Leaky integrator

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A graph of a leaky integrator; the input changes at T=5.

In mathematics, a leaky integrator equation is a specific differential equation, used to describe a component or system that takes the integral of an input, but gradually leaks a small amount of input over time. It appears commonly in hydraulics, electronics, and neuroscience where it can represent either a single neuron or a local population of neurons.[1][clarification needed]

This is equivalent to a 1st-order lowpass filter with cutoff frequency far below the frequencies of interest.[citation needed]


The equation is of the form

where C is the input and A is the rate of the 'leak'.

General solution[edit]

As the equation is a nonhomogeneous first-order linear differential equation, its general solution is

where is a constant, and is an arbitrary solution of the equation.


  1. ^ Eliasmith, Anderson, Chris, Charles (2003). Neural Engineering. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. p. 81.