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Determining Lyapunov Exponents from a Time Series
 Physica
, 1985
"... We present the first algorithms that allow the estimation of nonnegative Lyapunov exponents from an experimental time series. Lyapunov exponents, which provide a qualitative and quantitative characterization of dynamical behavior, are related to the exponentially fast divergence or convergence of n ..."
Abstract

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We present the first algorithms that allow the estimation of nonnegative Lyapunov exponents from an experimental time series. Lyapunov exponents, which provide a qualitative and quantitative characterization of dynamical behavior, are related to the exponentially fast divergence or convergence of nearby orbits in phase space. A system with one or more positive Lyapunov exponents is defined to be chaotic. Our method is rooted conceptually in a previously developed technique that could only be applied to analytically defined model systems: we monitor the longterm growth rate of small volume elements in an attractor. The method is tested on model systems with known Lyapunov spectra, and applied to data for the BelousovZhabotinskii reaction and CouetteTaylor flow. Contents 1.