We propose an equivalent circuit model for photonic spike processing laser neurons with an embedded saturable absorber—a simulation model for photonic excitable lasers (SIMPEL). We show that by mapping the laser neuron rate equations into a circuit model, SPICE analysis can be used as an efficient and accurate engine for numerical calculations, capable of generalization to a variety of different types of laser neurons with saturable absorber found in literature. The development of this model parallels the Hodgkin-Huxley model of neuron biophysics, a circuit framework which brought efficiency, modularity, and generalizability to the study of neural dynamics. We employ the model to study various signal-processing effects such as excitability with excitatory and inhibitory pulses, binary all-or-nothing response, and bistable dynamics.
B. Shastri, M. Nahmias, A. Tait, B. Wu, & P. Prucnal. SIMPEL: Circuit model for photonic spike processing laser neurons. Optics Express. 2015 Mar 23;23(6):8029-44. doi: 10.1364/OE.23.008029.