# 2.10. Setting inputs¶

The methods to set inputs to a network depends on whether it is rate-coded or spiking. Specific populations to set inputs are described at Specific Populations.

## 2.10.1. Inputs to a rate-coded network¶

### 2.10.1.1. Standard method¶

The simplest way to define an input population is to use a dummy neuron which simply holds a firing rate `r`

as parameter, and connect it to another population:

```
input_pop = Population(10, Neuron(parameters="r=0.0"))
pop = Population (10, LeakyIntegrator)
proj = Projection(input_pop, pop, 'exc')
proj.connect_one_to_one(1.0)
compile()
simulate(100.)
input_pop.r = 1.0
simulate(100.)
```

The only thing you need to do is to manipulate the numpy array `r`

holded by `input_pop`

, and it will influence the “real” population `pop`

It is **important** to define `r`

as a **parameter** of the neuron, not a variable in `equations`

. A variable sees its value updated at each step, so the value you set would be immediately forgotten.

Note

Using this method necessitates to interact with the input population in the Python script everytime you want to change the inputs. If the inputs change every time step, your simulation will alternate between Python and C++ executions and potentially become very slow.

### 2.10.1.2. Timed Arrays¶

If the inputs change frequently, it may be more efficient to store all these values in a `TimedArray`

(doc in Specific Populations).

Let’s suppose you have a population of 10 neurons which should be activated sequentially over time. You can store the inputs to these neurons in a Numpy array, where the first axis corresponds to time and the second (or more) to the geometry of the population:

```
inputs = np.array(
[
[1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0],
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1]
]
)
inp = TimedArray(rates=inputs)
pop = Population(10, Neuron(equations="r=sum(exc)"))
proj = Projection(inp, pop, 'exc')
proj.connect_one_to_one(1.0)
compile()
simulate(10.)
```

With this code, each neuron will be activated in sequence at each time step (`dt=1.0`

by default). If you simulate longer than 10 ms, the last input [0, 0, .., 1] will be kept forever.

If the `rates`

array has two dimensions, the corresponding population will be 1D. You can pass a multidimensional array to obtain a 2D or 3D population.

Presenting a input for only one time step is very short, especially if the population `pop`

uses ODEs to integrate the inputs. You can provide a `schedule`

parameter to the `TimedArray`

to define how long (in ms) an input should be presented:

```
inp = TimedArray(rates=inputs, schedule=10.)
```

Here each input will be kept constant for 10 ms, so the 10 inputs will need 100 ms of simulation to be presented. If you do not want a regular schedule, you can also provide a list of times where inputs should be set:

```
inp = TimedArray(rates=inputs, schedule=[0., 10., 30., 60., 100., 150., 210., 280., 360., 450.])
```

The length of the `schedule`

list should be equal or smaller to the number of inputs defined in `rates`

. If this length is smaller (e.g. 7), only the 7 first inputs will be used as inputs. If the length is bigger, it will lead to an error.

A `TimedArray`

can be reset to iterate again over the inputs:

```
inp = TimedArray(rates=inputs, schedule=10.)
...
compile()
simulate(100.) # The ten inputs are shown with a schedule of 10 ms
inp.reset()
simulate(100.) # The same ten inputs are presented again.
```

The times declared in `schedule`

are therefore relative to the last call to `reset()`

(or to `t=0.0`

at the beginning).

If you want to systematically iterate over the inputs without iterating over `simulate()`

and `reset()`

, you can provide the `period`

argument to the `TimedArray`

to define how often the inputs will be reset:

```
inp = TimedArray(rates=inputs, schedule=10.. period=100.)
...
simulate(100000.)
```

If the period is smaller than the total durations of the inputs, the last inputs will be skipped.

The `rates`

, `schedule`

and `period`

can be modified after compilation. The only constraint is that the size of the population (defined in the `rates`

array) must stay the same.

### 2.10.1.3. Images and Videos¶

**Images**

A simple utility to directly load an image into the firing rates `r`

of a Population is provided by the `ImagePopulation`

class. This class is not automatically imported with ANNarchy, you need to explicitly import it:

```
from ANNarchy import *
from ANNarchy.extensions.image import ImagePopulation
inp = ImagePopulation(geometry=(480, 640))
inp.set_image('image.jpg')
```

Using this class requires that you have the **Python Image Library** installed (`pip install Pillow`

). Any image with a format supported by Pillow can be loaded, see the documentation.

The `ImagePopulation`

must be initialized with a geometry corresponding to the desired size of the population. If it differs from the resolution of the image (set with `set_image`

), the image will be first resized to match the geometry of the population.

**Note**: the size of an image is defined as (height, width), so a 640x480 image should be loaded in a (480, 640 population).

If the geometry has only two dimensions (480, 640), each neuron will represent the **luminance** (or brightness) of the corresponding pixel.

If the geometry has three dimensions (480, 640, 3), the color channels will additionally be represented (RGB). Any other value than 3 for the third dimension will generate an error.

Note

The firing rate `r`

of a neuron is 1.0 when the corresponding pixel is white (value 255 as an unsigned integer on 8 bits).

Note that the following code is functionally equivalent:

```
from ANNarchy import *
from PIL import Image
inp = Population(geometry=(480, 640), Neuron(parameters="r=0.0"))
img = Image.open('image.jpg')
img = img.convert('L')
img = img.resize((480, 640)) /255.
inp.r = np.array(img)
```

An example is provided in `examples/image/Image.py`

.

