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Physica 16D (1985)285-317

North-Holland, Amsterdam


Alan WOLF~-, Jack B. SWIFT, Harry L. SWINNEY and John A. VASTANO

Department of Physics, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712, USA

Received 18 October 1984

We present the first algorithms that allow the estimation of non-negative 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 long-term 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 Belousov-Zhabotinskii
reaction and Couette-Taylor flow.

Contents convergence of nearby orbits in phase space. Since

1. Introduction
nearby orbits correspond to nearly identical states,
2. The Lyapunov spectrum defined
3. Calculation of Lyapunov spectra from differential equations exponential orbital divergence means that systems
4. An approach to spectral estimation for experimental data whose initial differences we may not be able to
5. Spectral algorithm implementation* resolve will soon behave quite differently-predic-
6. Implementation details*
7. Data requirements and noise* tive ability is rapidly lost. Any system containing
8. Results at least one positive Lyapunov exponent is defined
9. Conclusions to be chaotic, with the magnitude of the exponent
Appendices* reflecting the time scale on which system dynamics
A. Lyapunov spectrum program for systems of differential become unpredictable [10].
B. Fixed evolution time program for ~'1 For systems whose equations of motion are ex-
plicitly known there is a straightforward technique
[8, 9] for computing a complete Lyapunov spec-
1. Introduction trum. This method cannot be applied directly to
experimental data for reasons that will be dis-
Convincing evidence for deterministic chaos has cussed later. We will describe a technique which
come from a variety of recent experiments [1-6] for the first time yields estimates of the non-nega-
on dissipative nonlinear systems; therefore, the tive Lyapunov exponents from finite amounts of
question of detecting and quantifying chaos has experimental data.
become an important one. Here we consider the A less general procedure [6, 11-14] for estimat-
spectrum of Lyapunov exponents [7-10], which ing only the dominant Lyapunov exponent in ex-
has proven to be the most useful dynamical di- perimental systems has been used for some time.
agnostic for chaotic systems. Lyapunov exponents This technique is limited to systems where a well-
are the average exponential rates of divergence or defined one-dimensional (l-D) map can be re-
covered. The technique is numerically unstable
tPresent address: The Cooper Union, School of Engineering, and the literature contains several examples of its
N.Y., NY 10003, USA.
*The reader may wish to skip the starred sections at a first
improper application to experimental data. A dis-
reading. cussion of the 1-D map calculation may be found

0167-2789/85/$03.30 Elsevier Science Publishers

(North-H01!and Physics Publishing Division)
286 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponentsfrom a time series

in ref. 13. In ref. 2 we presented an unusually tion 7 concerns sources of error in the calculations
robust 1-D map exponent calculation for experi- and the quality and quantity of data required for
mental data obtained from a chemical reaction. accurate exponent estimation. Our method is ap-
Experimental data inevitably contain external plied to model systems and experimental data in
noise due to environmental fluctuations and limited section 8, and the conclusions are given in
experimental resolution. In the limit of an infinite section 9.
amount of noise-free data our approach would
yield Lyapunov exponents by definition. Our abil-
ity to obtain good spectral estimates from experi- 2. The Lyapunov spectrum defined
mental data depends on the quantity and quality
of the data as well as on the complexity of the We now define [8, 9] the spectrum of Lyapunov
dynamical system. We have tested our method on exponents in the manner most relevant to spectral
model dynamical systems with known spectra and calculations. Given a continuous dynamical sys-
applied it to experimental data for chemical [2, 13] tem in an n-dimensional phase space, we monitor
and hydrodynamic [3] strange attractors. the long-term evolution of an infinitesimal n-sphere
Although the work of characterizing chaotic data of initial conditions; the sphere will become an
is still in its infancy, there have been many ap- n-ellipsoid due to the locally deforming nature of
proaches to quantifying chaos, e.g., fractal power the flow. The ith one-dimensional Lyapunov expo-
spectra [15], entropy [16-18, 3], and fractal dimen- nent is then defined in terms of the length of the
sion [proposed in ref. 19, used in ref. 3-5, 20, 21]. ellipsoidal principal axis p i ( t ) :
We have tested many of these algorithms on both
model and experimental data, and despite the h~ = lim 1 log 2 p c ( t ) (1)
claims of their proponents we have found that t--,oo t pc(O)'
these approaches often fail to characterize chaotic
data. In particular, parameter independence, the where the )h are ordered from largest to smallestt.
amount of data required, and the stability of re- Thus the Lyapunov exponents are related to the
suits with respect to external noise have rarely expanding or contracting nature of different direc-
been examined thoroughly. tions in phase space. Since the orientation of the
The spectrum of Lyapunov exponents will be ellipsoid changes continuously as it evolves, the
defined and discussed in section 2. This section directions associated with a given exponent vary in
includes table I which summarizes the model sys- a complicated way through the attractor. One can-
tems that are used in this paper. Section 3 is a not, therefore, speak of a well-defined direction
review of the calculation of the complete spectrum associated with a given exponent.
of exponents for systems in which the defining Notice that the linear extent of the ellipsoid
differential equations are known. Appendix A con- grows as 2 htt, the area defined by the first two
tains Fortran code for this calculation, which to principal axes grows as 2 (x~*x2)t, the volume de-
our knowledge has not been published elsewhere. fined by the first three principal axes grows as
In section 4, an outline of our approach to estimat- 2 (x'+x2+x~)t, and so on. This property yields
ing the non-negative portion of the Lyapunov another definition of the spectrum of exponents:
exponent spectrum is presented. In section 5 we
describe the algorithms for estimating the two tWhile the existenceof this limit has been questioned [8, 9,
largest exponents. A Fortran program for de- 22], the fact is that the orbital divergenceof any data set may
be quantified.Even if the limit does not exist for the underlying
termining the largest exponent is contained in system, or cannot be approacheddue to having finite amounts
appendix B. Our algorithm requires input parame- of noisy data, Lyapunovexponent estimates could still provide
ters whose selection is discussed in section 6. Sec- a useful characterizationof a givendata set. (See section 7.1.)
A. Wolf et aL / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 287

the sum of the first j exponents is defined by the that we will discuss are defined in table I.) Since
long term exponential growth rate of a j-volume Lyapunov exponents involve long-time averaged
element. This alternate definition will provide the behavior, the short segments of the trajectories
basis of our spectral technique for experimental shown in the figure cannot be expected to accu-
data. rately characterize the positive, zero, and negative
Any continuous time-dependent dynamical sys- exponents; nevertheless, the three distinct types of
tem without a fixed point will have at least one behavior are clear. In a continuous four-dimen-
zero exponent [22], corresponding to the slowly sional dissipative system there are three possible
changing magnitude of a principal axis tangent to types of strange attractors: their Lyapunov spectra
the flow. Axes that are on the average expanding are ( + , + , 0 , - ) , ( + , 0 , 0 , - ) , and ( + , 0 , - , - ) .
(contracting) correspond to positive (negative) ex- An example of the first type is Rossler's hyper-
ponents. The sum of the Lyapunov exponents is chaos attractor [24] (see table I). For a given
the time-averaged divergence of the phase space system a change in parameters will generally
velocity; hence any dissipative dynamical system change the Lyapunov spectrum and may also
will have at least one negative exponent, the sum change both the type of spectrum and type of
of all of the exponents is negative, and the post- attractor.
transient motion of trajectories will occur on a The magnitudes of the Lyapunov exponents
zero volume limit set, an attractor. quantify a n attractor's dynamics in information
The exponential expansion indicated by a posi- theoretic terms. The exponents measure the rate at
tive Lyapunov exponent is incompatible with mo- which system processes create or destroy informa-
tion on a bounded attractor unless some sort of tion [10]; thus the exponents are expressed in bits
folding process merges widely separated trajecto- of information/s or bits/orbit for a continuous
ries. Each positive exponent reflects a "direction" system and bits/iteration for a discrete system.
in which the system experiences the repeated For example, in the Lorenz attractor the positive
stretching and folding that decorrelates nearby exponent has a magnitude of 2.16 bits/s (for the
states on the attractor. Therefore, the long-term parameter values shown in table I). Hence if an
behavior of an initial condition that is specified initial point were specified with an accuracy of one
with any uncertainty cannot be predicted; this is part per million (20 bits), the future behavior
chaos. An attractor for a dissipatiVe system with could not be predicted after about 9 s [20 bits/(2.16
one or more positive Lyapunov exponents is said bits/s)], corresponding to about 20 orbits. After
to be "strange" or "chaotic". this time the small initial uncertainty will essen-
The signs of the Lyapunov exponents provide a tially cover the entire attractor, reflecting 20 bits of
qualitative picture of a system's dynamics. One- new information that can be gained from an ad:
dimensional maps are characterized by a single ditional measurement of the system. This new
Lyapunov exponent which is positive for chaos, information arises from scales smaller than our
zero for a marginally stable orbit, and negative for initial uncertainty and results in an inability to
a periodic orbit. In a three-dimensional continuous specify the state of the system except to say that it
dissipative dynamical system the only possible is somewhere on the attractor. This process is
spectra, and the attractors they describe, are as sometimes called an information gain- reflecting
follows: ( + , 0 , - ) , a strange attractor; ( 0 , 0 , - ) , a new information from the heat bath, and some-
two-toms; (0, - , - ) , a limit cycle; and ( - , - , - ) , times is called an information loss-bits shifted
a fixed point. Fig. 1 illustrates the expanding, out of a phase space variable "register" when bits
"slower than exponential," and contracting char- from the heat bath are shifted in.
acter of the flow for a three,dimensional system, The average rate at which information con-
the Lorenz model [23]. (All of the model systems tained in transients is lost can be determined from
288 A. Wolf et al. / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

o .

". . t "." : . . . . ".

. . ..-. .... .. ".. .... , :.~ "'.'. ...
. ...,--.:-:.::-:.........

. .,:'..~..--..:~::.-.:..:'..:..:..
" " ":'" : " : : " ' "
~'"" """
".':':"'( (,~'."~,m
.. ..

