STDP (spike timing dependent plasticity) is a learning rule for changing the synaptic weights between neurons. It is Hebbian-like in that the weight changes depend on the coincidence of pre- and post-synaptic spikes, but it includes a notion of causation in that the synapse is strengthened if a presynaptic spike precedes a postsynaptic spike, but the synapse is weakened if a postsynaptic spike precedes a presynaptic spike.
Rate neurons are often used in simulations because they are computationally cheap compared to simulating spiking neurons. In order to implement STDP, spikes are generated using an inhomogeneous Poisson process with the rate parameter defined by the current rate of the rate neuron.
What I would like to know is whether a shortcut has been developed to calculate the weight changes due to STDP directly from the temporal dynamics of the pre- and post-synaptic weights without having to explicitly generate spike times through a poisson process.