**Videos**

The `VideoPopulation`

class allows to retrieve images from a Webcam, using the OpenCV computer vision library, version 2.4 or later. `pkg-config opencv --cflags --libs`

should not return an error.

```
from ANNarchy import *
from ANNarchy.extensions.image import VideoPopulation
inp = VideoPopulation(geometry=(480, 640))
compile()
inp.start_camera(0)
while(True):
inp.grab_image()
simulate(10.0)
```

A geometry must be provided as for `ImagePopulations`

. The camera must be explicitly started after `compile()`

with `inp.start_camera(0)`

. 0 corresponds to the index of your camera, change it if you have multiple cameras.

The `VideoPopulation`

can then acquire frames from the camera with `inp.grab_image()`

and store the correponding image in its firing rate `r`

(also scaled between 0.0 and 1.0). An example is provided in `examples/image/Webcam.py`

.

Warning

`VideoPopulation`

is not available with the CUDA backend.

## 2.10.2. Inputs to a spiking network¶

### 2.10.2.1. Standard method¶

To control the spiking patterns of a spiking population, the simplest way is to **inject** current into the corresponding membrane potentials. The built-in neuron types defined by ANNarchy have a `i_offset`

variable that can be used for this purpose:

```
from ANNarchy import *
setup(dt=0.1)
pop = Population(100, Izhikevich)
pop.i_offset= np.linspace(0.0, 30.0, 100)
m = Monitor(pop, 'spike')
compile()
simulate(100.)
data = m.get('spike')
t, n = m.raster_plot(data)
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
plt.plot(t, n, '.')
plt.ylim(0, 100)
plt.xlabel('Time (ms)')
plt.ylabel('# neuron')
plt.show()
```

#### 2.10.2.1.1. Current injection¶

If you want the injected current to be time-varying, you can design a rate-coded population of the same size as the spiking population and create a `CurrentInjection`

projection between them:

```
inp = Population(100, Neuron(equations="r = sin(t)"))
pop = Population(100, Izhikevich)
proj = CurrentInjection(inp, pop, 'exc')
proj.connect_current()
```

The current `g_exc`

of a neuron in `pop`

will be set at each time step to the firing rate `r`

of the corresponding neuron in `inp`

(i.e. with the same rank). `inp`

can also be defined as a `TimedArray`

.

The connector method should be `connect_current()`

, which accepts no weight value and no delay.

### 2.10.2.2. SpikeSourceArray¶

If you want to control precisely the spiking patterns used as inputs, you can provide a list of spike times to a `SpikeSourceArray`

object:

```
from ANNarchy import *
setup(dt=0.1)
spike_times = [
[ 10 + i/10,
20 + i/10,
30 + i/10,
40 + i/10,
50 + i/10,
60 + i/10,
70 + i/10,
80 + i/10,
90 + i/10] for i in range(100)
]
pop = SpikeSourceArray(spike_times=spike_times)
m = Monitor(pop, 'spike')
compile()
simulate(100.)
data = m.get('spike')
t, n = m.raster_plot(data)
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
plt.plot(t, n, '.')
plt.ylim(0, 100)
plt.xlabel('Time (ms)')
plt.ylabel('# neuron')
plt.show()
```

The `spike_times`

argument must be a list of lists containing the spike times in ms. Its length defines the number of neurons in the population. It is not possible to define a geometry. If one neuron should not spike at all, just provide an empty list. The different neurons can have a different number of spikes.

If you want to repeat the same stimulation, you can reset the SpikeSourceArray, what will set its internal time back to 0.0:

```
simulate(100.)
pop.reset()
simulate(100.)
```

The spikes times can be changed after compilation, bit it must have the same number of neurons:

```
pop.spike_times = new_spike_times_array
```

An example is provided in `examples/pyNN/IF_curr_alpha.py`

.

Warning

`SpikeSourceArray`

is not available with the CUDA backend.

### 2.10.2.3. Poisson population¶

The `PoissonPopulation`

class allows to create a population of identical spiking neurons, whose spiking patterns vary according to a Poisson distribution:

```
from ANNarchy import *
setup(dt=0.1)
pop = PoissonPopulation(100, rates=30.)
m = Monitor(pop, 'spike')
compile()
simulate(100.)
data = m.get('spike')
t, n = m.raster_plot(data)
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
plt.plot(t, n, '.')
plt.ylim(0, 100)
plt.xlabel('Time (ms)')
plt.ylabel('# neuron')
plt.show()
```

In this example, each of the 100 neurons fires randomly, with a mean firing rate of 30 Hz (next figure, top-left).

It is also possible to specify the mean firing rate individually for each neuron (next figure, top-right):

```
pop = PoissonPopulation(100, rates=np.linspace(0.0, 100.0, 100))
```

The `rates`

attribute can be modified at any time during the simulation, as long as it has the same size as the population.

Another possibility is to define a rule for the evolution of the mean firing rate in the population (next figure, bottom-left):

```
pop = PoissonPopulation(
geometry=100,
parameters = """
amp = 100.0
frequency = 50.0
""",
rates="amp * (1.0 + sin(2*pi*frequency*t/1000.0) )/2.0"
)
```

The rule can only depend on the time `t`

: the corresponding mean firing rate is the same for all neurons in the population.

Finally, the `rates`

argument can be replaced by a target, so it can be computed by another rate-coded population (next figure, bottom-right):

```
rates = 10.*np.ones((2, 100))
rates[0, :50] = 100.
rates[1, 50:] = 100.
inp = TimedArray(rates = rates, schedule=50.)
pop = PoissonPopulation(100, target="exc")
proj = Projection(inp, pop, 'exc')
proj.connect_one_to_one(1.0)
```

In the code above, we define a `TimedArray`

for 100 neurons, so that half of the neurons fire at 100 Hz, while the others fire at 10 Hz. Every 50 ms, the two halves are swapped.

We just need to create a projection with the target “exc” between the TimedArray and the PoissonPopulation (with a one-to-one pattern and weights 1.0 to preserve scaling), and the Poisson population will reflect the firing rates defined by the TimedArray.