~" "

,~ .,.:..
" .'~"."
.- ""
IIIIIl[l l
. - - '...:,....": /"~% V 4 " ;.' : '" : " '. .-. . " ." .'... . . . ".. . .. . . .~ . . . . . " .

. . . .

. . . . . . -.. .. , : , , . : :o
. ,-:... ".. -..

(b) . ..',.<'."~::.:.':.. "... "-.. ,...~.'~:'-:,~:..~ "r.. :-:

" " ~ , ~' .. : ~~' ~ ". ., .-.~. , ~.:'~.?'-,',;~
'~xxx " x~ . ~ -' -~ i l ~ I.'.- .: " . . .

" :::,.!...":"""-...- "

". " : : : , . f , ~ , _ , , , ~ . ~ -,.-, ,.,. -...: ...... time --~
$:L~. .... ~-"~.'...__'.~.. ..:-.:..." . . . . : : . : . . ; :
.-'.~...~.;.;.,.... .... ... ............
, " ".:,v':.:~ .:" "~.'. "'"... . . " " :


..-.-..... :; ..- ---~..- : ..


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:'" ",',...:~.'.-2~'W~'".~-... ".".'.. "'::...':"'.: - - " ". "- : "

., , " ~,' . "

Fig. 1. The short term evolution of the separation vector between three carefully chosen pairs of nearby points is shown for the
Lorenz attractor, a) An expanding direction (~1 > 0); b) a "slower than exponential" direction (~'2 = 0); C) a contracting direction
(X3 < 0).

the negative exponents The asymptotic decay of a For the Lorenz attractor the negative exponent is
perturbation to the attractor is governed by the so large that a perturbed orbit typically becomes
least negative exponent, which should therefore be indistinguishable from the attractor, by "eye", in
the easiest of the negative exponents to estimatet. less than one mean orbital period (see fig. 1).

t W e have been quite successful with an algorithm for de- of greatest importance is that post-transient data may not
termiuing the dominant (smallest magnitude) negative expo- contain resolvable negative exponent information and per-
nent from pseudo-experimental data (a single time series ex- turbed data must refl~t properties of the unperturbed system,
tracted from the solution of a model system and treated as an that is, perturbations must only change the state of the system
experimental observable) for systems that are nearly integer- (current values of the dynamical variables). The response of a
dimensional. Unfortunately, our approach, which involves mea- physical system to a non-delta function perturbation is difficult
suring the mean decay rate of many induced perturbations of to interpret, as an orbit separating from the attractor may
the dynamical system, is unlikely to work on many experimen- reflect either a locally repelling region of the attractor (a
tal systems. There are several fundamental problems with the positive contribution to the negative exponent) or the finite rise
calculation of negative exponents from experimental data, but time of the perturbation.
A. Wolf et al. / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 289

Table I
The model systems considered in this paper and their Lyapunov spectra and dimensions as computed from the equations of motion

Lyapunov Lyapunov
System Parameter spectrum dimension*
values (bits/s)t

H~non: [25]
~1 = 0.603
X. +1 = 1 - aX;. + Yn { b = 1.4 h 2 = - 2.34 1.26
Y. + 1 = bX. = 0.3 (bits/iter.)

Rossler-chaos: [26]
)( = - (Y + Z) [ a = 0.15 )k 1 = 0.13
)'= X+ aY I b = 0.20 ~2 =0.00
= b + Z(X- c) c = 10.0 h 3 = - 14.1

Lorenz: [23]
)(= o(Y- X) [ o = 16.0 h 1 = 2.16
~'= X ( R - Z ) - Y I R=45.92 X2 =0.00
= X Y - bZ b = 4.0 ;k3 = - 32.4

Rossler-hyperchaos: [24]
Jr'= - ( Y + Z ) ( a = 0.25 At = 0.16
)'= X+ aY+ W [ b = 3.0 X2 =0.03 3.005
= b + XZ | c = 0.05 h 3 = 0.00
if" = c W - d Z k d = 0.5 h4 = - 39.0

Mackey-Glass: [27]
( a = 0.2 h t = 6.30E-3
j( = aX(t + s ) - bX(t) / b = 0.1 )~2 = 2.62E-3 3.64
1 + [ X(t + s)] c ) c = 10.0 IX31< 8.0E-6
s = 31.8 )'4 = - 1.39E-2

t A mean orbital period is well defined for Rossler chaos (6.07 seconds) and for hyperchaos (5.16 seconds) for the parameter values
used here. For the Lorenz attractor a characteristic time (see footnote- section 3) is about 0.5 seconds. Spectra were computed for
each system with the code in appendix A.
~As defined in eq. (2).

The Lyapunov spectrum is closely related to the equation

fractional dimension of the associated strange at- E i - - 1~i
tractor. There are a number [19] of different frac- df=J+ I?~j+il ' (2)
tional-dimension-like quantities, including the where j is defined by the condition that
fractal dimension, information dimension, and the j j+l
correlation exponent; the difference between them E)~i> 0 and EX,<O. (3)
is often small. It has been conjectured by Kaplan i--1 i--1
and Yorke [28, 29] that the information dimension The conjectured relation between d r (a static
d r is related to the Lyapunov spectrum by the property of an attracting set) and the Lyapunov
290 ,4. 14/olfet aL / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

exponents appears to be satisfied for some model fiducial trajectory. By definition, principal axes
systems [30]. The calculation of dimension from defined by the linear system are always infinitesimal
this equation requires knowledge of all but the relative to the attractor. Even in the linear system,
most negative Lyapunov exponents. principal axis vectors diverge in magnitude, but
this is a problem only because computers have a
limited dynamic range for storing numbers. This
3. Calculation of Lyapunov spectra from differential divergence is easily circumvented. What has been
equations avoided is the serious problem of principal axes
finding the global "fold" when we really only want
Our algorithms for computing a non-negative them to probe the local "stretch."
Lyapunov spectrum from experimental data are To implement this procedure the fiducial trajec-
inspired by the technique developed indepen- tory is created by integrating the nonlinear equa-
dently by Bennetin et al. [8] and by Shimada and tions of motion for some post-transient initial
Nagashima [9] for determining a complete spec- condition. Simultaneously, the linearized equa-
trum from a set of differential equations. There- tions of motion are integrated for n different ini-
fore, we describe their calculation (for brevity, the tial conditions defining an arbitrarily oriented
ODE approach) in some detail. frame of n orthonormal vectors. We have already
We recall that Lyapunov exponents are defined pointed out that each vector will diverge in magni-
by the long-term evolution of the axes of an infini- tude, but there is an additional singularity-in a
tesimal sphere of states. This procedure could be chaotic system, each vector tends to fall along the
implemented by defining the principal axes with local direction of most rapid growth. Due to the
initial conditions whose separations are as small as finite precision of computer calculations, the col-
computer limitations allow and evolving these with lapse toward a common direction causes the tan-
the nonlinear equations of motion. One problem gent space orientation of all axis vectors to become
with this approach is that in a chaotic system we indistinguishable. These two problems can be
cannot guarantee the condition of small sep- overcome by the repeated use of the Gram-
arations for times on the order of hundreds of Schmidt reorthonormalization (GSR) procedure on
orbital periodst, needed for convergence of the the vector frame:
spectrum. Let the linearized equations of motion act on
This problem may be avoided with the use of a the initial frame of orthonormal vectors to give a
phase space plus tangent space approach. A "fidu- set of v e c t o r s { v 1. . . . . Vn). (The desire of each
cial" trajectory (the center of the sphere) is defined vector to align itself along the ~1 direction, and
by the action of the nonlinear equations of motion the orientation-preserving properties of GSR mean
on some initial condition. Trajectories.of points on that the initial labeling of the vectors may be done
the surface of the sphere are defined by the action arbitrarily.) Then GSR provides the following or-
of the linearized equations of motion on points thonormal set { ~ . . . . . v,' }:
infinitesimally separated from the fiducial trajec- 1D1
tory. In particular, the principal axes are defined v~ = IIv, ll '
by the evolution via the linearized equations of an v2- <v2,~>~
initially orthonormal vector frame anchored to the tlv~ - <v~, ~ > ~ l l '

t S h o u l d the mean orbital period not be well-defined, a v. - <~., ~ . _ , > ~ . _ , . . . . . <v.,~>~

characteristic time can be either the mean time between inter-
sections of a Poincar6 section or the time corresponding to a
d o m i n a n t power spectral feature. (4)
A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunoo exponents from a time series 291

where ( , ) signifies the inner product. The turn, providing estimates of the k largest Lyapunov
frequency of reorthonormalization is not critical, exponents. Thus G S R allows the integration of the
so long as neither the magnitude nor the orienta- vector frame for as long as is required for spectral
tion divergences have exceeded computer limita- convergence.
tions. As a rule of thumb, G S R is performed on Fortran code for the O D E procedure appears in
the order of once per orbital period. appendix A. We illustrate the use of this procedure
We see that G S R never affects the direction of for the Rossler attractor [26]. The spectral calcula-
the first vector in a system, so this vector tends to tion requires the integration of the 3 equations of
seek out the direction in tangent space which is motion and 9 linearized equations for on the order
most rapidly growing (components along other of 100 orbits of model time (a few cpu minutes on
directions are either growing less rapidly or are a V A X 11/780) to obtain each exponent to within
shrinking). The second vector has its component a few percent of its asymptotic value. In practice
along the direction of the first vector removed, and we consider the asymptotic value to be attained
is then normalized. Because we are changing its when the m a n d a t o r y zero exponent(s) are a few
direction, vector v 2 is not free to seek out the most orders of magnitude smaller than the smallest
rapidly growing direction. Because of the manner positive exponent. The convergence rate of zero
in which we are changing it, it also is not free to and positive exponents is about the same, and is
seek out the second most rapidly growing direc- m u c h slower than the convergence rate of negative
tiont. N o t e however that the vectors ~ and if2 exponents. Negative exponents arise from the
span the same two-dimensional subspace as the nearly uniform attractiveness of the attractor which
vectors v x and v2. In spite of repeated vector can often be well estimated from a few passes
replacements, the space these vectors define continu- around an attractor, non-negative exponents arise
ally seeks out the two-dimensional subspace that is f r o m a once-per-orbit stretch and fold process that
most rapidly growing. The area defined by these must be sampled on the order of hundreds of
vectors is proportional to 2 (x~+x2)t [8]. The length times (or more) for reasonable convergence.
of vector v t is proportional to 2 x~t so that monitor- The method we have described for finding
ing length and area growth allows us to determine L y a p u n o v exponents is perhaps more easily under-
b o t h exponents. In practice, as ~ and if2 are stood for a discrete dynamical system. Here we
orthogonal, we may determine h 2 directly from consider the H6non map [25] (see table I). The
the m e a n rate of growth of the projection of vector linearization of this map is
v 2 on vector 4 . In general, the subspace spanned
b y the first k vectors is unaffected by G S R so that [,sx.
the long-term evolution of the k-volume defined =L/By. , (5)
b y these vectors is proportional to 2 ~ where # =
~.ki_ 1~ i t. Projection of the evolved vectors onto the
new orthonormal frame correctly updates the rates
of growth of each of the first k-principal axes in

