Build a SortingExtractorΒΆ

Building a new SortingExtractor for a specific file format is as simple as creating a new subclass based on the predefined base classes provided in the spikeextractors package.

To enable standardization among subclasses, the SortingExtractor is an abstract base class which require a new subclass to override all methods which are decorated with @abstractmethod. The SortingExtractor class has two abstract methods: get_unit_ids(), get_unit_spike_trains(). So all you need to do is create a class that inherits from :code:`SortingExtractor` and implements these two methods.

Along with these two methods, you can also optionally override the write_sorting() function which enables any SortingExtractor to be written into your format.

Any other methods, such as set_unit_spike_features() or clear_unit_property(), should not be overwritten as they are generic functions that any SortingExtractor has access to upon initialization.

Finally, if your file format contains information about the units (e.g. location, morphology, etc.) or spikes (e.g. locations, pcs, etc.), you are suggested to add that as either unit properties or spike features upon initialization (this is optional).

The contributed extractors are in the spikeextractors/extractors folder. You can fork the repo and create a new folder myformatextractors there. In the folder, create a new file named

from spikeextractors import SortingExtractor
from spikeextractors.extraction_tools import check_get_unit_spike_train

    import mypackage
except ImportError:

class MyFormatSortingExtractor(SortingExtractor):
    Description of your sorting extractor

    file_path: str or Path
        Path to myformat file
    extra_parameter_1: (type)
        What extra_parameter_1 does
    extra_parameter_2: (type)
        What extra_parameter_2 does
    extractor_name = 'MyFormatSorting'
    installed = HAVE_MYPACKAGE  # check at class level if installed or not
    is_writable = True # set to True if extractor implements `write_sorting()` function
    mode = 'file'  # 'file' if input is 'file_path', 'folder' if input 'folder_path', 'file_or_folder' if input is 'file_or_folder_path'
    installation_mesg = "To use the MyFormatSortingExtractor extractors, install mypackage: \n\n pip install mypackage\n\n"

    def __init__(self, file_path, extra_parameter_1, extra_parameter_2):
        # check if installed
        assert self.installed, self.installation_mesg

        # instantiate base SortingExtractor

        ## All file specific initialization code can go here.
        # If your format stores the sampling frequency, you can overwrite the self._sampling_frequency. This way,
        # the base method self.get_sampling_frequency() will return the correct sampling frequency

        self._sampling_frequency = my_sampling_frequency

    def get_unit_ids(self):

        #Fill code to get a unit_ids list containing all the ids (ints) of detected units in the recording

        return unit_ids

    def get_unit_spike_train(self, unit_id, start_frame=None, end_frame=None):

        '''Code to extract spike frames from the specified unit.
        It will return spike frames from within three ranges:
            [start_frame, t_start+1, ..., end_frame-1]
            [start_frame, start_frame+1, ..., final_unit_spike_frame - 1]
            [0, 1, ..., end_frame-1]
            [0, 1, ..., final_unit_spike_frame - 1]
        if both start_frame and end_frame are given, if only start_frame is
        given, if only end_frame is given, or if neither start_frame or end_frame
        are given, respectively. Spike frames are returned in the form of an
        array_like of spike frames. In this implementation, start_frame is inclusive
        and end_frame is exclusive conforming to numpy standards.


        return spike_train

    . #Optional functions and pre-implemented functions that a new SortingExtractor doesn't need to implement

    def write_sorting(sorting, save_path):
        This is an example of a function that is not abstract so it is optional if you want to override it. It allows other
        SortingExtractors to use your new SortingExtractor to convert their sorted data into your
        sorting file format.

When you are done you can optionally write a test in the tests/ (this is easier if a write_sorting function is implemented).

Finally, make a pull request to the spikeextractors repo, so we can review the code and merge it to the spikeextractors!