Granular layEr Simulator: Design and Multi-GPU Simulation of the Cerebellar Granular Layer

Giordana Florimbi, Emanuele Torti, Stefano Masoli, Egidio D'Angelo, Francesco Leporati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In modern computational modeling, neuroscientists need to reproduce long-lasting activity of large-scale networks, where neurons are described by highly complex mathematical models. These aspects strongly increase the computational load of the simulations, which can be efficiently performed by exploiting parallel systems to reduce the processing times. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) devices meet this need providing on desktop High Performance Computing. In this work, authors describe a novel Granular layEr Simulator development implemented on a multi-GPU system capable of reconstructing the cerebellar granular layer in a 3D space and reproducing its neuronal activity. The reconstruction is characterized by a high level of novelty and realism considering axonal/dendritic field geometries, oriented in the 3D space, and following convergence/divergence rates provided in literature. Neurons are modeled using Hodgkin and Huxley representations. The network is validated by reproducing typical behaviors which are well-documented in the literature, such as the center-surround organization. The reconstruction of a network, whose volume is 600 × 150 × 1,200 μm3 with 432,000 granules, 972 Golgi cells, 32,399 glomeruli, and 4,051 mossy fibers, takes 235 s on an Intel i9 processor. The 10 s activity reproduction takes only 4.34 and 3.37 h exploiting a single and multi-GPU desktop system (with one or two NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPU, respectively). Moreover, the code takes only 3.52 and 2.44 h if run on one or two NVIDIA V100 GPU, respectively. The relevant speedups reached (up to ~38× in the single-GPU version, and ~55× in the multi-GPU) clearly demonstrate that the GPU technology is highly suitable for realistic large network simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630795
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Granular layEr Simulator: Design and Multi-GPU Simulation of the Cerebellar Granular Layer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this