tThis is clear when we consider that we may obtain different 10] ,6,
directions of vector 02 at some specifiedtime if we exercise our
freedom to choose the intermediate times at which GSR is
performed. That is, beginning with a specified v1 and 02 at and X~ is the ( n - 1)st iterate of an arbitrary
time ti, we may perform replacementsat times t~+x and ti+2, initial condition X 1.
obtaining the vectors ~, t~ and then v~', v~' or we may An orthonormal frame of principal axis vectors
propagate directly to time ti+ 2, obtaining vl*, v~. t~' and v~
are not parallel; therefore, the details of propagation and such as ((0,1), (1,0)) is evolved by applying the
replacement determine the orientation of 02. product Jacobian to each vector. For either vector
292 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from u tuneseries

the operation may be written in two different from the growth rate of the length of the first
ways. For example, for the vector (0,l) we have vector and the growth rate of the area defined by
both vectors.
In eq. (8) the product Jacobian acts on each of
the initial axis vectors. The columns of the product
matrix converge to large multiples of the eigenvec-
or, by regrouping the terms, tor of the biggest eigenvalue, so that elements of
the matrix diverge and the matrix becomes singu-
lar. Here GSR corresponds to factoring out a large
scalar multiplier of the matrix to prevent the mag-
nitude divergence, and doing row reduction with
In eq. (7) the latest Jacobi matrix multiplies pivoting to retain the linear independence of the
each current axis vector, which is the initial vector columns. Lyapunov exponents are computed from
multiplied by all previous Jacobi matrices. The the eigenvalues of the long-time product matrix?.
magnitude of each current axis vector diverges, We emphasize that Lyapunov exponents are not
and the angular separation between the two vec- local quantities in either the spatial or temporal
tors goes to zero. Fig. 2 shows that divergent sense. Each exponent arises from the average, with
behavior is visible within a few iterations. .GSR respect to the dynamical motion, of the local de-
corresponds to the replacement of each current formation of various phase space directions. Each
axis vector. Lyapunov exponents are computed is determined by the long-time evolution of a
singZe volume element. Attempts to estimate expo-
nents by averaging local contraction and expan-
sion rates of phase space are likely to fail at the
point where these contributions to the exponents
are combined. In fig. 3a we show vector vi at each
renormalization step for the Lorenz attractor over
the course of several hundred orbits [32]. The
apparent multivaluedness of the most rapidly
growing direction (in some regions of the attrac-
tor) shows that this direction is not simply a
function of position on the attractor. While this
direction is often nearly parallel to the flow on the
Lorenz attractor (see fig. 3b) it is usually nearly
transverse to the flow for the Rossler attractor. We
conclude that exponent calculation by averaging
local divergence estimates is a dangerous proce-

+We are aware of an attempt to estimate Lyapunov spectra

Fig. 2. The action of the product Jacobian on an initially from experimental data through direct estimation of local
orthonormal vector frame is illustrated for the H&non map: (1) Jacobian matrices and formation of the long time product
initial frame; (2) first iterate; and (3) second iterate. By the matrix [31]. This calculation is essentially the same as ours (we
second iteration the divergence in vector magnitude and the avoid matrix notation by diagonalizing the system at each step)
angular collapse of the frame are quite apparent. Initial condi- and has the same problems of sensitivity to external noise, and
tions were chosen so that the angular collapse of the vectors to the amount and resolution of data required for accurate
was uncommonly slow. estimates.
,4. Wolf et al. / Determining Lyapunoo exponents from a time series 293

_ - .__ ,,,, .--_- -

J leo #1

Fig. 3. A modification to the ODE spectral code (see appendix A) allows us to plot the running direction of greatest growth (vector
v~ ) in the Lorenz attractor. In (a), infrequent renormalizations confirm that this direction is not single-valued on the attractor. In (b),
frequent renormalizations show us that this direction is usually nearly parallel to the flow. In the Rossler attractor, this direction is
usually nearly orthogonal to the flow.

4. An approach to spectral estimation for tempts to apply this definition numerically to

experimental data equations of motion fail since computer limita-
tions do not allow the initial sphere to be con-
Experimental data typically consist of discrete structed sufficiently small. In the ODE approach
measurements of a single observable. The well- one avoids this problem by working in the tangent
known technique of phase space reconstruction space of a fiducial trajectory so as to obtain always
with delay coordinates [2, 33, 34] makes it possible infinitesimal principal axis vectors. The remaining
to obtain from such a time series an attractor divergences are easily eliminated with Gram-
whose Lyapunov spectrum is identical to that of Schmidt reorthonormalization.
the original attractor. We have designed a method, The ODE approach is not directly applicable to
conceptually similar to the ODE approach, which experimental data as the linear system is not avail-
can be used to estimate non-negative Lyapunov able. All is not lost provided that the linear ap-
exponents from a reconstructed attractor. To un- proximation holds on the smallest length scales
derstand our method it is useful to summarize defined by our data. Our approach involves
what we have discussed thus far about exponent working in a reconstructed attractor, examining
calculation. orbital divergence on length scales that are always
Lyapunov exponents may be defined by the as small as possible, using an approximate GSR
phase space evolution of a sphere of states. At- procedure in the reconstructed phase space as
294 A. Wolfet al./ Determining Lyapunov exponentsfrom a time series

necessary. To simplify the ensuing discussion we evolved in the reconstructed attractor. Before the
will assume that the systems under consideration area element defined by the triple becomes com-
possess at least one positive exponent. parable to the extent of the attractor we mimic
To estimate X1 we in effect monitor the long-term G S R by keeping the fiducial point, replacing the
evolution of a single pair of nearby orbits. Our remainder of the triple with points that define a
reconstructed attractor, though defined by a single smaller area element and that best preserve the
trajectory, can provide points that may be consid- element's phase space orientation. Renormaliza-
ered to lie on different trajectories. We choose tions are necessary solely because vectors grow too
points whose temporal separation in the original large, not because vectors will collapse to indis-
time series is at least one mean orbital period, tinguishable directions in phase space (this is un-
because a pair of points with a much smaller likely with the limited amounts of data usually
temporal separation is characterized by a zero available in experiments). The exponential growth
Lyapunov exponent. Two data points may be con- rate of area elements provides an estimate of X1
sidered to define the early state of the first prin- + X 2. (See fig. 4b.)
cipal axis so long as their spatial separation is Our approach can be extended to as many non-
small. When their separation becomes large we negative exponents as we care to estimate: k + 1
would like to perform GSR on the vector they points in the reconstructed attractor define a k-
define (simply normalization for this single vector), volume element whose long-term evolution is pos-
which would involve replacing the non-fiducial sible through a data replacement procedure that
data point with a point closer to the fiducial point, attempts to preserve phase space orientation and
in the same direction as the original vector. With probe only the small scale structure of the attrac-
finite amounts of data, we cannot hope to find a tor. The growth rate of a k-volume element pro-
replacement point which falls exactly along a vides an estimate of the sum of the first k
specified line segment in the reconstructed phase Lyapunov exponents.
space, but we can look for a point that comes In principle we might attempt the estimation of
close. In effect, through a simple replacement pro- negative exponents by going to higher-dimensional
cedure that attempts to preserve orientation and volume elements, but information about contract-
minimize the size of replacement vectors, we have ing phase space directions is often impossible to
monitored the long-term behavior of a single prin- resolve. In a system where fractal structure can be
cipal axis vector. Each replacement vector may be resolved, there is the difficulty that the volume
evolved until a problem arises, and so on. This elements involving negative exponent directions
leads us to an estimate of X1. (See fig. 4a.) collapse exponentially fast, and are therefore
The use of a finite amount of experimental data numerically unstable for experimental data (see
does not allow us to probe the desired infinitesimal section 7.1).
length scales of an attractor. These scales are also
inaccessible due to the presence of noise on finite
length scales and sometimes because the chaos- 5. Spectnd algorithm implementation
producing structure of the attractor is of negligible
spatial extent. A discussion of these points is de- We have implemented several versions of our
ferred until section 7.1. algorithms including simple "fixed evolution time"
An estimate of the sum of the two largest expo- programs for ~'1 and X1 hE, "variable evolution
nents X1 + X 2 is similarly obtained. In the ODE time" programs for X I + ~ : , and "interactive"
procedure this involves the long-term evolution of programs that are used on a graphics machinet.
a fiducial trajectory and a pair of tangent space tThe interactive program avoids the profusion of input
vectors. In our procedure a triple of points is parameters required for our increasingly sophisticated expo-
A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 295

