Bifurcations of stable sets in nonivertible planar maps

James England, B Krauskopf, HM Osinga

Research output: Working paper

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Many applications give rise to systems that can be described by maps that do not have a unique inverse. We consider here the case of a planar noninvertible map. Such a map folds the phase plane, so that there are regions with different numbers of pre-images. The locus where the number of pre-images changes is made up of so-called critical curves, which are defined as the images of the locus where the Jacobian is singular. A typical critical curve corresponds to a fold under the map, so that the number of pre-images typically changes by two. We consider the question of how the stable set of a hyperbolic saddle of a planar noninvertible map changes when a parameter is varied. The stable set is the generalization of the stable manifold for the case of an invertible map. Owing to the changing number of pre-images, the stable set of a noninvertible map may consist of finitely or even infinitely many disjoint branches. It is now possible to compute stable sets with the Search Circle algorithm that we developed recently. We take a bifurcation theory point of view and consider the two basic codimension-one interactions of the stable set with a critical curve, which we call the outer-fold and the inner-fold bifurcations. By taking into account how the stable set is organized globally, these two bifurcations allow one to classify the different possible changes to the structure of a basin of attraction that are reported in the literature. The fundamental difference between the stable set and the unstable manifold is discussed. These results are motivated and illustrated with a single example of a two-parameter family of planar noninvertible maps.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Jun 2004

Bibliographical note

Additional information: Later published by World Scientific, International Journal of Bifurcations and Chaos [in Applied Sciences and Engineering], 15(3), pp. 891-904, ISSN 0218-1274

Sponsorship: We thank Yuri Maistrenko and Bruce Peckham for helpful discussions. The research of
J.E. was supported by grant GR/R94572/01 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences
Research Council (EPSRC).


  • critical curve
  • basin of attraction
  • bifurcation
  • stable set
  • noninvertable map


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