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Multiple coexisting attractors, basin boundaries and basic sets. (English) Zbl 0668.58035
Summary: Orbits initialized exactly on a basin boundary remain on that boundary and tend to a subset on the boundary. The largest ergodic sets are called basic sets. In this paper we develop a numerical technique which restricts orbits to the boundary. We call these numerically obtained orbits “straddle orbits.” By following straddle orbits we can obtain all the basic sets on a basin boundary. Furthermore, we show that knowledge of the basic sets provides essential information on the structure of the boundaries. The straddle orbit method is illustrated by two systems as examples. The first system is a damped driven pendulum which has two basins of attraction separated by a fractal basin boundary. In this case the basic set is chaotic and appears to resemble the product of two Cantor sets. The second system is a high-dimensional system (five phase space dimensions), namely, two coupled driven Van der Pol oscillators. Two parameter sets are examined for this system. In one of these cases the basin boundaries are not fractal, but there are several attractors and the basins are tangled in a complicated way. In this case all the basic sets are found to be unstable periodic orbits. It is then shown that using the numerically obtained knowledge of the basic sets, one can untangle the topology of the basin boundaries in the five-dimensional phase space. In the case of the other parameter set, we find that the basin boundary is fractal and contains at least two basic sets one of which is chaotic and the other quasiperiodic.

MSC:
37D45 Strange attractors, chaotic dynamics of systems with hyperbolic behavior
37C70 Attractors and repellers of smooth dynamical systems and their topological structure
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