In appendix B we include Fortran code and may see L' shrink as the two trajectories which
documentation for the h 1 fixed evolution time define it pass through a folding region of the
program. This program is not sophisticated, but it attractor. This would lead to an underestimation
is concise, easily understood, and useful for learn- of hi- We now look for a new data point that
ing about our technique. We do not include the satisfies two criteria reasonably well: its sep-
fixed evolution time code for )~x + )~2 (though it is aration, L(tl), from the evolved fiducial point is
briefly discussed at the end of appendix B) or our small, and the angular separation between the
other programs, but we will supply them to inter- evolved and replacement elements is small (see fig.
ested parties. We can also provide a highly effi- 4a). If an adequate replacement point cannot be
cient data base management algorithm that can be found, we retain the points that were being used.
used in any of our programs to eliminate the This procedure is repeated until the fiducial trajec-
expensive process of exhaustive search for nearest tory has traversed the entire data file, at which
neighbors. We now discuss the fixed evolution point we estimate
time program for At and the variable evolution
time program for ~x + h2 in some detail. M L,(tk)
Y'~ log 2 , (9)
)k I = tM_ to k=l L(tt,_x)
5.1. F i x e d evolution time program for )~1 where M is the total number of replacement steps.
Given the time series x(t), an m-dimensional In the fixed evolution time program the time step
phase portrait is reconstructed with delay coordi- A = tk+ 1 - - t k (EVOLV in the Fortran program)
nates [2, 33, 34], i.e., a point on the attractor is between replacements is held constant. In the limit
given by { x ( t ) , x ( t + ~'). . . . . x ( t + [m - 1]~')} of an infinite amount of noise-free data our proce-
where z is the almost arbitrarily chosen dure always provides replacement vectors of infini-
delay time. We locate the nearest neighbor (in tesimal magnitude with no orientation error, and
the Euclidean sense) to the initial point )k1 is obtained by definition. In sections 6 and 7 we
{ x ( t o) . . . . . X(to + [ m - 1]~)} and denote the dis- discuss the severity of errors of orientation and
tance between these two points L(to). At a later finite vector size for finite amounts of noisy experi-
time tt, the initial length will have evolved to mental data.
length L'(tx). The length element is propagated
through the attractor for a time short enough so
5.2. Variable evolution time program for )~1 + )~2
that only small scale attractor structure is likely to
be examined. If the evolution time is too large we The algorithm for estimating h x + 1~2 is similar
in spirit to the preceeding algorithm, but is more
complicated in implementation. A trio of data
nent programs. This program allows the operator to observe: points is chosen, consisting of the initial fiducial
the attractor, a length or area element evolving over a range of point and its two nearest neighbors. The area
times, the best replacement points available over a range of
A ( t o ) defined by these points is monitored un-
times, and so forth. Each of these is seen in a two or three-
dimensional projection (depending on the graphical output til a replacement step is both desirable and possi-
device) with terminal output providing supplementary informa- b l e - the evolution time is variable. This mandates
tion about vector magnitudes and angles in the dimension of
the use of several additional input parameters: a
the attractor reconstruction. Using this information the oper-
ator chooses appropriate evolution times and replacement minimum number of evolution steps between re-
points. The p r o g r a m is currently written for a Vector General placements (JUMPMN), the number of steps to
3405 but m a y easily be modified for use on other graphics evolve backwards (HOPBAK) when a replacement
machines. A 1 6 m m movie summarizing our algorithm and
showing the operation of the program on the Lorenz attractor site proves inadequate, and a maximum length or
has been made by one of the authors (A.W.). area before replacement is attempted.
296 A. Wolf et aL/ DeterminingLyapunov exponentsfrom a time series

(a) /~
tLI m i

s %/
L l t ~ t! t2 tiqtulol t

(b, .

"t iI

M t o ) ~ r tI ' -- ~ I t2 ~itluci*l
f ..~'tect'

Fig. 4. A schematic representation of the evolution and replacement procedure used to estimate Lyapunov exponents from
experimental data. a) The largest Lyapunov exponent is computed from the growth of length elements. When the length of the vector
between two points becomes large, a new point is chosen near the reference trajectory, minimizing both the replacement length L and
the orientation change ~. b) A similar procedure is followed to calculate the sum of the two largest Lyapunov exponents from the
growth of area elements. When an area element becomes too large or too skewed, two new points are chosen near the reference
trajectory, minimizing the replacement area A and the change in phase space orientation between the original and replacement area

Evolution continues until a " p r o b l e m " arises. In replaced with two new points to obtain a smaller
o u r i m p l e m e n t a t i o n the problem list includes: a area A ( t t ) whose orientation in phase space is
principal axis vector grows too large or too rapidly, m o s t nearly the same as that of the evolved area
the area grows too rapidly, and the skewness of A ' ( t l ) . D e t e r m i n i n g the set of replacement points
the area element exceeds a threshold value. that best preserves area orientation presents no
W h e n e v e r a n y o f these criteria are met, the triple f u n d a m e n t a l difficulties.
is evolved b a c k w a r d s H O P B A K steps and a re- P r o p a g a t i o n and replacement steps are repeated
placement is attempted. If replacement fails, we (see fig. 4b) until the fiducial trajectory has
will pull the triple back another H O P B A K steps, traversed the entire data file at which point we
a n d try again. This process is repeated, if neces- estimate
sary, until the triple is getting u n c o m f o r t a b l y close "

to the previous replacement site. At this point we 1__ E l o g 2 - (10)

~1 + ~ 2 = t M -- to k = l A(tk,x ) ,
take the best available replacement point, and
j u m p f o r w a r d at least J U M P M N steps to start the where t k is the time of the k th replacement step.
next evolution. A t the first replacement time, tl, It is often possible to verify our results for X~
the two points not on the fiducial trajectory are t h r o u g h the use of the h 1 + h 2 calculation. F o r
A. Wolf et aL/ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 297

attractors that are very nearly two dimensional on separate lobes of the Lorenz attractor may be
there is no need to worry about preserving orienta- coincident in a two-dimensional reconstruction of
tion when we replace triples of points. These ele- the attractor. When this occurs, replacement ele-
ments may rotate and deform within the plane of ments may contain points whose separation in the
the attractor, but replacement triples always lie original attractor is very large; such elements are
within this same plane. Since X2 for these attrac- liable to grow at a dramatic rate in our recon-
tors is zero, area evolution provides a direct esti- structed attractor in the short term, providing an
mate for h 1. With experimental data that appear enormous contribution to the estimated exponent.
to define an approximately two-dimensional at- As these elements tend to blow up almost im-
tractor, an independent calculation of df from its mediately, they are also quite troublesome to re-
definition (feasible for attractors of dimension less place,.
than three [35]) may justify this approach to esti- If m is chosen too large we can expect, among
mating hx. other problems, that noise in the data will tend to
decrease the density of points defining the attrac-
tor, making it harder to find replacement points.
6. Implementation details Noise is an infinite dimensional process that, un-
like the deterministic component of the data, flUs
6.1. Selection of embedding dimension and delay each available phase space dimension in a re-
time constructed attractor (see section 7.2). Increasing
m past what is minimally required has the effect of
In principle, when using delay coordinates to unnecessarily increasing the level of contamination
reconstruct an attractor, an embedding [34] of the of the data.
original attractor is obtained for any sufficiently Another problem is seen in a three-dimensional
large m and almost any choice of time delay ~-, but reconstruction of the Htnon attractor. The recon-
in practice accurate exponent estimation requires structed attractor looks much like the original
some care in choosing these two parameters. We attractor sitting on a two-dimensional sheet, with
should obtain an embedding if m is chosen to be this sheet showing a simple twist in three-space.
greater than twice the dimension of the underlying We expect that this behavior is typical; when m is
attractor [34]. However, we find that attractors increased, surface curvature increases ~. Increasing
reconstructed using smaller values of m often m therefore makes it increasingly difficult to satisfy
yield reliable Lyapunov exponents. For example, orientation constraints at replacement time, as the
in reconstructing the Lorenz attractor from its attractor is not sufficiently flat on the smallest
x-coordinate time series an embedding dimension
length scales filled out by the fixed quantity of
of 3 is adequate for accurate exponent estimation, data. It is advisable to check the stationarity of
well below the sufficient dimension of 7 given by
ref. [3411". When attractor reconstruction is per- *If two points lie at opposite ends of an attractor, it is
formed in a space whose dimension is too low, possible that their separation vector lies entirely outside of the
attractor so that no orientation preserving replacement can be
"catastrophes" that interleave distinct parts of the found. If this goes undetected, the current pair of points is
attractor are likely to restflt. For example, points likely to be retained for an orbital period or longer, until these
points are accidentally thrown close together.
fWe have found that it is often possible to ignore several *A simple study for the Htnon system showed that for
components of evolving vectors in computing their average reconstructions of increasing dimension the mean distance be-
exponential rate of growth: keeping two or more components tween the points defining the attractor rapidly converged to an
of the vector often suffices for this purpose. As our discussion attractor independent value. The fold put in each new phase
of "catastrophes" will soon make clear, the search for replace- space direction by the reconstruction process tended to make
ment points most often requires that all of the delay coordi- the concept of "nearby point in phase space" meaningless for
nates be used. this finite data set.
298 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

Fig. 5. The strange attractor in the Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction is reconstructed by the use of delay coordinates from the bromide
ion concentration time series [2]. The delays shown are a) ~ ; b) ; and c) ~ of a mean orbital period. Notice how the folding region of
the attractor evolves from a featureless "pencil" to a large scale twist.

