# Using the d_lambda Rule

The d_lambda rule is built into the CellBuilder and is available by clicking on a checkbox–see the CellBuilder tutorial.

If you don’t use the GUI, you can still use the d_lambda rule. Just save this code

```
/* Sets nseg in each section to an odd value
so that its segments are no longer than
d_lambda x the AC length constant
at frequency freq in that section.
Be sure to specify your own Ra and cm before calling geom_nseg()
To understand why this works,
and the advantages of using an odd value for nseg,
see Hines, M.L. and Carnevale, N.T.
NEURON: a tool for neuroscientists.
The Neuroscientist 7:123-135, 2001.
*/
// these are reasonable values for most models
freq = 100 // Hz, frequency at which AC length constant will be computed
d_lambda = 0.1
func lambda_f() { local i, x1, x2, d1, d2, lam
if (n3d() < 2) {
return 1e5*sqrt(diam/(4*PI*$1*Ra*cm))
}
// above was too inaccurate with large variation in 3d diameter
// so now we use all 3-d points to get a better approximate lambda
x1 = arc3d(0)
d1 = diam3d(0)
lam = 0
for i=1, n3d()-1 {
x2 = arc3d(i)
d2 = diam3d(i)
lam += (x2 - x1)/sqrt(d1 + d2)
x1 = x2 d1 = d2
}
// length of the section in units of lambda
lam *= sqrt(2) * 1e-5*sqrt(4*PI*$1*Ra*cm)
return L/lam
}
proc geom_nseg() {
soma area(0.5) // make sure diam reflects 3d points
forall { nseg = int((L/(d_lambda*lambda_f(freq))+0.9)/2)*2 + 1 }
}
```

in a file called `fixnseg.hoc`

After specifying the topolgy, geometry, and biophysics of your model, execute the statements

```
xopen("fixnseg.hoc")
geom_nseg()
```