11. doi:10.3389/neuro.11.011.2009, available online here.


PCSIM Tutorial at the FIAS Theoretical Neuroscience Summer School 2008 (PPT) .
PCSIM Tutorial Exercises (PDF).
Solution to Exercise 1 - part 1.
Solution to Exercise 1 - part 2.
Solution to Exercise 2 - part 1.
Solution to Exercise 2 - part 2.
Solution to Exercise 2 - part 3.
Solution to Exercise 3 .
The User Manual describes how to use PCSIM from the python user point of view.
A list of instructive examples let's you getting started with PCSIM immediately.
The python class reference gives you information about all classes available in the pcsim python module pypcsim.
The C++ Class Reference gives you information about the overall C++ class hierarchy on which PCSIM is built. This information is intended for people which think about adapting PCSIM for their own needs.
Several HowTo's: HowTo-Install-PCSIM-Dependencies-Linux.txt, HowTo-Compile-PCSIM.txt, HowTo-Extend-PCSIM.txt


Go to the download area at sourceforge where the project for developing of PCSIM is hosted.
PCSIM is distributed under the GNU General Public License.
ISO Image of a Knoppix live DVD with PCSIM installed available for download.


Here is a recipe for the impatient.
Detailed installation instructions are provided in the user manual.
(C) 2009, Dejan Pecevski last modified oVVi 29/08/2018