results with m to ensure robust exponent esti- attractor in figs. 6a-6d.) Accurate exponent calcu-
mates. lation therefore requires the consideration of the
Choice of delay time is also governed by the following interrelated points: the desirability of
necessity of avoiding catastrophes. In our data [2] maximizing evolution times, the tradeoff between
for the Belousov-Zhabotinskii chemical reaction minimizing replacement vector size and minimiz-
(see fig. 5) we see a dramatic difference in the ing the concomitant orientation error, and the
reconstructed attractors for the choices T = 1/12, manner in which orientation errors can be ex-
~"-- 1 / 2 and I" = 3 / 4 of the mean orbital period. pected to accumulate. We now discuss these points
In the first case we obtain a "pencil-like" region in turn.
which obscures the folding region of the attractor. Maximizing the propagation time of volume ele-
This structure opens up and grows larger relative ments is highly desirable as it both reduces the
to the total extent of the attractor for the larger frequency with which orientation errors are made
values of ~', which is clearly desirable for our and reduces the cost of the calculation consider-
algorithms. We choose neither so small that the ably (element propagation involves much less
attractor stretches out along the hne x = y - - z = computation than element replacement). In our
. . . , nor so large that m z is much larger than the variable evolution time program this is not much
orbital period. A check of the stationarity of expo- of a problem, as replacements are performed only
nent estimates with t- is again recommended. when deemed necessary (though the program has
been made conservative in such judgments). In the
interactive algorithm this is even less of a problem,
6.2. Evolution times between replacements as an experienced operator can often process a
large file with a very small number of replace-
Decisions about propagation times and replace- ments. The problem is severe, however, in our
ment steps in these calculations depend on ad- fixed evolution time program, which is otherwise
ditional input parameters, or in the case o f the desirable for its extreme simplicity. In this pro-
interactive program, on the operator's judgement. gram replacements are attempted at fixed time
(The stationarity of )~l values over ranges of all steps, independent of the behavior of the volume
algorithm parameters is illustrated for the Rossler element.
A. Wolf et a l l Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 299


I (a)
. /~^ ^

~0. t

l I l I l * l l I I I I I I I I I I I
o. 8 o: 4 ' ' 'o: 8 ' ' ' 1: 2 ' I.B 1 2 3

(c) '2f(d)
~ - ~ ~" k

>- J
~q~ '"~ .... tb" . . . . .15
.. ~ ' " ' 25 ~S ' ' ' ' 5' . . . . ,b . . . . 15

Fig. 6. Stationarity of ~t for Rossler attractor data (8192 points spanning 135 orbits) for the fixedevolutiontime program is shown
for the input parameters: a) Tau (delay time); b) evolutiontime between replacementsteps; c) maximumlength of replacementvector
length allowed; and d) minimum length of replacementvector allowed.The correct value of the positiveexponentis 0.13 bits/s and is
shown by the horizontal line in these figures.

Our numerical results on noise-free model sys- times. For such systems it is perhaps wise to
tems have produced the expected results: too fre- employ only the variable evolution time program
quent replacements cause a dramatic loss of phase or the interactive program.
space orientation, and too infrequent replacements There are other criteria that may affect replace-
allow volume elements to grow overly large and ment times for variable evolution time programs
exhibit folding. For the Rossler, Lorenz, and the such as avoiding regions of high phase space veloc-
Belousov-Zhabotinskii attractors, each of which ity, where the density of replacement points is
has a once-per-orbit chaos generating mechanism, likely to be small. Such features are easily in-
we find that varying the evolution time in the tegrated into our programs.
range to 1 orbits almost always provides stable In the Lorenz attractor, the separatrix between
exponent estimates. In systems where the mecha- the two lobes of the attractor is not a good place
nism for chaos is unknown, one must cheek for to find a replacement dement. An element chosen
exponent stability over a wide range of evolution here is likely to contain points that will almost
300 A. Wolf et aL / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

immediately fly to opposite lobes, providing an these calculations, we cannot be confident that our
enormous contribution to an exponent estimate. results are of general validity.
This effect is certainly related to the chaotic nature The problem of considering the magnitude of
of the attractor, but is not directly related to the evolved or replacement vectors is complicated by
values of the Lyapunov exponents. This has the the fact that at a given point in an attractor, the
same effect as the catastrophes that can arise from orientation of a vector can determine whether or
too low a value of embedding dimension as dis- not it is too large. If we consider a system with an
cussed in section 6.1. While we are not aware of underlying 1-D map such as the Rossler attractor,
any foolproof approach to detecting troublesome it is the magnitude of the vector's component
regions of attractors it may be possible for an transverse to the attractor that is relevant. In this
exponent program to avoid catastrophic replace- case our algorithm is closely related to obtaining
ments. For example, we may monitor the future the Lyapunov exponent of the map through a
behavior of potential replacement points and re- determination of its local slope profile [13]. The
ject those whose separation from the fiducial transverse vector component plays the role of the
trajectory is atypical of their neighbors. chord whose image under the map provides a
slope estimate. This chord should obviously be no
longer than the smallest resolvable structure in the
6.3. Shorter lengths versus orientation errors
1-D map, a highly system-dependent quantity.
With a given set of potential replacement points Since the underlying maps of commonly studied
some compromise will be necessary between the model and physical systems have not had much
goals of minimizing the length of replacement detailed structure on small length scales (consider
vectors and minimizing changes in phase space the logistic equation, cusp maps, and the Be-
orientation. On the one hand, short vectors may in lousov-Zhabotinskii map [2]) we have somewhat
general be propagated further in time, resulting in arbitrarily decided to consider 5-10% of the trans-
less frequent orientation errors. On the other hand, verse attractor extent as the maximum acceptable
we may wish to minimize orientation errors di- magnitude of a vector's transverse component.
rectly. We must also consider that short vectors
are likely t o contain relatively large amounts of
6.4. The accumulation of orientation errors
In the fixed evolution time program the search The problem of the accumulation of orientation
for replacements involves looking at successively errors is reasonably well understood. Consider for
larger length scales for a minimal orientation simplicity a very nearly two-dimensional system
change. In the variable evolution time program, with a ( + , 0 , - ) spectrum, such as the Lorenz
points satisfying minimum length and orientation attractor. Post-transient data traverse the subspace
standards are assigned scores based on a linear characterized by the positive and zero exponents.
weighting (with heuristically chosen weighting fac- Length propagation with replacement on the at-
tors) of their lengths and orientation changes. We tractor is clearly susceptible to orientation error
have also performed numerical studies by search- that will mix contributions from the positive and
ing successively larger angular displacements while zero exponents in some complex, system depen-
attempting to satisfy a minimum length criterion. dent manner. Now consider the n th replacement
Fortunately, we find that these different ap- step (see fig. 4a) with an orientation change within
proaches perform about equally well. Attempts to the plane of the attractor of 0~. Further, let the
solve the tradeoff problem analytically have sug- angle the replacement vector makes with respect to
gested "optimal" choices of initial vector magni- the vector t1 be ~n- We make the crucial assump-
tude, but due to the system dependent nature of tion that vectors are propagated for a time t that
A. Wolfet aL/ DeterminingLyapunov exponentsfrom a time series 301

is long enough that growth along directions d 1 and to be

d2 are reasonably well characterized by the expo-
nents h 1 and h 2 respectively. Then for the new a~.l -#2 [ bE(I-bEN')]
replacement vector hi 2(ln 2)NtAltr Nt 1 bE '
L(t.) = L ( ~ cos #. + t2sin #.) (11)
where N t is the total number of replacement steps.
If there is no degeneracy, i.e., bE<< 1, eqs. (17)
and at the next replacement
and (18) show that orientation errors do not accu-
mulate, i.e, there is no N t dependence, and our
L'(tn+l) = L(tCx(cos ~. )2 xa, + ~(sin ~n)2X=tr),
fractional error in h I is
a>,l -#2
where t r is the time between successive replace- ~'1 = 2(ln2)~.ltr" (19)
ment steps (tn+ 1 - t.). The contribution to eq. (9)
For the Lorenz attractor, b 2 has a value of about
from this evolution is then
0.33 for an evolution time of one orbit, so an
orientation error of about 19 degrees results in a
log2 [COS2 7~n22h'tr + sinE7~.22a2',] (13) 10% error in X1. If we can manage to evolve the
vector for two orbits, the permissible initial orien-
and the angle the next replacement vector L (t. + 1) tation error is about 27 degrees, and so on. We see
makes with ~ is
that a given orientation error at replacement time
shrinks to a value negligible compared to the next
~n+l = arctan (b" tan #.) + 19.+1, (14) orientation error, provided that propagation times
are long enough. Orientation errors do not accu-
mulate because there is no memory of previous
b = 2 (a2-a*)tr. (15)
This calculation may be generalized to an at-
tractor with an arbitrary Lyapunov spectrum and
If we assume all angles are small compared to
a similar result is obtained. The ease of estimating
unity and set #0 = ~90, eq. (14) implies that
the i th exponent depends on how small the quan-
tity 2(x'*~-x,)tr is. Problems arise when successive
~n = ~ ~n-m bm~ (16) exponents are very close or identical. Hyperchaos,
m=O with a spectrum of [0.16, 0.03, 0.00, = - 40] bits/s
and an orbital period of about 5.16 s, has an easily
If the orientation changes have zero mean and are determinable first exponent, but distinguishing ~ 2
uncorrelated from replacement to replacement then from A3 is more difficult.
an average over the changes gives

( ~ff)= O~(1- bE"+z) 7. Data requirements and noise

1 - b2 ' (17)

where 0 M is an angular change on replacement on

7.1. Probing small length scales
the order of the A N G L M X parameter in the fixed As we have already pointed out, the infinitesi-
evolution time program of appendix B. From eqs. mal length scales on which the definition of
(9), (13), and (17) we find the fractional error in 2k1 Lyapunov exponents rely are inaccessible in ex-
302 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series


"2," :'..." ' " , :J.

I. j. - . ,

, , ,

f "
:.. ...., ..i~. : ~~Y --~ " -


cb~ .~- .~... ~ ..~...
.---'-'.':....2-. "' " "" ".'%.'...
.~':'.:_,,2-'.. ' .. ." : ..'~
..~f.'". ::':': ~ - - " ' " " ." " ' .'.. ' . " '-~'h.~
"'7':" "" "I"" ,'" "" ' " / " " '-'~
.'.::": . ~ .... i. .. ':. ~,/~ . .t
..".: ~ /
.,:...\"v,!:,"."'.::..." ) j /-.
" - "~- _ _ ~ ! " "
.% , , y."

