LEMS Simulation files

For many users, the most obvious place that LEMS is used is in the LEMS Simulation file (usually LEMS_*.xml).

Specification of format

See here for definition of the main elements used in the file, including Display, OutputFile, etc.

Quantities and paths

Specifying the quantities to save/display in a LEMS Simulation file is an important and sometimes confusing process. There is a dedicated page on quantities and paths in LEMS and NeuroML2.

Creating LEMS Simulation files

Perhaps the easiest way to create a LEMS Simulation file is to base it off of an existing example.


    <!-- Specify the Simulation element below as what LEMS should load. Save a
         report of the simulation (e.g. simulator version, run time) in a file-->
    <Target component="sim1" reportFile="report.txt"/>

    <Include file="Cells.xml"/>
    <Include file="Networks.xml"/>
    <Include file="Simulation.xml"/>

    <!-- Including file with a <neuroml> root, a "real" NeuroML 2 file -->
    <Include file="NML2_SingleCompHHCell.nml"/>

    <!-- What to run (from the above NeuroML file) and what duration/timestep -->
    <Simulation id="sim1" length="300ms" step="0.01ms" target="net1">

        <!-- Display a trace in a new window -->
        <Display id="d1" title="HH cell with simple morphology: voltage" timeScale="1ms" xmin="0" xmax="300" ymin="-90" ymax="50">
                <Line id="v" quantity="hhpop[0]/v" color="#cccccc" scale="0.001" timeScale="1ms"/>

        <!-- Save a variable to file  -->
        <OutputFile id="of0" fileName="ex_v.dat">
            <OutputColumn id="v" quantity="hhpop[0]/v"/>

        <!-- Save spike times from a cell to file  -->
        <EventOutputFile id="spikes" fileName="ex.spikes" format="TIME_ID">
            <EventSelection id="0" select="hhpop[0]" eventPort="spike"/>



Alternatively, it is possible to create a LEMS Simulation file in Python file using pyNeuroML:

from pyneuroml.lems import LEMSSimulation

ls = LEMSSimulation('sim1', 500, 0.05, 'net1')

ls.create_display('display0', "Voltages", "-90", "50")
ls.add_line_to_display('display0', "v", "hhpop[0]/v", "1mV", "#ffffff")

ls.create_output_file('Volts_file', "v.dat")
ls.add_column_to_output_file('Volts_file', 'v', "hhpop[0]/v")


See this example for more details.

What about SED-ML?

The Simulation Experiment Description Markup Language (SED-ML) is used by a number of other initiatives such as SBML for specifying simulation setup, execution and basic analysis.

We chose to have a LEMS specific format for specifying simulations in NeuroML2 as opposed to natively supporting SED-ML, mainly because of the tight link to the LEMS language and jLEMS package, i.e. all of the NeuroML2 elements and elements in a LEMS simulation file have underlying definitions in the LEMS language. However it is possible to convert the LEMS simulation to the equivalent in SED-ML.

Exporting LEMS simulation descriptions to SED-ML

# Using jnml
jnml <LEMS simulation file> -sedml

# Using pynml
pynml <LEMS simulation file> -sedml