Neural Simulator

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About FNS

FNS is an event-driven Spiking Neural Network (SNN) framework, oriented to data-driven neural simulations.

FNS combines spiking/synaptic level description with the event-driven approach, allowing the user to define heterogeneous modules and multi-scale connectivity with delayed connections and plastic synapses, providing fast simulations at the same time. A novel parallelization strategy is also implemented in order to further speed up simulations.

FNS is based on the Leaky-Integrate and Fire with Latency (LIFL) spiking neuron model, that combines some realistic neurocomputational features to low computational complexity.

FNS is written in Java, distributed as open source and protected by the GPL license.


When you use FNS please cite:

Susi G, Garcés P, Paracone E, Cristini A, Salerno M, Maestú F, Pereda E. "FNS allows efficient event-driven spiking neural network simulations based on a neuron model supporting spike latency," Scientific Reports 11, 12160 (2021). open access.

Note that FNS can be used without limitation: you can change any part you want and re-distribute it, but always acknowledging the original authorship of the software and citing the original paper. Please read the license.



  • Best Poster Award, "Continuous-time spiking neural networks: general paradigm and event-driven simulation" at 29st Annual Meeting of Electrical Engineering Researchers (ET2013), 2013. Padova, Italy.
  • Best Paper Award, "Spiking neural networks as analog dynamical systems: basic paradigm and simple applications", in International Conference on Computer Science and Communication Devices, ACE (ACEEE), 2012. Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Tools and downloads

In this section you can find everything you need to perform neural simulations with FNS:

To take a look at the latest updates go to the official FNS GitHub page.



Neuroscience - Data Analysis

Fernando Maestu 1

Ernesto Pereda 1,3

Jesus Cabrera Alvarez 1

Engineering - Software Design

Gianluca Susi 1,2

Emanuele Paracone 2

Alessandro Cristini 2

Mario Salerno 2

Juan Garcia Prieto 4

Paolo Ucchino



1: UPM-UCM Laboratory of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience @ CTB (Madrid, Spain)

2: University of Rome, "Tor Vergata" (Rome, Italy)

3: University of La Laguna (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain)

4: Department of Neurology, University of Texas (Houston, Texas, USA)



ELTlab group (University of Rome, "Tor Vergata")

Simone Renzi (University of Rome, "Tor Vergata")


9 Jun 2021: A research article regarding FNS has been published in the journal Scientific Reports, where we describe the neurobiological principles and mathematical models underlying the simulator.

1 Mar 2021: Download the last version of FNS (3.3.92) through the Github page.

1 Jan 2020: video tutorials available in the “download” section.

1 Nov 2019: a new version of FNS, together with a tool for the automatic generation of the "config.xml" file are online, accessible from the “download” section.

15 Nov 2018: FNS 2.0 has been released. You can download it through the Github page.

12 Nov 2017: FNS 1.0.1 has been released. You can download it through the Github page.

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