~. ~....
'% '%,. :.o,'

Fig. 7. Experimental data for two different Belousov-Zhabotinskii systems shows chaos on large and small length scales respectively.
In the Texas attractor [2] a), the separation between a single pair of points is shown for one orbital period. In the French attractor
[36]; b), the separation between a pair of points is shown for two periods. Estimation of Lyapunov exponents is quite difficult for the
latter system.

perimental data. There are three somewhat related c o m p a r e d to the extent of the attractor; and (3)
reasons why this is so: (1) a finite amount of noise defines a length scale below which sep-
attractor data can only define finite length scales; arations are meaningless. We discuss each of these
(2) the stretching and folding that is the chaotic problems in turn and then consider whether expo-
element of a flow m a y occur on a scale small nent estimation is possible in spite of them.
A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 303

The finiteness of a data set means that the fixed tion in the latter case is quite difficult. The pres-
evolution time program undoubtedly allows prin- ence of external noise on length scales as small as
cipal axis vectors to grow far too large on occasion the chaos generation mechanism will of course
and also to completely lose the proper phase space further complicate exponent calculations.
orientation, yet we almost invariably obtain accu- Even though infinitesimal length scales are not
rate exponent estimates for noise-free model sys- accessible, Lyapunov exponent estimation may still
tems defined by small data sets. This is because on be quite feasible for many experimental systems.
the time scale of several orbital periods, orbital The same problem arises in calculations of the
divergences may be moderately well characterized fractal dimension of strange attractors. Fractal
by Lyapunov exponents in sufficiently chaotic sys- structure does not exist in nature, where it is
tems. Averaging many such segments together in truncated on atomic scales, nor does it exist in any
our algorithms is therefore likely to mask infre- computer representation of a dynamical system,
quent large errors. where finite precision truncates scaling. In these
The problem of "chaos on a small length scale" calculations we hope that as the smallest accessible
is a system dependent one. Consider a system such length scales are approached, scaling converges to
as the Rossler attractor in which chaos generation the zero length scale limit. Similarly, provided that
occurs on a relatively large length scale. Here it is chaos production is nearly the same on infinitesi-
quite easy to distinguish between true exponential mal and the smallest accessible length scales, our
divergence of nearby orbits and a temporary diver- calculations on the small scales may provide accu-
gence due to local changes in the attractor's shape. rate results. A successful calculation requires that
If, however, the Rossler attractor were "crossed" one has enough data to approach the appropriate
with a periodic motion of sufficiently large ampli- length scales, ignores anything on the length scale
tude, we would lose the ability to detect the mech- of the noise, and has an attractor with a macro-
anism for chaos as it would manifest itself only on scopic stretching/folding mechanism.
length scales that we must regard as suspiciously
small. For such a system it is difficult to conceive
7.2. Noise
of any means of recovering exponents from experi-
mental data. The effects of noise in our algorithms fall into
We have observed this problem to some degree two categories which we have named the "statisti-
for the Couette-Taylor system, which makes a cal" and the "catastrophic". The former category
transition from motion on a 2-torus to chaos. In deals with such problems as point-to-point jitter
such a system chaos can arise from small stretches that cause us to estimate volumes inaccurately;
and folds on the torus. When we use the interac- this was the motivation for avoiding highly skewed
tive program to monitor the evolution of lengths in replacement elements. Catastrophes can arise even
the Couette-Taylor attractors, we seem to observe in the absence of noise either from too low an
this effect; that is, the separation vectors do not embedding dimension (section 6.1), or from too
exhibit dramatic growth but instead oscillate in little data compounded with high attractor com-
magnitude. Such an oscillation could indicate a plexity (section 6.2), In the presence of noise,
stretching and folding so that we might wish to catastrophes occur because noise drives a faraway
attempt a replacement, or it could simply indicate data point into the replacement "arena." Noise in
a variation of the attractor's shape, which should physical systems can he broken into two cate-
be ignored. In figs. 7a and 7b we show experimen- gories: measurement noise, i.e., simple lack of
tal data for attractors of the large scale [2] and resolution, and dynamical noise, i.e., fluctuations
small scale [36] varieties, both arising from the in the state of the system or its parameters which
Belousov-Zhabotinskii system. Exponent estima- enter into the dynamics. In the former case it is
304 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

clear that the system possesses well defined expo- length scale limit. In fig. 6d we confirm that a
nents that are potentially recoverable. Strictly straightforward small distancg cutoff works in the
speaking, in the latter case Lyapunov exponents case of the Rossler attractor by showing stationar-
are not well defined, but some work [37] has ity of the estimated exponent over a broad range
suggested that a system may be characterized by of cutoff values.
numbers that are the Lyapunov exponents for the
noise-free system averaged over the range of
noise-induced states.
7.3. Low pass filtering
Our first study of the effects of noise on our
algorithms involved adding dynamical noise to the Another approach to reducing the effects of
Hrnon attractor, that is, a small uniformly distrib- noise, closely related to the use of a small distance
uted random number was added to each coordi- cutoff, involves low pass filtering of the data be-
nate as the map was being iterated. These data fore beginning exponent estimation. Rather severe
were then processed with the fixed evolution time filtering may be possible for systems with a once-
program. For noise of sufficiently large amplitude, per-orbit chaos producing mechanism-the filter
hi could not be accurately determined. Specifi- cutoff approaching (orbital period)- x. Filtering can
cally, the average initial separation between re- be expected to distort shapes, eliminate small scale
placement points grew with the noise level (noise structure, and scramble phase, but we do not
causing diffusion of the 1.26-dimensional attractor expect the divergent nature of the attractor to be
into the two-dimensional phase space) and the lost.
large final separations were not much affected by A demonstration of the use of filtering for the
the noise. The result was an underestimate of the Belousov-Zhabotinskii attractor is shown in fig. 8.
positive exponent. A nearly identical result was Filtering dramatically altered the shape of the
obtained for the addition of measurement noise reconstructed attractor, but the estimated values of
(addition of a random term to each element of the hi differed by at most a few percent for reasonable
time series, after the entire series has been gener- cutoff frequencies. A similar calculation for the
ated) to the Hrnon attractor. Rossler attractor indicated that the low-frequency
It is ironic that measurement noise is not a cutoff could be moved all the way down to the
problem unless large amounts of data are available attractor's sole large spectral feature before the
to define the attractor. Noise is only detectable exponent estimate showed any noticeable effect.
when the point density is high enough to provide Results for the Lorenz attractor, with its much
replacements near the noise length scale. This sug- more complicated spectral profile, are not quite as
gests a simple approach to the noise problem, impressive. An analytical proof of the low pass
simply avoiding principal axis vectors whose mag- filtering invariance of Lyapunov exponents (with
nitude is smaller than some threshold value we conditions on the cutoff frequency relative to the
select. If this value is chosen to be somewhat larger orbital period and the replacement frequency) has
than the noise level, the fractional error in de- proved elusive. Of course, low pass filtering fails to
termining initial vector magnitudes may be re- help with exponent estimation if there is substan-
duced to an acceptable level. Avoiding noisy length tial contamination of the data at frequencies lower
scales is not a trivial matter, as noise may not be than the filter cutoff. In a simple study of multi-
of constant amplitude throughout an attractor and periodic data with added white noise [3] the esti-
the noise length scale may be difficult to de- mated exponent returned (very nearly) to zero for
termine. Again, this approach can only work if a sufficient amount of filtering. It thus appears
scales larger than the noise contain accurate infor- that in some cases external noise can be dis-
mation about orbital divergence rates in the zero tinguished from chaos by this procedure.
A. Wolf et al, / Determining Lyapunoo exponents from a time series 305

Fig. 8. a) Unfiltered experimental data for the Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction [2]; b) the same data, low-pass filtered with a filter
cutoff of 0.046 Hz, compared to the mean orbital frequency of 0.009 Hz. Our estimate of X1 for these data was only 5% lower than the
estimate from the unfiltered data. Replacement frequencies in the region of stationarity for these results were approximately 0.005 Hz.
c) the data are over-filtered at 0.023 H_z. h 1 differs by only 20% from the exponent estimate for unfiltered data.

7.4. Data requirements factors: the number of points necessary to provide

an adequate number of replacement points, the
We now address the important questions of the number of orbits of data necessary to probe
quality and quantity of experimental data required stretching (but not folding) within the attractor,
for accurate exponent calculation. The former and the number of data points per orbit that allow
question is more easily disposed of-resolution for proper attractor reconstruction with delay co-
requirements are so highly system dependent that ordinates.
we cannot make any general statements about We first estimate how many points are required
them. In one study with the fixed evolution time to "fill out" the structure of an attractor to pro-
program, the largest exponent was repeatedly com- vide replacement points. A simple minded esti-
puted for Rossler and Lorenz attractor data, the mate of this factor depends on the following
resolution of which was decreased one bit at a factors: the fractal dimension of the attractor, the
time from 16 bits. In each case the estimates number of non-negative exponents in the system,
were reasonably good for data with as few as 5 the number of exponents we are attempting to
bits resolution. In fig. 9 we show the results of compute (the dimension of each volume element),
bit chopping for these systems as well as for and the geometric requirements for acceptable re-
Belousov-Zhabotinskii data. As a conservative rule placement points. A more accurate calculation of
of thumb we suggest a minimum of 8 meaningful this number will depend on such detailed informa-
bits of precision be used for exponent calculations. tion as the attractor's fractal structure and its
We strongly suggest that the resolution of experi- probability density, which are not typically avail-
mental data be artificially lowered as we did for able for experimental data and the effective noise
the model systems. If a plot of ht versus resolution level in the system (which depends on both the
does not show an initial plateau for at least one or actual level of contamination and the dimension of
two bits, the initial data are suspect for the pur- the reconstructed attractor). We assume that our
pose of exponent calculations. data are uniformly distributed over a d-dimen-
The amount of data required to calculate sional attractor of extent L and ignore noise-
Lyapunov exponents depends on three distinct induced diffusion of the data. Thus, the density of
306 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponentsfrom a time series

(a sions and solving for N, we obtain

= (22)
A nearly identical calculation for the number of
t. 5 points required for area replacement results in

I i I i i
N ( X l + }k2) cc dl---~_2 , (23)
IX 14 (b)

e D and in general,


i~=l~ki od_j

I 0.(]6 We have ignored several prefactors that might

l .L L I
(el modify these estimates by at most an order of
magnitude. Also, the variance of the density of
points is so high that the data requirement should
O. 004
probably be substantially increased to ensure that
replacements are almost always available when
IX 003
needed, not just on the average. Perhaps surpris-
ingly, the number of points required for estimating
| [ I I I i I hl "[-~2 is not significantly larger than N(~.I) (our
4 8 12 18 estimate actually predicts it to be smaller). While
we must double the number of points in the attrac-
Fig. 9. The results of bit chopping (simulated measurement tor to have a good chance of finding a pair of
noise) for the a) Lorenz; b) Rossler; and c) Belousov-
replacement points rather than a single one, the
Zhabotinskii systems. For each system at least 5 bits of preci-
sion in the data are required for accurate exponent estimates. search volume f o r area replacement is actually
larger (a larger solid angle of a potential replace-
ment sphere is acceptable) than the search volume
points, p, is for length replacement. For area evolution there
are pairs of points that define highly skewed re-
p=~-~. (20) placement elements, but these are sufficiently un-
likely that we can ignore their effect on N(h z + ~ 2).
For calculation of exponents past ~ 2, the required
The mean number of replacement points located
point density does not change significantly. In our
in a region of length e (SCALMX) and angular
numerical work, in a best case scenario L / e ~-5,
size 0 ( A N G L M X ) is given by
and the maximum value of ~ is about 0.6 radians.
N r = Vd(e, ~ ) p (21) In a worst case calculation L / e is about 10, and 0
is about 0.3 radians. From these values eq. (24)
where Va, the volume of a d-dimensional search predicts to first order that between = 10 d and
cone, is proportional to ed~ d- t, with d the (nearest - 30d points are necessary to fill out a d-dimen-
integer) dimension of the attractor. N r may be set sional attractor, independent of how many non-
to 1 for ~1 estimation. Combining these expres- negative exponents we are calculating.
A. lolf et al. / Determining Lyapunoo exponents from a time series 307

o,2 m

258 512 1024




o,o LL
Fig. 10. The temporal convergence of ~'x is shown as a function of the number of data points defining the Rossler attractor. The
sampling rate is held constant; the longer time series contain more orbits. Note that lengthening the time series not only allows more
time for convergence but also provides more replacement candidates at each replacement step. (Here the embedding dimension was 3,
the embedding delay (~) was a sixth of an orbit, and the evolution time-step was three-quarters of an orbit.)

The next factor we consider is the number of n-D map, the number of orbits of data required to
orbits of data required. The analysis is simplest if estimate any non-negative exponent is given by a
chaos arises through a once per orbit stretching constant, C, raised to a power which is the number
and folding mechanism, which may be represented of positive exponents. The number of positive
by a discrete mapping in one or more dimensions exponents is approximately the dimension of the
(as, for example, in the Lorenz, Rossler, hyper- attractor minus one, thus the required number of
chaos, and Belousov-Zhabotinskii attractors). Ex- orbits is about C d-x. C is a system dependent
ponent convergence requires that volume elements quantity depending on the amount of structure in
be operated on many times by the mapping until the map, perhaps in the range 10 to 100.
the d e m e n t has sampled the slope profile of the The last and simplest point we consider is the
map, suitably weighted by the map's probability required number of points per orbit, P. There is
density. The Lorenz and Rossler attractors have no benefit to choosing P any larger than is ab-
simple underlying 1-D maps; on the order of 10 to solutely necessary. We might try to choose P so
100 map points are required for adequate slope small that in an evolution of a single step, the
profiles [13]. For these attractors, we expect be- average replacement vector would grow to as large
tween 10 and 100 orbits worth of data will be a separation as we care to allow. In the Lorenz
required for estimating X1 or for confirming that attractor, for example, we might decide to allow
2 = 0. N o additional orbits are required for area the average replacement vector to grow by a factor
propagation in a system defined by a 1-D map. If of 32 in a single time step, so that we would have
the system had an underlying 2-D map as hyper- one data point per 6 orbits. The problem is that
chaos does, we might expect, depending on the with data this sparse we are unlikely to obtain a
complexity of the map, that roughly the square of good reconstruction of our attractor. Often, the
this number of orbits would be required. This relationship m ~ = 1 is used in reconstructions,
would provide the same sampling resolution for where m is the embedding dimension and T is the
the slope profile of the map (see ref. 13) in each delay in units of orbital periods. We assume that
dimension. In general, for a system defined by an reconstruction is performed in an approximately
308 A. Wolf et aL / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

d-dimensional space, and the delay corresponds to algorithms have been tested. We emphasize that
a single sample time, so that z = 1 / P . We then no explicit use was made of the differential equa-
obtain a requirement of about d points per orbitt. tions defining the model systems, except to pro-
When the number of points per orbit is multi- duce a dynamical observable (the x-coordinate
plied by the number of orbits, we obtain a re- time series) which was then treated as experimen-
quired number of points ranging from d x 10 d-1 tal data. For the equations that define each system
to d 100 a- 1, which we can compare to the point see table I. The quoted uncertainty values for each
density requirement of between 10 d and 30 d system were calculated either from the known
points. Since all three requirements must be met, values of the exponents or from the variation of
the larger of these two quantities determines the our results with changes in parameters.
amount of data required. In each of these two
ranges of values the complexity of the underlying Hbnon attractor
map (if any) determines which end of the range is For the H r n o n map, we obtained the positive
appropriate. Therefore we may conclude that for exponent to within 5% with only 128 points defin-
up to about a 10-dimensional system the required ing the attractor.
number of data points ranges from 10 d to 30 d. We
compute this range for several systems: H6non Rossler attractor
attractor (d = 1.26), 30-100 points; Rossler attrac- For the Rossler attractor, we found the first
tor (d = 2.01), 100-1000 points; hyperchaos (d = exponent with a 5% error using 1024 points. The
3.005), 1000-30000 points; delay differential equa- second exponent was measured as less than 6% of
tion ( d = 3.64), 4000-200000 points. We see that the first with 2048 points defining the attractor.
the amount of data required to estimate non- Six points per mean orbital period were used to
negative exponents rises exponentially fast with define the attractor.
the dimension of the attractor, the identical prob-
lem with calculations of fractal dimension by all Lorenz attractor
algorithms of the distance scaling variety [35]. Fig. The Lorenz system was the most difficult test of
10 shows the convergence of o u r ~k1 estimate as the the fixed evolution time program because its ill-
number of points used is increased for the Rossler defined orbital period made it difficult to avoid
attractor. It is important to note that while it may catastrophic replacements near the separatrix. In
take 32000 points to define an attractor, it is using the interactive program the operators simply
generally not necessary to evolve completely
through the data before the exponent estimate 0.010
converges. For example, see fig. 10. G

8. Results
We now present our results for the various
model and experimental systems on which our

t W e note that d points per orbit is a very small number

compared to the sampling rate required for hi estimation with
an underlying 1-D map. Construction of a map requires that O. 0000
orbital intersections with the Poincar6 section be determined EVOLUTION TIME (ORBITS)
with high accuracy, often necessitating 100 or more points per
orbit. Our technique thus allows a factor of about 10 times Fig. 11. Stationarity of ~1 with evolution time is shown for
more orbits for a given size data file. Belousov-Zhabotinskii data [2] (compare to fig. 6b).
A. Wolfet al./ DeterminingLyapunooexponentsfrom a time series 309

avoided that region at replacement time. The inter- nent using 1-D map analysis [2] as a comparison.
active runs determined the positive exponent to Our algorithm gives a result in the plateau region
within 3%, and measured the second exponent as of 0.0054 + 0.0005 bits/s, while the 1-D map
less than 5% of the first, using 8192 points. The estimation yiclds a result of 0.0049 + 0.0010 bits/s.
fixed evolution time code measured the first expo- Thus the estimates are in agreement.
nent to within 5% and found the second exponent
to be less than 10% of the first, using 8192 points Couette- Taylor
in both cases. For the Couette-Taylor experiment we com-
puted the largest Lyapunov exponent as a func-
Hyperchaos tion of Reynolds number from data sets (at each
For this system we obtained the largest expo- Reynolds number) consisting of 32768 points
nent to within 10% using 8192 points and the sum spanning about 200 mean orbital periods. Our
of the two positive exponents to within 15% using results are given in fig. 12. Earlier studies of power
16384 points. spectra and phase portraits had indicated that the
onset of chaos occurred at R / R c = 12, where Rc
Delay differential equation marks the transition to Taylor vortex flow. This
Using 65536 points, we computed the largest of onset of chaos is confirmed and quantified by the
the two positive exponents to within 10% and calculation of ~1.
found the sum of the first two exponents to within
9. Conclusions
Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction
In fig. 11 we show the result of our algorithm The algorithms we have presented can detect
used on a time series of 65536 points spanning and quantify chaos in experimental data by accu-
400 orbital periods. The system was in a chaotic rately estimating the first few non-negative
regime near a period-three window. The exponent Lyapunov exponents. Moreover, our numerical
calculated by the algorithm is stable over a range studies have shown that deterministic chaos can be
of parameter values. We also calculated the expo- distinguished in some cases from external noise (as
in the Belousov-Zhabotinskii attractor) and topo-
logical complexity (as in the Lorenz attractor).
0.8 However, this requires a reasonable quantity of
accurate data, and the attractor must not be of
0.6 very high dimension.
X1 As with other diagnostics used in chaotic dy-
0.4 namical systems, the calculation of Lyapunov ex-
ponents is still in its infancy, but we believe that
the approach to exponent estimation that we have
described here is workable. We encourage experi-
0.0 I e , I i I I
mentation with our algorithms.
I0 II 12 13 14

Fig. 12. The largest Lyapunov exponent for experimental

Couette-Taylor data is shown as a function of Reynolds num- Acknowledgements
ber. The shape of this curve (but not its absolute magnitude,
see reference [3]) was independentlyverifiedby the calculation
of the metric entropy h~-which is equal to X1 if there is a We thank J. Doyne Farmer for helpful discus-
single positive exponent [38]. sions and for calculating the Lyapunov spectrum
310 A. Wolfet al./ Determining Lyapunov exponentsfrom a time series

of the delay differential equation; Mark Haye for Appendix A

assistance in programming the Vector General;
and Shannon Spires for programming support, Lyapunov spectrum program for systems of dif-
and for producing the Lyapunov exponent film. ferential equations
This research is supported by the Department of This program computes the complete Lyapunov
Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences contract spectrum of a nonlinear system whose equations of
DE-AS05-84ER13147. H. Swinney acknowledges motion and their linearizations are supplied by the
the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship and user in the routine FCN. The program is set up
J. Vastano acknowledges the support of an Exxon here for the three variable Lorenz system but is
Fellowship. easily modified for any other system of equations.

P A R A M E T E R N=3
Y(1) -- I0.0
Y(2) -- 1.0
Y(3) = 0.0


DO I0 1 = N + I , N N
Y(1) -- 0 . 0
DO 20 I = I,N
Y((N+I)*I) -- 1.0
CUM(I) = 0.0






IND -- 1
A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 311

XEND = S T P S Z E * F L O A T ( 1 )


CALL DVERK ( N E Q , F C N , X , Y , X E N D , T O L , I N D , C , N E Q , W , I E R )
ZNORM(1) = 0.0
DO 30 J = I,N
ZNORM(1) = Z N O R M ( 1 ) + Y ( N * J + I ) * * 2
ZNORM(1) = S Q R T ( Z N O R M ( 1 ) )
DO 40 J = I,N

Y(N*J+I) = Y(N*J+I)/ZNORM(1)


DO 80 J = 2~N


DO 50 K = l,(J-l)
GSC(K) = 0.0
DO 50 L = I,N
GSC(K) = G S C ( K ) + Y ( N * L + J ) * Y ( N * L + K )


DO 60 K = I,N
DO 60 L = l,(J-l)
Y(N*K+J) = Y ( N * K + J ) - G S C ( L ) * Y ( N * K + L )


ZNORM(J) = 0.0
DO 70 K = IjN
ZNORM(J) = Z N O R M ( J ) + Y ( N * K + J ) * * 2
ZNORM(J) = S Q R T ( Z N O R M ( J ) )
DO 8 0 K = I,N
Y(N*K+J) = Y(N*K+J)/ZNORM(J)
312 A. Wolf et aL/ Determining Lyapunov exponentsfrom a time series


DO 90 K -- I,N


IF (MOD(I,IO).EQ.0) TYPE*,X,(CUM(K)/X,K = I,N)




YPRIME(1) = 16.*(Y(2)-Y(1))
YPRIME(2) = -Y(1)*Y(3)+45.92*Y(1)-Y(2)
YPRIME(3) = Y(1)*Y(2)-4.*Y(3)
DO I0 I = 0,2
YPRIME(4+I) = 16.*(Y(7+I)-Y(4+I))
YPRIME(7+I) = (45.92-Y(3))*Y(4+I)-Y(7+I)-Y(1)*Y(IO+I)
YPRIME(10+I) = Y(2)*Y(4+I)+Y(1)*Y(7+I)-4.*Y(IO+I)

See section 3 and refs. 8, 9 for a discussion of the ters are required: length scales that we consider to
O D E algorithm. be too large (SCALMX) and t o o small (SCALMN)
and a constant propagation time (EVOLV) be-
Appendix B tween replacement attempts. SCALMX is our
estimate of the length scale on which the local
F i x e d evolution time program for )h structure of the attractor is no longer being probed;
A time series (of length NPT) is read from a S C A L M N is the length scale on which noise is
data file, along with the parameters necessary to expected to appear. We also supply a maximum
reconstruct the attractor, namely, the dimension of angular error to be accepted at replacement time
the phase space reconstruction (DIM), the recon- ( A N G L M X ) , but we do not consider this a free
struction time delay (TAU), and the time between parameter as its selection is not likely to have
the data samples (DT), required only for normal- much effect on exponent estimates. It is usually
ization of the exponent. Three other input parame- fixed at 0.2 or 0.3 radians.
A. Wolf et aL / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 313

The calculation is initiated by carrying out an replacement triples: the maximum allowed triple
exhaustive search of the data file to locate the "skewness", the maximum angular deviation of
nearest neighbor to the first point (the fiducial each replacement vector from the plane defined by
point), omitting points closer than SCALMNt. the last triple, and weighting factors for the rela-
The main program loop, which carries out re- tive importance of skewness, size of replacement
peated cycles of propagating and replacing the vectors, and angular errors in choosing replace-
first principal axis vector is now entered. The ment vectors.
current pair of points is propagated EVOLV steps The structure of this program is very similar to
through the attractor and its final separation is the program for hi: locate the two nearest neigh-
computed. The log of the ratio of final to initial bors of the first delay coordinate point, determine
separation of this pair updates a running average the initial area defined by this triple, enter the
rate of orbital divergence. A replacement step is main program loop for repeated evolution and
then attempted. The distance of each delay coordi- replacement. Triples are evolved EVOLV
nate point to the evolved fiducial point is then steps through the attractor and replacement is
determined. Points closer than SCALMX but fur- performed. Triple replacement is a more com-
ther away than SCALMN are examined to see if plicated process than pair replacement, which in-
the change in angular orientation is less than volved minimizing a single angular separation and
A N G L M X radians. If more than one candidate a length. Our approach to triple replacement is a
point is found, the point defining the smallest two step process; first we find a small set of points
angular change is used for replacement. If no which, together with the fiducial trajectory, define
points satisfy these criteria, we loosen the larger small separation vectors and lie close to the re-
distance criterion to accept replacement points as quired two-dimensional subspace. We then de-
far as twice SCALMX away. If necessary the large termine which of all of the possible pairs of these
distance criterion is relaxed several more times, at points will make the best replacement triple. In the
which point we tighten this constraint and relax first step, the qualifications of up to 20 potential
the angular acceptance criterion. Continued failure replacement points are saved. Separation and
will eventually result in our keeping the pair of orientation requirements of replacement points are
points we had started out with, as this pair results varied so that a moderate number of candidates is
in no change whatsoever in phase space orienta- almost always obtained. In the secorid step every
tion. We now go back to the top of the main loop possible pair of these points is assigned a score
where the new points are propagated. This process based on how close the replacement triple is to the
is repeated until the fiducial trajectory reaches the old two-dimensional subspace and how numeri-
end of the data file, by which time we hope to see cally stable the orientation of the triple is believed
stationary behavior of Ar See section 6 for a to be. (It is possible that the individual replace-
discussion of how to choose the input parameters. ment vectors lie very close to the old two-dimen-
The fixed evolution time code for Ax + A2 esti- sional subspace but that the replacement area
mation is too long to present here (350 lines of element is nearly orthogonal to the same subspace!)
Fortran) but we discuss its structure briefly. This The relative importance of replacement lengths,
program begins by reading in a dynamical ob- skewness, orientation changes, etcetera, are
servable and many of the same input parameters weighted by the user chosen factors. The highest
as the code for ~1 estimation. A number of param- scoring pair of points is used in the replacement
eters are also required to evaluate the quality of triple. The calculations in this program involve dot
products and the Gram-Schmidt process and so
are independent of the dimension of the recon-
"['Such an exhaustive search is very inefficient for large arrays;
then more efficient algorithms should be employed. See, for structed attractor- no complicated geometry is re-
example, ref. 39. quired in the coding.
314 A. Wolf et al./ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

DIMENSION X(16384) ,PTI(12) ,PT2(12)
Z(I,J) -- X(I+(J-I)*TAU)
TYPE*, " N P T D D I M , T A U , D T ~ S C A I ~ , S C A L M N , E V O L V ?"
IND = 1
SUM = 0.0
ITS = 0
READ (1,*) X(1)
DI r- I.E38
DO 30 I = II,NPT
D-- 0.0
DO 20 J = I~DIM
D = D+(Z(IND,J)-Z(I,J))**2
IND2 = I
A. Wolf et aL/ Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series 315


40 DO 50 J = 1,DIM


DF = 0.0
DO 60 J = 1,DIM
DF = D F + ( P T I ( J ) - P T 2 ( J ) ) * * 2
SUM = S U M + A L O G ( D F / D I) / (FLOAT (EVOLV) *DT*ALOG(2. ) )


ZMULT = I. 0
ANGI/~X = 0.3
70 T H M I N = 3.14


DO i00 1 = I,NPT


IF (III.LT.10) GO TO I00


DNEW = 0.0
DO 80 J = 1,DIM



IF ( D N E W . G T . Z M U L T * S C A I ~ X . O R . D N E W . L T . S C A I N N ) GO TO I00
DOT = 0 0
DO 90 J = 1,DIM
DOT = D O T ( P T I ( J ) - Z ( I , J ) ) * ( P T I ( J ) - P T 2 ( J ) )
316 A. Wolf et al. / Determining Lyapunov exponents from a time series

IF (CTH.GT.I.0) CTH = 1.0


IND2 = I
100 C O N T I N U E

**CANT F I N D A R E P L A C E M E N T - L O O K AT L O N G E R D I S T A N C E S * *



ZMULT = 1.0
IF (ANGIMX.LT.3.14) GO TO 70
110 C O N T I N U E
IND = I N D + E V O L V


GO TO 40
120 C A L L EXIT

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"Lyapunov Characteristic Exponents for Smooth Dynami- Lett. 57A (1976) 397.
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